Checking out a tenant.
Diane from Liverpool
Estate Agents questions and answers
Can I ask who is supposed to be responsible for checking out a tenant, myself as the landlord or the Estate Agent? I paid for a full inventory when the tenant moved in. The estate agent is saying that I am responsible for checking the tenant out and getting another inventory. Also, should the checking out be done once the tenant has left the premises? Thank You.
It will depend on the contract you had with your agent. It is not unusual to provide an inventory as a stand-alone item, and then offer the check in and check out as separate services. However, it should have been made clear to you what exactly you were getting. If you have a written agreement it should be in there. If they are a member of a scheme such as ARLA, and either did not provide you with a written agreement or the agreement is unclear, you could complain about that.
Was your tenant checked in? Or perhaps they just had the copy of the inventory. Hopefully, at least they have signed and returned the inventory to say they agreed it. If not, please post another question if you want advice on that point.
Best procedure for a check out is to meet the tenant at the property once they have finished moving everything out and cleaning, to accept the keys back and go through the inventory with them. Take a copy of the original inventory (keeping the original separate) and go round the property with the tenant and mark any differences on the copy. Discuss as much as you can at the time what differences you see and what you want to do about them – i.e. get quotes for extra cleaning.
If the tenant does not want to do this with you, stress that it is in their best interests that they should as it gets everything identified and agreed quickest but failing that do exactly the same without them and send them a copy with your proposed deductions afterwards.
If there are likely to be deductions, it is best to use an agent as the regulations are quite fiddly and can trip you up. If you want to handle it yourself, your tenancy agreement should say what scheme the deposit is held with if the agent organised that for you, and you can look on the scheme’s website for guidance on their specific rules.
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Hannah, 09 April 2017