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Landlords showing rents

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Landlords showing rents

July 24, 2012 Bloggies by danny

Some of the UK’s largest landlords are opening up their books to taxpayers and their tenants to show them how their rents are spent.

Housing associations such as Home Group, Viridian and Hereford Housing have now been joined by Hyde and Sanctuary housing associations who manage over 100,000 homes between them. This is following in the steps of Town Halls and Government in their transparency with spending that all can see.

This is super news for the public as they are now able to see all spending and what is actually going on with their monies as with our taxes. In November 2012 the Department for Communities and Local Government has been showing all spending that exceeds £500.

 Everything is now transparent for everybody to see how every single penny is spent. Right from the time of leasing, as a tenant, you have the right to demand how your money was used in processing the lease application. The amount needed for processing a lease should actually be less than 25 dollars. Anything above this should be refunded in case it was not used in processing the application.

Other than the deposit that is usually refunded at the end of the lease period, application fees are used to process an application for instance running a credit check. This amount as mentioned earlier should be $25 or less and any amount above that refunded if actually not used in processing your application. The amount should be refunded within 15 days of entering the premises or receiving a notification from the landlord that the rental may not actually take place. Transparency of expenses in processing your application is what you should seek from your landlord in case they fail to refund the cash or write an official explanation of the expenses incurred to consume the extra amount.

Many tenants usually give out their security deposits even when the application has not been processed; this is a great mistake to do as a tenant. In fact, you should pay the security deposit once your application has been processed and accepted for you to sign the lease. As a tenant, you also need to be on the safe side all the time by confirming with the landlord before making any payment on whether it will be refunded in case you decide not to rent. An official notification of the payment receipt is necessary to prevent disputes later when you need the cash refunded to you.

Landlords need to ensure that all contracts are written down for tenancies exceeding one year. This however does not mean that tenancies of lesser periods do not need to be written down. They can as well be written to avoid any kind of dispute between the tenant and the landlord. Understanding your legal rights as a tenant and those of your landlord is crucial so that you lay down favorable terms for both of the involved parties. As much as landlords like to offer standard leases to all their tenants, there is absolutely no problem with you negotiating your terms with the landlord. This may also include additional terms of agreement between you and your landlord.

Rent receipts are also necessary at any point when the payment is made. In case of any dispute regarding payment of rent, the receipts will be crucial in serving as evidence during dispute resolution. Alongside rent payments, security deposits paid to the landlord to protect him against damages to the rented property should be indicated in a transparent way and the terms leading to withholding the deposit stated clearly in writing. For instance, failure to pay rent for a specific period, the deposit will be used as rent instead. The same case, if damages are made on the rental property. The tenant should also have the deposit secured for refunding if no agreement or terms have been broken. The deposit will only be secured and refunded when it is ascertained that any damages incurred on the property are as a result of natural causes. Fair wear and tear of property is excluded from repairs and taking away some of the security deposit.

For the sake of development and growth in the economy, it is necessary that everybody stays responsible for everything they handle including ensuring the money they pay out in the form of rent to their landlords is utilized in a responsible way. Just like ensuring your taxes are properly managed and used by the concerned authorities, your rent should play a major role in boosting the well-being of everybody. Landlords are thus asked to show rents to their clients, tenants in this case.  Tenants are more comfortable learning that every single coin they pay out as rent is properly utilized or spent by the landlords.

As much as this is not a requirement for landlords to show rents to their tenants, it is obvious that tenants will develop a cordial relationship with the landlords that are open and transparent to them more especially concerning the rent paid to them. Many landlords that have handled this case precisely this way have earned a lot of admiration and respect from their tenants as they expose to them everything and every manner in which their hard earned money has been spent.

Owning a rental property occupied by tenants is not a personal affair anymore. The tenants thus need to play a crucial part in running the affairs of the property they are staying in. Showing rents to tenants is an honorable step any landlord can take to ensure all the tenants are comfortable with all his undertakings and plans. When tenants are involved in the crucial decision making process, they will also help you establish the most effective entry and stay laws within the property rented to them.  Most times tenants revolt against decisions made behind the bars and brought forward for enforcement when not all have agreed with the terms. That is why involving the tenants before making any decision concerning the property they are staying in is crucial and necessary.

Many of the UK landlords are today doing this, why not you?

