Checks & Inventories: Tenants’ Participation

Welcome to Home Relief Bulletin Board

Monday 10 June 2019

by the Property  Team

Post No. 92


Taking Photos, Running a Video, Recording a Short Film before Moving into a New Accommodation

This week, we are working with prospective tenants and home seekers to highlight the importance of their participation in property checks and inventories.  In particular, we are focusing on building hard evidence by taking photos, running a video and recording a short film before taking occupancy of property they are renting.

Before giving possession of any rental property, the landlord/lady or letting agents or even an inventory company will conduct with the incoming tenants a check-in inventory which will then be translated into an inventory report. 

What is an inventory report?

This report documents the property by detailing its current state and conditions including contents, descriptions, age, conditions of fixtures, fittings and furnishing.  The document may or may not be accompanied by digital media.

Both parties (incoming tenants and landlords/ladies or their representatives) would sign this document and their third-parties would witness it.

The relevancy of inventory report

This document, which is the third important document related to any tenancy (the other imperative documents being tenancy agreement and rent payment receipts), can  

√ help the tenants to claim back their deposit

√ be used as a reference for dispute over damages

√ safeguard tenants’ interests against unfair deductions from rent deposit


Tenants’ active and full engagement to the inventories

Because of its importance, the rental practice advises tenants to take active participation in the inventories (both check-in and check-out).

Today with the digital and mobile technologies, it is possible and advisable to build hard evidence by adding to the print or online inventory report images, pictures and voices, without forgetting to date and name those evidences as well as inserting important notes.  You can use rich text media or visuals (such as videos, PDFs etc.) to strengthen your evidence.

Tenants can do the same documentation by having digital check-in and check-out inventories using a mobile phone, a camera, a tablet, an iPhone, or any digital devise etc. 

The reason for digital check-in is beyond convenience, effectiveness and efficiency.  It is to avoid the problems we mentioned above to occur such as future major disputes over the state and conditions of the property, particularly over any damages which may be already in the fittings, furnishing and fixtures, or which may occur later.

To illustrate the importance of paying attention to details and building hard evidence, we are going to share with you the following tenant’s story which we recently came across.  The story provider has chosen to stay anonymous.  Because of his/her choice, we are not going to mention their personal details.    

Story title: Crack in the staircase

I moved into a self-contained one bedroom flat few years ago after signing a shorthold tenancy agreement for one year, contract renewable if the two parties agree to do so.  The time I moved in, the stairs were covered by carpets.

As the stairs were covered with a thick carpet, I did not realise that one of the stair cases had a crack.  Every time I climb the stairs, I kept noticing a funny tiny noise.  I thought it was coming from the neighbours.  When some friends came to visit me one day, they noticed the same noise.  We started to investigate the matter, we found one the stairs under the carpet had a long and deep crack. 

I spoke to my landlord about it; he said why I did not mention it before.  He did not record such damages when he gave me possession of the property.  This stair case became a matter of dispute between my landlord and I.   

Home Relief’s advice for future tenancies

In the light of the above story, attention to details is not a fault but a gift.  When viewing and taking possession of any property, it is always better to check it carefully before moving in rather than relying on a snap piece of information like a quick tick-box format check-in inventory on some sheets of paper.  

As a tenant, you need to fully and actively engage in the preparation and checking of the inventory report to avoid any controversy later.  With low-cost digital technologies in today’s market, it is even cost effective to just use an average mobile phone to take pictures, run a video or record a short film.

The advantages of using a mobile phone in these circumstances are:

√ to capture any key moments of life (such as moving in a new property)

√ to mitigate potential conflicts with the landlord over any damages

√ to create the desirable impact and effect for your security, peace of mind and hassle-free tenancy. 

Don’t forget to insert a short summary or description and date your photos, videos, films and voices!    

Today, there are lots of online resources and sources of information on the matter.  you can go online find them.

If anyone has some comments to make or technical support about the above story, let us know. 

If anyone needs any check-in or check-out inventory or would like to involve Home Relief in checking their property to rent or rented property, contact Home Relief.

If you are looking for an affordable location and home, Home Relief is the people dealing with affordable homes you could consider in your property searches and enquiries.

For more information about our property service to home buyers and tenants, please go to

For more information about our property service to home sellers and landlords/ladies, please go to

For properties to rent and let, go to

For weekly property news and updates, please read our weekly posts.

Thank you for reading this post.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits to Home Relief website and to doing business with you throughout 2019.

Many thanks!

Home Relief – freelance e-property people dealing with affordable homes



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.