From time to time I read that there is no need for a Check Out Inspection, a tenant can take some photos and that will be good enough.
Certainly, the risk of Covid-19 is reduced but in our experience that is the only good point.
Using an experienced Inventory Clerk is now more important than ever. In the old days, Agents and Property Managers would regularly visit properties to prepare them for letting, organise work to be done and deal with last minute niggles. They would know their properties well, and the condition. Now there is less time, especially as Agents prefer not to visit a property with the tenant still in residence.
While many tenants are model citizens, read their contract and leave the place in sparkling condition, free of damage, many are not. Indeed, this is why the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is important in dealing with the problems which often occur during a tenancy.
Experienced Inventory Clerks are used to moving furniture to check for damage carefully covered up, assessing if the scuffs around a door are normal for the duration of the tenancy and I’d be very surprised if a tenant were to take a photo showing the inside of a dirty oven or of a damaged hob. Iron burns on carpets are also unlikely to figure in the photos a tenant takes.
Unless the property is going to be let immediately, we like to wait 72 hours to visit and to make our report. With the report you can be certain that you have all the information about a property, the tenant has seen a copy and had the opportunity to comment and that any deductions from the deposit can be made based on full information.
We are also spending more time talking to agents about what we find so that they can organise any work to be done as quickly as possible. Using the excellent Inventory Base software, we can flag up issues clearly for action.
If there is a delay between a tenant moving out and the report due to Corona Virus we will always make sure that there is full supporting information detailing any issues.
Finding problems after you have returned the deposit is not good. Much better to get a full inspection done with all the evidence, not just some.