 

 

Positve price growth in New Homes

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Positve price growth in New Homes

July 23, 2012 Bloggies by danny

Positve price growth in New Homes

Prices of the average new home in the UK since May have gone up by 0.4% as seen in the data published today.

The yearly house price growth was 3.1% in June, making the average price of a new home over £6000 more than in June 2011.

It shows that East Anglia has seen the strongest growth in this quarter at a staggering 5.9%.

Builders such as Ben bailey are making homes affordable with its CanBuy Scheme that loans buyers the required 15% deposit to gain a good mortgage.

In June the monthly house price average went down in only 3 of the 11 areas, in the South East, South West and Wales.

The Index, SmartNewHomes, is also showing that the level of new homes coming on the market is on the rise, which is great news all round. Barratt, a large new home building company, has said that their completions rose by 16% compared to the same quarter last year.

All good news for the UK housing market. Anybody wishing to buy a new home can thus get one easily as buyers can now take their pick on more than 3500 home mortgages. With an increased competition for mortgage lending by various lenders, borrowing has become a lot cheaper meaning more people can invest in new homes than ever before. Deals are many thus opening up the market for you to pick the best of all. From statistics carried out by Financial Information Group MoneyFacts, mortgages have increased by 25% in just a year and most of these mortgages are offered at affordable rates. This is a new reopening for the business market as observed by Jonathan Harris of Mortgage Broker Anderson Harris. This is because more deals have opened up for borrowers in just a year’s time. With more choices at better rates, you can be assured of a boosted property ownership.

Besides reduced rates, most money lending institutions have introduced new products to their mortgage ranges such as interest-only home loans by Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks. This has led to an increased number of first-time home buyers who are the main target in the housing business.

The other good news for home investors is that interest rates are bound to remain at a historic low of 0.5% until when the employment level will fall below 7%. The government on its part has thus also played a critical role in ensuring more people access home development mortgages at very low and affordable rates. This has greatly boosted the housing market like no other economy in the world. This is as a result of the introduction of the Funding for Lending Scheme that gives lenders access to cheap funding. This way, there has been observed a dramatic fall in the cost of fixed-rate mortgages. Just imagine getting a mortgage for 5 years at 3.84% or for 3 years at 3.54%! Don’t you think this is great news for home investors? This is actually contrary to some years ago where the rates were as high as 6.6%.

Some lenders are even looking into lowering the rates further just like West Brom BS did when it launched the lowest rate for a two-year fixed-rate of 1.48%. This is actually the best rate borrowers can get but after making a40% deposit and some eye-watering arrangement fees. From the analysis done, the mortgage market has really heated up since the launch of FLS since rates have been slashed to record lows and products increased.

Help to buy is another scheme that has greatly contributed to the growth of the mortgage market with more people already applied to use the scheme with a little deposit to buy. This is yet another breakthrough for intending investors in mortgages and buying either newly built or existing homes. it is now true and certain that rates have fallen across the board ensuring that more people access credit or mortgages to buy homes across the UK. The Help to buy scheme and FLS are both intended to spark a dramatic rise in sales volumes and house price rise in the future which would definitely get us back to the problems that caused the housing market to get out of control some years ago.

Home prices are already rising in most parts of England. In order to get control of the situation, supply must keep pace with the growing market demand such that the prices may not be pushed too high beyond the expectations of many. This could be good news for existing homeowners but would definitely push aspiring homeowners to the wall on the fact that they are already facing a squeeze on their incomes. An increase in supply from house builders may help keep prices in check preventing some financial crisis in the housing market.

Far from what many banks have been doing by lending a no deposit mortgage to you as a first time buyer after considering that you are an existing customer of the bank, the schemes that have been launched do not look into this factor but rather lend the money on grounds that you make a deposit of a certain amount. This is just good news for first time buyers with no existing borrower or existing customer restrictions. Keeping an eye on 100% mortgage market is thus crucial for you to secure the best deal in the market.

The choice is all yours when it comes to property investment more especially investing in a home. With varied options in the market, what you can do is looking into every option in detail to determine the one you are comfortable with and that you can easily sustain in repayment without any challenge. Don’t waste time applying for a mortgage you are not eligible for either because you don’t meet the income criteria or simply because you are not a customer or regular borrower. Look into every option in greater depth such that the best deal never passes you at any cost. Try as much as you can to save a deposit before applying for the mortgages so as to be able to secure any deal easily once it arises.

