Most letting agents are already carrying out inspections for check-in and check-out reports (hopefully). Some are going further and conducting interim inspections. But how many are going the extra mile to carry out pre-check-out inspections and reports – and is it worth their time and effort to do so?
The team at Inventory Hive have been carrying out research amongst their users and discovered that the most wanted type of report requested by agents was, in fact, for pre-check-out inspections.
A pre-check-out report, as the name indicates, is an inspection (and subsequent report) that happens before the final check-out on moving day. It’s typically carried out a month prior to the end of tenancy.
There are a few good reasons why demand for these pre-check-out reports is so high amongst landlords and agents. Here are three of the most important:
A look at the latest report from the Tenancy Dispute Scheme shows that the top reasons for disputes are cleaning, damage and redecoration. Many of these issues require a certain timeframe to rectify. By conducting an inspection before the end of tenancy, both tenants and agents can action the problem areas in good time. The pre-check-out visit also allows the agent or landlord to highlight areas of concern or poor cleanliness to the tenant ahead of moving day. It may simply be that the tenant isn’t aware of what should be cleaned and to what standard. This visit can help the tenants to see what needs to be done to secure their full deposit when they leave.
Much like the first point, the pre-check-out inspection means that everyone has the time to remedy problems before the last day of tenancy. This not only speeds the process up for agents and landlords who will be keen to get new tenants into the property as soon as possible (and prevent loss of rental) – it also speeds up the deposit return for tenants. It’s a win-win for all concerned. Delays can arise when tradesman, cleaners and decorators are required to return the property to its orginal condition. By allowing time to schedule these appointments in advance, delays are reduced down the line.
End of tenancy disputes often occur because expectations weren’t clear or because of discrepancies between the ‘before and after’ condition of the property. At this point, it is not uncommon for relationships to break down completely, especially when claims are made. This inevitably snowballs into poor agent reviews and reputation. The pre-check-out inspections give agents and tenants the opportunity to communicate about potential issues, to discuss the actions required, and to keep lines of contact open. Leaving all of that until moving day adds to the difficulty of an already stressful experience where emotions may be running high. It’s always better to tackle the problems ahead of final check-out, to maintain good relations.
The answer to whether pre-check-out reports are worth the extra effort is clear. They ultimately save time, money and reputation. And, with the help of the Inventory Hive app, the in-built reporting templates, camera, cloud-based inventory records and automated communications included, makes the visit and extra reporting process even easier.
It’s a no brainer, really.
Learn more at Inventory Hive
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and Inventory Hive run two expert led, CPD accredited courses.
Led by Michael Hill of TDS and Richard Abbots of Inventory Hive, the courses guide property professionals through reporting at each stage of a tenancy, making the process as smooth as possible.
Course 1 ‘Pre-tenancy activity and inventory check-in’ – The first course includes an introduction to inventory check-ins and practical tips for compiling reports. The session focuses on key vocabulary/terminology and what to include in an inventory report.
Course 2 ‘Mid-term visits and end of tenancy check-out’ – The second course focuses on mid-term visits and end of tenancy check-out reports. The session includes practical guidance on undertaking reports, alongside how reports are approached by an adjudicator when considering deposit deductions.
To register for the on-demand training, visit TDS Academy.
Richard Abbots is founder and CEO at Inventory Hive, which is a simple cloud-based property reporting and 360° virtual tour software – allowing for market-leading paperless management of inventories, check-ins, interim visits, comparative check-outs, customisable reports, and easy-to-use 360° virtual tour.
Sign up for your free 30 day trial (no card details required) here.