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Have you ever heard of a landlord that did not want to do an inventory? Estate agents who tell you “don’t worry about it”?

Consider they may have their own agenda – and this may or may not include them being really relaxed and “liking” you.

Your deposit is at stake. How do you show you’ve left the flat in the same (or even better) condition as when you moved in if you don’t have an inventory?

The best inventories are annexed to the tenancy agreement and have lots of dated photographs with clearly written notes, signed and dated by both parties.

In the absence of an estate agent’s cooperation, it is always open for tenants to conduct their own inventories. Obviously, the closer it’s done to the moving in date, the more persuasive the inventory will be.

Dear Ethel Estate Agent                                          4 January 2012

Thank you for our telephone conversation earlier today and for letting me know that you’re going to ask the landlord about doing an inventory when he returns from his ski holiday in six months’ time.

As my mobile has a camera, I thought I’d go ahead and take some snaps myself before I start moving my furniture in. I’ve also made some notes about the condition of the flat and have included them in the attached inventory.

Please feel free to contact me if there is anything you would like to add to this inventory or if you would like to come and have a look around.

Kind regards

Terry the Tenant

When you move out, repeat the above. That way, you’ve got a visual inventory of what the place was like when you moved in – and what the place was like when you left it.

This may seem like a bit of a hassle. In my opinion, it is less hassle than fighting for your deposit and/or resisting court proceedings with no evidence other than your word.


The Post Office offers a wonderful service. For a small fee, they will provide you with a “Proof of Posting” receipt. Sometimes, it’s nice to have independent evidence that a letter was sent to a particular person on a particular day.