If you are an investor having your eye on housing property, then this is the best time to have your best shot. However you need to know that the rate of home price growth has slowed down in the last few months with more foreclosure activity witnessed. But this does not mean that house prices have gone to the negative; it means that the rate of growth has decreased from the elevated growth rates experienced in the previous year. Several areas that were experiencing decreased foreclosures are now experiencing more.

According to dataquick analytics, this is as a result of various factors such as rising rates, uncertainty about employment and the direction of monetary fiscal policy. All these factors led to a reduction in demand for housing which resulted in a dampened price growth. However most of the places across the UK reported positive growth in house prices over the past one year. The spread of sales across the country to various other areas also contributed to the reduction in price growth for homes across the country.

According to Crawford’s predictions, the monthly growth rates are going to experience an increased decline in rates as compared to the previous months late last year 2012 and early 2013. The main reason for this according to Crawford is that the experienced home price growth does not provide a return to the home price levels experienced at the peaks. Haven home prices well below the peak home price levels is important as it ensures households remain with negative equity thus limiting the supply of available home properties for sale.

Not only is the UK experiences a positive price growth in new homes but also several other countries of the world including the US where various researchers report a positive price growth of new homes in almost all counties over the last quarter. Going to other countries such South Africa, the reports also indicate a positive year-on-year house price growth in July 2013.

Coming back to the UK, you realize that more companies and schemes have been opened up to ease the process of acquiring mortgages. A higher home loan approval rate has greatly influenced the property market here in the UK like most parts of the world. The average deposit now required by many mortgage companies stands at 15 percent which every home buyer should accomplish before getting the approval of being given the mortgage. An increased approval rate is an indication of lenders’ improved appetite for extending credit. This approval rate has been increasing year-on-year. Home sales in the past few months have remained ahead of last year. This is actually in line with the expectations in the housing market. Data collected by various researchers al indicate a positive year-on-year growth.

From the observations made by home construction companies, homes qualifying for 100 pc financing under programs and schemes such as help to buy are selling quicker than most in the area. This means that there are more potential buyers who have fewer saving to invest in a home purchase that requires a sizable amount of deposit before getting approved.

Currently, the average price of a home in the UK stands at 232,292 pounds which is slightly higher by 0.4 in the last quarter. From last year, the average price of a home has increased by almost 7,000 pounds. This is according to SmartNewHomes July Index. The introduction of CanBuy scheme by Ben Bailey is a great boost to the housing industry by loaning buyers a 15% deposit. Through this scheme, housing investment has been on the rise in most areas of London. Out of the 11 areas, only three experienced a slipped growth.

Research also indicates a positive growth in the number of new homes coming onto the market. This is according to several UK house builders including Barratt who has reported a positive growth of up to 16%. Investors dealing with new homes market report a strong performance since January. However a new home still remains affordable to many first time home buyers. Most home builders are calling out for more mortgage availability such that more investors will be able to invest in homes and property. This option makes new homes more affordable to a wider market. For this reason the demand for home is still expected to rise even in the coming months. The value of home loans approved by various mortgage companies across the UK are up meaning that more investors are having their eyes on housing than any other investment option. For this reason the demand for homes is equally increasing and so is the case with home prices. People expect nothing but the rising trend in the price of homes in the UK for some time to come because there are yet many people intending to buy homes and others constructing them for business.

The UK just like many other parts of the world are fighting really hard to ensure everybody is capable of affording a decent home to live in. That is why various companies including the government have come up with strategies and schemes that will ensure homes are affordable and accessible by all. This being the trend, mortgage availability means more home constructions but because of the ever increasing demand for homes, the price for homes will keep rising to the unforeseeable future.

House Prices soaring at Olympic Site

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House Prices soaring at Olympic Site

July 23, 2012 Bloggies by danny

Not long now and till the Olympics and the reports are coming in that since the East End of London won the bid in 2005 house prices have dramatically risen.

In the 14 local postal codes closest to the Olympics the average cost of a house stands at £273,000 approx. compared with £206,000 approx. back when London won the bid for the 2012 Games.

