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Inventories and Schedules of Condition


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In the context of tenancies:

 

An inventory is a list of the contents of a property.

 

A schedule of condition is a record of the physical condition of a property; in practice it records defects and wants of repair.

 

Typically, an inventory will be found attached to a tenancy agreement of furnished residential premises and a schedule of condition to the lease of commercial premises in which the tenants repairing obligations are limited so that the tenant is not obliged to put or leave the premises in any better condition than that recorded in the schedule.

 

A properly drawn up inventory will record if any item is damaged. In practice it may also include statements about the condition of the property that are more properly the subject of a schedule of condition.

 

A schedule of condition (and of course the schedule of condition elements in an inventory) need to be referred to in the agreement if they are to be of any use. It needs to be specified that the tenant is not responsible for the defects or wants of repair listed.

 

It is also important to realise that a schedule of condition is a shield and not a sword. So, if you have full reparing lease with a schedule of condition which mentions a half rotten door, if the door deteriorates to such an extent that it falls off its hinges and cannot be fixed back, you have to put in a new door. Equally, if your inventory lists "cracked oven dish" you are in the clear if at the end of the tenancy you hand back the oven dish with its crack in it. However, if you drop the oven dish you have to replace it with a new one.

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