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Final Property Inspection "Check-outs"

Tuesday, 9th February, 2016

Almost half of tenants do not attend their "check-out" inspection at the end of their tenancy, according to figures published by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

During check-outs landlords or their representatives record the condition of the property in comparison to when the tenants moved in.

The DPS recommends that tenants attend their final inspection but 48% of 8,035 respondents to The DPS's recent survey said they had not attended.

Julian Foster, managing director of The DPS, said: "Check-outs are one of the most important stages of any tenancy. By viewing the property and discussing its condition together, tenants and landlords can resolve problems quickly and help prevent longer disputes, for instance, over the return of the deposit."

The DPS has also issued tips for landlords to help ensure that checkouts are successful:

  • Take along a report from the check-in. The first stage of making sure your check-out process is successful is to carry out an inspection that is agreed by the tenant on the state of the property when he or she arrives. Bring the resulting report to the check-out as as a reference point for both your inspection and the discussions.
  • Make sure the tenant understands the process. Explain that this is his or her chance to put forward their case regarding the state of the property. It's sensible to include a description of the process in your written invitation, and give them an oppportunity to ask questions when it starts.
  • Take you time and be thorough. Although confrontation can be difficult and it can feel awkward to be touring your property that has acted as someone else's home - you are making life more difficult for both you and the tenant if you do not cover every aspect of your check-in list properly, or later refer to an issue that wasn't noticed during check-out.
  • Make notes. In particular, record any of your tenant's admissions or nay agreements you reach. Ask your tenant to sign and date the notes.
  • Bring a camera and take photos of any damage or anything else contentious. Digital cameras work best because they have a date stamp, which helps demonstrate when pictures were taken.
  • Carry out the check-out inspection before any repair work takes place. Although it seems obvious that evidence of the damage will help demonstrate your case, unfortunately the rush to overcome problems ready for the next tenant sometimes means opportunities to record them are missed.


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