Lloyds TSB stated that they have out risen the national market with an increase of 33%. The average increase is 24% over the same period since mid-2005.

In the past 8 years residents of Olympic districts have seen the value of their property rise beyond the expectations of many. While some other parts of England have had a 29pc increase, Olympic districts have seen their property increase by 49 pc. This is from the data collected in mid 2005 and early 2013. The east London has thus experienced the greatest price growth over the last 8 years by recording an average increase of 35pc. This is according to Lloyds TSB.

In 2012 alone, all the 14 areas closest to the Olympic park saw their house prices rise by 10% while other parts such as Wales and England experienced a mere 4%. Out of the 14 areas, Manor Park and Clapton recorded the highest price growth in percentage within a year by recording 17.4 and 16.8% respectively.

It is true that immediately London won the Olympic bid, all areas around the park started experiencing an increase in house prices of up to 115,000 dollars. Such places as Dalston, Homerton, Berthnal Green and Shoreditch all enjoyed the increase. According to Nitesh Patel of Lloyds TSB, East London’s experienced infrastructural developments is as a result of the bid that it won to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games. Rail and tube networks are also part of the developments that have been noted besides other projects such as housing and transport.

Business has thus greatly been boosted since this time to date with more shopping center developed such as the shopping mall that was mainly developed to target the games and the wider area over a longer term after the games were completed. This is good news for homeowners around the Olympic more especially the 14 postal areas closest to the park. The average increase in value has stood at averagely 1000 pounds since 2012. This is according to the new analysis of land registry by Lloyds TSB. This is approximately 26% on average for all homes close to the Olympics site.

Comparing this increment with the national average increase of 20%, you realize that this is more than a quarter higher. This is even higher with the 14 postal areas closest to the venue as more investors are seen to pour to the area. With an average house growth in London stands at 36%, some areas such as Homerton and Shoreditch have recorded a sharp increase of up to 69%! According to Suren Thiru, a housing economist at Lloyds TSB, the increase is as a result of increased interest in property in these areas from both buyers and investors. This is because the areas are experiencing a lot of regeneration to fit the demands of the attendants of the Olympic Games.

Unlike the past few years, now the least expensive postal districts like Plaistow and East Ham have an average house price of 196,000 and 203,000 pounds. this is way too much as compared to what the prices have been in the past few years before London won the Olympics and Paralympics games bid to hold the games.

The area around Olympic park with over 500 acres of land is experiencing a massive upgrade in facilities that involve hosting the Olympics including the construction of the Olympic stadium, sporting complexes and aquatic centers among others. transport, which a major part of the Olympics calls for development of infrastructure and various bus stations like Stratford regional station which is constructed to accommodate as many as 120, 000 passengers and over 200 trains every hour attending the Olympics.

You ask various investors, they will tell you that the investment is worth every penny spent as this is opening greater opportunities not only to the government but also to single individuals in the long run. With more of the taxpayer’s money pumped into the games, it may not end up as a waste of resources but rather a way to generate more income for the country and individuals. This will be in the form of job creation for many people in the economy and above all improving infrastructural developments within London. The face of East London is greatly changed as a result of this.

According to Lloyds, the results in regards to publicity are great and many homeowners in the neighborhood are happy with the games brought to London. This is however not the case with homeowners from other parts of London as costs are certainly to be shared and not the returns from the investments. Just imagine the value of homes back in 2005 and now; the difference is so huge all because of the Olympic games held in 2012.homes were valued at approximately 206,000 pounds but immediately London won the bid to hold the Olympics, the homes immediately soar up to 298,000 pounds! This is a 45% increase of more than 92,000 pounds within just a matter of no time. It is thus quite obvious that the rise was inspired by the games with all the postal codes closest to the Olympics receiving the highest increment. Olympic Games were thus a breakthrough in the housing industry for all the areas around the park experiencing the greatest price increase in the East London.

Investors from across the world are targeting such areas to invest the reason why more people were drawn to the Olympics Park creating a higher demand for land which is a major factor of housing investment. This in turn results to an increase in the cost of living with more people fighting for a share in such lucrative places. While the Olympics stand a one of the most expensive areas to own house property, the investment is worth every single penny because the returns are amazing too.

