Sometimes our clients take a video at the time of a Check In. It’s quick and thorough and can record everything that is seen. Sounds like a good idea, but when it comes to doing a Check Out against a video it’s not so simple.
Let’s go back to the obvious. The reason for a good inventory at Check In, agreed with the tenant is to benchmark the condition of the property, the contents, the state of the decoration and indeed to show existing problems, such as a scratch across the bedside table.
This means that if a problem is identified when the tenant moves out, such as a damaged door, we can compare with the original dated photos and documentation to show that it is the fault of the tenant and that the cost of repair can be deducted.
Our reports list clearly each item, its condition and any issues so that you can quickly check back to the start of the tenancy to establish the facts. Walking round with a CD running in a laptop or even worse, trying to access a video uploaded to YouTube is neither efficient nor practical. Can you imagine the headache of trying to scan through a video to find the room or piece of furniture you need to check?
We have been given a random set of photos by a landlord and told about the video on YouTube. We couldn’t use either because there was no accompanying description. To use information to establish whether deductions should be made from a deposit based on this media would need long and careful analysis and would be hard to prove to a tenant.
More importantly, the Adjudicator of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme takes the same view.
A report with clear photos and good descriptions in this case can do so much more. We can quickly establish that the scratch on the bedside table was there from the beginning, but that the windows have got mouldy because the tenant hasn’t ventilated the property. Consequently, we find that tenants, landlords and agents faced with clear information are quickly able to reach an agreement.
Not using a video avoids disputes, and saves time and cost to the landlord in the long run, and that’s why we hate working with videos.