What is an inventory?
An inventory is an itemised list of all the items that are in a property before a tenancy starts, and, very importantly, the condition they are in.
Why do you need one?
You need an inventory to avoid uncertainty at the end of the tenancy about whether or not the landlord is entitled to make a claim against your deposit.
How can you get one?
Your landlord should provide one. You should read it carefully, to ensure you agree with it. If you have not been given one, ask for it. If the landlord still does not provide one, draw one up yourself, using this sample form, and ask your landlord to sign it. Take photographs. Keep the inventory and any photographs safe.
At the end of the tenancy
When you move out, you can use the inventory to agree with your landlord whether any deterioration in the property or furniture has occurred. If the property has been damaged, is not as clean as when you moved in or items are missing, the landlord may hold back some of your deposit. Your landlord cannot use your deposit to pay for items damaged by the previous tenant or damage due to normal wear and tear.
Your deposit should be lodged with one of three Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes, and your landlord should have informed you about this. If he / she has not, the sheriff court can order the landlord to pay you up to three times the amount of the deposit. You can do this up to three month after the tenancy ends. If you apply to the sheriff court during your tenancy it can make the landlord follow the tenancy deposit regulations.
If you cannot agree how much should be returned to you, a dispute resolution service is available. However, you must try and reach agreement with your landlord before you can use this. It uses an independent adjudicator, who will consider the evidence, and decide how much deposit should be returned. If you remain unhappy, you can ask for a review of this decision.
For more information, visit the Shelter Scotland website.