 

The perils of not having an Inventory

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The perils of not having an Inventory

July 21, 2012 Bloggies by danny

We recently went into a brand newly refurbished apartment in Hertfordshire to complete a property inventory. The Hertfordshire based property had been trashed by the former tenants. A tribunal did not find in favor of the landlord as the tenant had not been given an Inventory report. There was no proof of how the apartment was given to the tenant. This is a shocking example of why it is important to get our inventory clerks to carry out a full and concise inventory report within your rental properties. Hertfordshire or not, call us for an Inventory Report today.

Definitely you will not like this to happen to you. In this case the landlord might have been denied a chance to recover truly what they lost but may be because of negligence and ignorance they lost and the tenant went away with it. But the reason behind not recovering the damage is their own as there are many inventory service providers out there like us, my inventory properties ready to give you the best we can so that you will be able to acquire the damage which may otherwise be lost if no inventory is kept at all like the case mentioned here

Risks involved without inventory

The landlord is at more risk than the tenant anyway. Cases solved on disputes between landlords and tenants especially in the UK saw tenants walking away winning most cases. The question here is, why?

The landlord is the owner of the property and therefore they need to ensure that before they let their property to the tenant, inventory is kept. Inventory would be kept at the beginning of the contract when the tenant signs the agreement with the landlord and at the end of the tenancy when the tenant is checking out.

Some of the consequences are;

  • Misuse and mishandling of property by tenant

Tenants are just temporal occupiers of the property. They are there for a short while and then they know they will be off to some place. Knowing that no inventory has been taken they will tend to handle the property recklessly to cause damages. It is common for many people to always not take good care of what is not theirs and they will tend to misuse it.

 

By not having the inventory the landlord is at the losing end here as they will not be able to claim anything from the tenant. In the first place no inventories were kept and also there are no photographs to be a back up and give any evidence.

 

  • Losing dispute cases

The landlord is definitely going to lose cases presented before courts of law. The tenant will be on the safe side as they are not involved in the preparation of inventories. Thus in the event where the  court will ask for a proof and the landlord lacks it then the tenant will simply be acquitted and the deposit is paid back to them as the court will demand and the landlord will have to take the liability of the tenant.

 

  • Insurance

Imagine you are the landlord and a fire has brought down the larger part of the property but managed to salvage some assets. But on remembering your property is covered you begin to smile all the way to the insurer to claim compensation. Mind you this do not happens minus inventory documented. After all where on earth will you expect the insurance guy to know the exact loss of value? Of course not by your mere assertions!

 

Landlords need to heed to this requirement and take inventory for them to have their claims settled and also be given cover.

 

No track kept on the progress of your property

Having inventory is the best way to track how the property is performing. The inventory taken by the clerks will show every item and description appropriately. The landlord will therefore use this to keep track of the progress of your property. Unfortunately for those who will not have the inventory handy, will have problems regarding keeping a record of how the property is progressing in terms of value, development and depreciation. They therefore will not be able to realize areas that need to be refurbished or changed for maintenance purposes.

Make a change

Having realized without inventory you are as good as in a big jeopardy, you need to come out and take inventory of your property.

With the help of our inventory clerk it will be simple and within a short duration. Do not be like those landlords who always seem not bothered with the situation at hand regarding their property. In order to protect you a simple few stages inventory is necessary.

Our clerks will do the following;

  • Inspect wholly the property and record findings. Common areas will be floors that are usually over scratched by tenants and also other features like windows and glasses, walls, roofing and paintings.
  • Photography of these items is necessary to support what is being documented. Usually the landlord will have to sign with a tenant if any while checking in. The tenants will pay the monthly house letting charges but on top there should be a deposit that will be held by the landlord just in case of anything for example if the tenant broke something, the damage will be deducted from the from the deposit.
  • Write a report on the inventory just concluded. There is assurance that the report will be the best as our clerks will not let you down. The report will be precise and accurate.
  • In the case of the tenant, our inventory clerks will be there again to assess the property once again. Deviations or discrepancies will be noted and the damages will be under the tenant’s liability and there deposit amount will be deducted of the damage amount.

Got it right? Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns about our services as we are always there for you; my property inventories.

