We cannot over emphasise the importance of having an inventory made of all the fixtures and fittings, together with a schedule of condition (SOC) and photographs which should be carried out and checked both at the start and end of the tenancy.
Taking a deposit, does not make inventories / SOC compulsory. However in order to protect both your property and items, it is essential and should even be considered best practice.
You must ensure that at the commencement of the tenancy, all named tenants sign off the inventory / SOC and photos must be dated.
Alastair Saville always recommend carrying out an inventory / SOC to ensure that our Landlords, properties and possessions are safeguarded as much as possible.
We would like to advise you that the Deposit Schemes have indicated that under their rules, a landlord without an inventory and schedule of condition, is unlikely to be able to provide sufficient evidence to prove the tenant has caused any damage or dilapidations. This may mean that a claim against your tenant’s deposit will automatically fail.