Below is a guide of recommended best practices to ensure you achieve the most successful outcome at the end of the tenancy.
Before proceeding, it’s worth differentiating our cover eligibility and how this differs from the best practices below.
Best practice for your: Tenancy Agreement and Addendum
You will need to ensure all tenants named on the tenancy agreement have signed the document before allowing them to move into the property. This document is essential evidence of the tenancy and without the tenant’s signatures, you will not be covered by Reposit’s cover when submitting end-of-tenancy charges.
Tenancy agreements traditionally outline the requirement for a cash deposit. Therefore, you will either need to ensure the clause referencing the deposit is amended in line with Reposit wording, or that the Reposit addendum is attached to the tenancy agreement for the tenant to sign (please refer to the resources section of the Reposit partner guide).
Best practice for your: Check-in Inventory
A third-party inventory clerk is preferable when carrying out an inventory. Not only do they have the most knowledge around best practices with taking photos and giving detailed descriptions of the property, but they will document their findings in a standardised way which is recognised by independent adjudicators in case of dispute at the end of the tenancy.
Your inventory clerk or yourself should be as thorough as possible when conducting and documenting the state of the property. This should be done prior to the new tenants checking in.
- It is advised that time-stamped photos are used. Videos do not document specific areas in as much detail as photographs
- You need to make sure there are clear and concise written descriptions of each area, describing the condition of the property accurately
Visual records support a written inventory and check-out report but they can rarely replace the written word. For example, photos cannot portray smell.
Each tenancy requires an inventory to be completed no earlier than two weeks before the commencement of the tenancy agreement.
Best practice for your: Referencing
You can review our referencing criteria to understand the checks required for a tenant to be deemed eligible for Reposit.
All referencing must be carried out using a third-party referencing company as standard. The referencing document will need to detail that the tenant has passed the checks in full. We are unable to accept referencing carried out in-house.
Proper referencing is essential to give you the confidence that the tenants will abide by their tenancy agreement.
We understand that situations occur where end-of-tenancy charges are required, and that is why Reposit is there to assist you. However, Reposit will not be held liable if proper referencing was not carried out at the start of the tenancy.
Best practice for your: Mid-term Inspections
For best practice, it is important that you carry out checks of the property every 6 months that a tenant is living there. These more regular checks strengthen your case at the end of the tenancy.
The checks also prove you have carried out your due diligence during the tenancy and your intention to help resolve any concerns during the tenancy. These actions prove to both the adjudicator and insurer that your aim was to ensure that the tenancy went as smoothly as possible.
You should always document the state of the property and any concerns raised. We would recommend sending a ‘Findings Report’ email to the tenant once the inspection has taken place. Tenants can refuse photographs of the property during midterm inspections, however, if they agree to photos this is encouraged.
If tenants refuse an inspection, you must be able to provide evidence of this. Such evidence may include email or text message communication demonstrating that you have tried to arrange an inspection but the tenant declined it.
Best practice for your: Check-out Report
Your checkout report should follow the same format as the inventory. The report should be conducted on the check-out date or as close to the check-out date as possible.
It is recommended that a third-party inventory/check-out clerk carries out the inspection, preferably the same person or company that carried out the check-in inventory at the start of the tenancy. They will be able to compare the condition of the property to the inventory originally carried out from an impartial point of view.
The reason we suggest a third part clerk carries out both the inventory and checkout report is so that if the case is disputed, or the insurers are required, they can see that an unbiased point of view has outlined the condition/state of the property giving the report a heavier weighting in terms of its reliability.
If there are any areas of damage mentioned on the checkout report that were not previously documented on the inventory, it is unlikely that these will be awarded to the landlord. This is because the original state cannot be proven and therefore cannot be assessed for change in condition.
Equally, if any damage, cleaning or item removal is not mentioned on the checkout report, this will not be awarded by the adjudicator or insurer as again documentation for this cost will be lacking.
Best practice for your: Rent Chasers
It is important to document all of the correspondence you have with the tenant, as you may want to refer back to this and use it as evidence at the end of the tenancy.
If you are regularly having phone conversations with the tenant about important issues, keeping transcripts and call logs of these conversations are beneficial. Alternatively, you can send a follow-up email to the tenant to confirm what it was you spoke about on the phone as this can be used as evidence for any end-of-tenancy charges.
With rent chasers, it’s important that you can show you were in contact with the tenant as soon as the rent became overdue. We expect to see chasers (usually in the form of an email) at a very minimum, every month of the overdue payments.
If a guarantor was used for the tenancy you must also seek payment from them as soon as the rent became due and chase them just like you would a tenant.
Being proactive with chasing is important, this will increase your likelihood of tenant engagement and finding a resolution for them to pay back the amount owing. In addition to this, if you have any outstanding charges due at the end of the tenancy, the chaser emails are crucial evidence that is relied upon.
Best practice for your: Rent Statement
Your log of rent payments must be clear.
It is not advised that you produce bank statements with multiple transactions showing what you have received from the tenant to then deduce what hasn’t been received. This is unclear for any reader and does not show a “history” of events.
Instead, ensure you are keeping a record of the rental payments each month on a spreadsheet or separate payment tracking system. You will need to produce this statement to show when payment from the tenant was received and when it became overdue and by how much.
Best practice for your: Invoices
Proof of completion of work through an invoice will always weigh more heavily than a quote obtained to remedy the issue. In addition to this, using a third-party contractor will show an unbiased cost for remediation. If you are relying on quotes, it is good practice to obtain two or three to show you have sought favourable pricing.
It is important to note that you cannot claim for the betterment of the property. This means that you cannot claim money from the tenant for improvements. You can only claim what is required to put the property back into the state it was in at the start of the tenancy, save for fair wear and tear. If the claim is disputed by the tenant, the adjudicator will use the invoices to reference against the check-in inventory and checkout report to ensure the claim is in line with this principle.