The aim of this section is to explain what inventories are and why they are important in getting your deposit back.

Why have an inventory?

Having an inventory at the start of your tenancy can be the single best way to protect yourself from future disputes and / or deductions from your deposit.

What is an inventory?

An inventory is a list of the contents and condition of what the landlord provides with the property. It is best to create one at the beginning of your tenancy. Typically it will include: furniture, carpet/curtains, appliances and any utensils.

It may also record the initial condition of other things for which you are responsible - such as the garden.

Top tip: each year students come to The Advice Centre reporting a dispute about the condition of the garden may mean money deducted from their Security Deposit – see below for how best to use photographs in your inventory.

Why is an inventory important?

An inventory is important for the following reasons:

How do you create an inventory?

Good landlords or agents will provide an inventory (although it is wise to check your tenancy agreement or terms for any costs associated for creating and/ or checking the inventory).

If an inventory is not provided we strongly advise you create one upon moving in. The main methods of creating an inventory can be found here. (we would advise that in our experience photographs can play a crucial role – especially when it comes to gardens).

You can find a sample inventory form here

While the following guide is for landlords and letting agents - it also includes top tips for making the most out of photographic and video evidence