An inventory expert is warning against relying extensively on technology when compiling evidence on the condition of a property at the start of a tenancy.
Danny Zane, director of My Property Inventories, says extensive use of technology does not allow for the inclusion of sufficient detail to provide indisputable evidence of the original condition at the start of a tenancy.
Many landlords and agents are using digital evidence to replace what he claims to be essential written descriptions at check-in and check-out.
A glossy inventory that relies heavily on photographs will be of little use in a dispute. In fact, there is no point in producing a picture book for an inventory, with very little proper description and hundreds of photographs - inventories like these just do not provide enough detail he claims.
Zane suggests that photography and video are adequate for large areas of damage such as carpet burns or serious damage to worktops and interior dcor, but fail to capture more detailed damage such as small chips and scratches in sinks and baths, knife marks on worktops, scratches to halogen hobs.
His firm says agents and landlords should prepare:
- 'before and after' photos with a clear narrative as to what the photo is showing, such as colours, item description, marks on surfaces;
- photographs should include something to show scale within the photo and they should clearly show the condition of the property at any given time;
- photographs should be large and dated, with the camera set to automatically to put the date on the picture or have the date should be embedded in the inventory document either on the relevant pages or as an addendum page;
- use good quality printers to avoid distorting colours.