Why it is important for landlords to have Check-in Inventories done at the beginning of every tenancy.

This happened to me personally as an agent.

Had tenants move in to a 3 bed flat in 2019. It was given to them all cleaned professionally, painted with new carpets etc. As long as the tenants were in the flat, all was well. They would report any issues they would come across maintenance wise and I would take them through the normal troubleshooting only to find out it could have easily been done by them.

Then they renewed their tenancy for another period and we were all hit with the Covid-19 pandemic. They approached the landlord asking for help during the pandemic asking for a reduction in rent as they were furloughed from work. The landlord helped them out saying for 3 months they have reduced rent. 3 months in to their tenancy, they give their notice saying they want to vacate the flat and finally do vacate. But the property was not cleaned to a level that would be satisfactory under any circumstances and they had damaged a ceiling light.

When I approached them about the ceiling light, they said it was there from when they entered. Luckily I had a check-in inventory to go back to and noticed that the light was in perfect condition and the shade was intact. I had also taken pictures on the day they handed over the keys because of the way the flat was left. Luckily I did that, as when it came to claiming it from the deposit, they disputed the claim. I did tell them I had taken pictures of dirt I found in corners of the kitchen and other rooms and also the dirt left on carpets. That was it. No more arguments. Then I released the deposit with the deductions to be paid to the landlord. Without and more arguments the tenants accepted the deduction and got paid the rest if their monies.

 After such an experience, I sometimes question the government's decision to give more security and power to tenants as tenants are abusing this power and taking advantage of landlords handing back properties in worse conditions than what they got it in with damages and expecting to get their deposits back in full.

I think the government needs to reconsider their regulations of giving more security to the tenants otherwise, there will be a shortage in the private rented sector and  there will be more homeless people because of this. Hope this story opens people's eyes of the way the private rented sector has been affected and the private landlords are getting the short end of the stick. It is also very hard for agents to do their work diligently acting on behalf of the landlord with all these restrictions as well.