 

Inventories in Hertfordshire

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Inventories in Hertfordshire

July 20, 2012 Bloggies by danny

We are a large independent Inventory company that offers un-bias inventory reports in London, Hertfordshire and the surrounds. Our Inventory Clerks are trained via the A.I.I.C. methods and very skilled within the world of Inventory Reporting. Our Hertfordshire coverage has grown in terms of the amount of Hertfordshire Property Inventories as have booked everyday as well as being Hertfordshire Inventory Clerks we have with local knowledge.

Our Hertfordshire Inventory offices are getting busier and busier, which is a great sign for the demand amongst Hertfordshire Letting Agents. More and more are coming in for our unparalleled services and so should you if you have got any properties out there. Be it business offices, estate or buildings, we will give our best.

Letting agents and landlords from Hertfordshire who have had a taste of our services will be able to tell you the indefinite reasons as to why you should have a proper inventory taken and get an inventory report too.

Taking your inventory

Taking inventory is a simple short period affair and with Clerks from our company, it becomes simpler and really fast. The procedure is as follows

  • Once we receive your request for our services we send you a team of experienced inventory clerks. They have the skills and experience to have your inventory sooner than you can imagine.
  • Take inventory of all of the property. Our team will go through every feature ranging from electricity and water systems to windows and other surfaces like walls and floors. There will be a detailed description of these features so that you will be able to understand the real state of what you own.
  • Take evidence photos of the state of affairs. The clerks will need to take photographs regarding the features inspected so that when a revision of the inventory will be taken, changes will be seen easily.
  • Issuing an inventory report. You do not have to worry as the report will be ready within no time. It will be a complete document showing how the inventory was conducted and the findings. This report should be kept safely as it will be useful in many areas.
  • With tenancies another inventory will be required when the period of letting has expired and the tenant is moving out of the property. Our team will also be available to aid the process of inspection and doing the necessary assessment of the property and discover discrepancies. You will then be able to be in a position to manage the property appropriately and even get to realize the damage caused by the tenant.

Seems like a pretty simple process? Absolutely! It is surely one undertaking you do not want to miss.

Some of the reasons why you should keep inventory are;

  • Tracking property details

The inventory results given will give the value and description of the state of the property. With time then you will be able to notice changes happening to the property and take necessary changes. Tracking the progress of the property is essential as you will not enjoy sitting around not knowing how the property is being handled and what is affecting it. It is therefore the best tool for property management.

 

  • Getting insurance services

Insurance companies are a backbone towards the success of many businesses and individuals in the economy. They are companies that enable people to pool risks and be safe to recover their properties in case of any eventuality as the society has many uncertainties.

 

If you had a cover protecting your property with the insurers then you could present the inventory documents we prepare for you and you can get your claim settled as everything is precise and accurate. Otherwise minus the inventory, the insurance company will not be able to settle your claim as there will be no clear record of the asset value lost with the peril that happened.

 

Therefore if at all you want assistance from the insurance company, you should be able to give them proper and accurate information regarding the property you want to receive a claim and the only way to do that is by having kept inventory.

 

  • Assessing the damage with tenancies

Issues often arise when assessing the property to reveal damage caused by the tenant while they were occupying the property. With the inventories prepared at the beginning and the end of the letting period, you will be able to notice discrepancies. It is uncommon however to charge for wear and tear or insignificant issues that usually happen like small scratches on wall surfaces and the floors. Clear discrepancies like window panes missing, damaged electrical and water systems will be charged accordingly. The charge will be deducted from the deposit paid before the landlord checked in into the premises.

 

  • Settling disputes between you and tenants

As much as cases and disputes are rare with our services, at times it happens that you as a landlord may disagree on some issues. If you never bothered at all to see the importance of having the inventory, the tenant will be on your neck as he will feel you have charged them wrongly. And anybody will be on their side as the question here will be; on what basis did you charge the damage? If in court you will obviously lose the case and the tenant will walk away not charged anything leaving you to carry your own cross and bear the consequences.

The lesson is clear; you must take inventory with photographic evidence and the disputes will be no more.

 

  • Keeping your property secure

After letting out your property, you will be limited towards its operations as it will have a new occupier. However you may ensure that it is safe by keeping inventory plus photo evidence. The fact that you have carried the inventory and the tenant has signed the agreement will make them avoid any mishandling that will reveal discrepancies. Therefore you will be a bit more secure about the state of your property but without it the inventory it will be all reverse as the tenant may misuse everything leaving a lot of damage for you to take liability.