An Inventory is one thing but without a signed check-in, (giving time to the Tenant and the Landlord to review the report), could invalidate any chance of the Landlord making a claim for damages against the deposit, through any Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS). Likewise, the Tenant should ensure the same to protect his deposit.

Without both the Landlords and the Tenants Signature, there is no evidence of an agreement. As the onus is on the Landlord to prove it rather than the Tenant to disprove it, you must have this evidence to support any claim.

If the Tenant has (during the Check-In procedure), every opportunity to verify or dispute each item/aspect of the property and obtain his/her signature on the inventory report, they can safely be regarded as having approved the contents and condition of the report.

This is why a Check-In is as important, if not more so, than the actual Inventory.

Any errors or omissions at this point could invalidate the point of a Check-in. Please let the Professionals complete it.

The Inventory Clerk would show the Incoming Tenant every item in the building and give the Tenant the opportunity to make any comments. Once this is completed a copy of the report would be given to the Tenant and they should receive a suitable period of time to review it, once they have moved in.


The ‘Deposit Protection Service’ state that ‘It is possible for any party to provide an Inventory, and any such evidence will be considered by the Adjudicator. However, the inventory documentation may be a crucial factor in deciding the dispute between the parties. Whilst there is no reason why a landlord cannot provide a fair and accurate inventory, it is best practice for the inventory to be provided by a third party, in order to avoid any argument regarding bias’.

A Check-Out details the differences in the condition of the property, furniture or other items within the premises that may have occurred during the period of the tenancy.

It is vital at this point to refer to the signed Check-In report in order to compare them. If a complete and detailed Check-In report has been completed, then it would be difficult for either party to refute the results provided.

It is also important that the Check-Out should be completed as close to the end of tenancy as possible, so that there can be no argument about damage having been caused once the tenant has moved out. The deposit can only be handed back once the checkout has been agreed and all other outstanding issues have been completed.

If you would like any further information please telephone us on 01708 766223 or by clicking here