Tenants: who should be there for check in and check out?
Tenants used to see checking in and out - particularly the inventory part - as something that mainly protected the landlord, so many of them didn’t pay much attention to it. But, since the introduction of deposit protection schemes and with tenants becoming much better informed about both their rights and their landlord’s obligations, they’re now appreciating that the whole process also benefits them.
There are three main purposes of the check in:
- Legal administration: to make sure all paperwork is correct at the point the tenant moves in they have all keys and information about other security measures.
- Inventory: to establish the condition of the property and its contents.
- Orientation: to make sure the tenant knows emergency/safety procedures for the utilities and how to operate all equipment correctly and safely.
Ideally the property inventory should be carried out by an independent professional. At Your Move, we use local independent specialists, who prepare the inventory in advance. The inventory clerk is often able to carry out the rest of the check in as well, but it’s important that whoever is doing it is familiar with all the services and equipment in the property.
Even if an inventory clerk is doing the check in, it’s ideal if the landlord or managing agent is there as well, to:
- establish a relationship with the tenant
- give the tenant the opportunity to ask any questions of the person they’ll be dealing with during their tenancy
- clarify how the tenant should communicate if there are any issues.
At check out, the most important thing is that the condition of the property as it stands at the end of the tenancy is established. Whoever’s doing it - whether that’s the inventory clerk, the managing letting agent or the landlord - should have the original inventory to hand. Then they can agree with the tenant, there and then, whether there’s been any damage or unreasonable wear and tear and avoid future disputes that may be hard to prove either way.
Tenants might be tempted to simply drop off the keys with the agent or leave them in the property, especially if they’re moving out of the area. So it’s important that whoever arranges their departure stresses the importance of the tenant being there in person for the check out and emphasises it’s to their benefit.
If you have any further queries about the check-in or check-out process, either phone or call into your local Your Move branch and one of the team can go through everything with you.