Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset
Oakley Jane offer a wide range of inventory services and have provided accurate, high quality and precise reports since 1996 to many of the top Letting Agents and private landlords in the South East
An inventory is a legally binding document that provides an accurate written record of the condition and contents of a property at the beginning of a tenancy.
Since the introduction of a legal requirement to bond a tenant’s deposit in an approved scheme it has never been more important to have an inventory, preferably prepared by an independent company such as Oakley Jane.
In order to deduct monies from a tenant’s deposit you must be able to demonstrate changes beyond reasonable wear and tear. The only way to do that is with an inventory.
It is only effective if it is accurate, therefore all defects and soiling must be noted. Some landlords do not realise that although descriptions can appear uncomplimentary, it is those descriptions that will allow them to prove whether a tenant caused damage or is liable for cleaning costs.
All furniture, fixtures and fittings are listed with detailed comments shown beside each item:
"White painted, single panel door - Light scuffs Lower Level Left Hand Side, few minor chips Right Hand Side edge, 1 x nail."
Gardens are described in layman’s terms only. Garden statues, sheds, outbuildings etc will be described as deemed appropriate.
Lofts, cellars and similar areas are not normally covered.
To minimise costs, at Oakley Jane, we exclude items which are of little real value in general terms i.e. ‘a quantity of ...’. Examples of such items are books, tired bedding, used kitchen utensils/tableware etc.
Should a property contain anything considered an antique or of great value we must be notified and, ideally, valuations should be provided.
It is recommended that a property is cleaned to a professional standard for the start of a tenancy paying particular attention to carpets, curtains, upholstery, kitchens and bathrooms.
If an item is soiled at the start of a tenancy a tenant cannot be charged for cleaning it at the end. Landlords are also advised to retain all receipts.
CHECK IN /
KEY HAND OVER
At a Check-in, we will inspect the property and compare it to the inventory.
Any variations will be noted at this time and the tenant will be able to add any marginal notes.
The amended inventory will be emailed over either by the agent or by the inventory clerk once all new photographs have been embedded and additional findings have been noted.
This document known as the ‘final copy’ will also be up-loaded on the Oakley Jane web portal so that a clean copy is always available if required.
In order to authenticate the inventory it must be signed the Tenant or their representatives at the time of the check in.
The Check In clerk will take with the tenants the meter readings (if accessible) and re-take any photographs if changes have occurred between the time of the inventory compilation and the check in.
The Check In Clerk will list all keys issued including all internal, window, shed and garage keys.
We will check smoke detectors & carbon monoxide alarms for power during the check in process and will notify you immediately of any not working.
As well as offering you a first class inventory and check out process, Oakley Jane are now proud to include Management Visits to their list of services.
This service will be carried using Oakley Jane's custom built property inspection application.
These can either be:
A regular service throughout a tenancy.
A one off as you have concerns.
Over a period of a few months if you are unable to carry them out.
All visits will be carried out by our fully insured and trained staff.
Reports, including full colour photographs of any issues, will be emailed to you within 24 hours of the visit.
At the end of the tenancy a Check Out inspection is carried out.
The inventory used for the Check Out is the one updated at Check In with any relevant comments.
Notes are made on the inventory of any variations since the Check In and photographs taken to support the written word.
We will then list the significant differences on a Check Out report including whether these changes are Tenant damage, Further Investigation required, Landlord maintenance or Fair Wear and Tear.
Cleaning is often a major area of dispute. Landlords and tenants are advised to retain all receipts relating to cleaning and repairs carried out before, during or at the end of a tenancy.
The Check Out report is the basis for most claims made by landlords. A claim is most often viewed more favourably if compiled by an independent and unbiased party such as Oakley Jane, particularly by the My Deposits scheme and TDS.
At the Check Out we will also take a record of the closing meter readings if meters are accessible, take photographs and will collect all keys from the Tenant and compare them to the keys issued at the Check In to ascertain any liability for loss or damage.
We will also verbally notify the agent if there are any problems which need immediate attention ie: leaking tap, broken lock, smoke alarms not working.