How tenants can effectively participate in the property checks and inventories in the era of COVID-19
This week, we are working with prospective tenants and home seekers to highlight the importance of their effective participation in property checks and inventories. We shall as well stress the need of building strong evidence relating to the same checks and inventories.
Taking photos, running a video, recording voices, shooting a short film before moving into a new accommodation
We are focusing on building hard evidence by taking photos, running a video, recording voices, shooting 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/clerk 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 checks and inventories
Because of its importance, the rental practice advises tenants to take active participation in the inventories (both check-in and check-out). However, before physically participating tenants must take health and safety precautions against the coronavirus pandemic which could include the three followings:
(1) being fully jabbed or negatively tested against COVID-19
(2) be wearing the recommended protective equipment against COVID-19
(3) be aware of any COVID-19 strains attached to the property in which the inventory will be carried out.
Today with the digital and mobile technologies, it is possible and advisable to build hard evidences by adding to the print or online inventory report images, pictures, voices and other information graphic features , 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 device, etc.
Reasons for digital check-in and check-out
The reasons for digital check-in and check-out are beyond convenience, effectiveness and efficiency. They include the following:
√ 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 as an underlying issue or defect.
√ To prevent disagreement whether the property and its contents were COVID-19 secure or not.
For example, responsibility should be clearly established between the tenants and landlords/ladies (or their letting or managing agents) as to who should disinfect the property from any strains of COVID-19 in the check-in and check-out process.
Home Relief’s advice with regard to checks and inventories
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 or online mail. Where possible, run a video call or meeting with the landlord/lady or the inventory clerk about the property inventory, and record your meeting.
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 to find them.
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, they need to 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.