Helpful Tips Tenancy Management

Call of the Week: Students taking a while to complete check-in inventory

Call of the week
Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

This week our Landlord Advice Team took a call from a student landlord who was concerned that their new tenants were not signing the check-in inventory.

He shared that this was only his second student tenancy, and he was in a conundrum because while he knew how important the check in inventory is to sign, he also didn’t want to be a nuisance to his tenants who only moved in five days ago to the six bed HMO.

He wanted to know what the best thing was for him to do in this situation, and phoned our team for some advice.


Calls like this are very common for our Landlord Advice Team, especially at this time of year when students across the country are moving into student houses.

Our advisor first clarified how important it is for this landlord to make sure that they get the student to sign the check in inventory within the seven day window-or the time frame given by the landlord or the letting agent.

The check-in inventory highlights any issues with the property at the very start of the tenancy. If a landlord does not do this, and at the end of the tenancy discovers a problem such as a broken cupboard-then the landlord may struggle to deduct costs of this from the tenancy deposit.

Making sure the students sign the check in inventory will mean the landlord has hard evidence as to whether the issue before the students moved in, or whether it was caused by the students.

The advisor then reminded the landlord that a paper inventory, photographic evidence or a video recording can all be methods used for recording the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy.

It’s a good idea for the landlord to remind the student tenants of this and the importance of completing the check in inventory as soon as they can for the return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Tenants are entitled to quiet peace and enjoyment, so an effective communication channel could be to drop tenants’ a text or Whatsapp message to remind them to do this.

Learn more
  • Are you a student landlord? It may be helpful to have a read of these FAQs from student landlords as term is starting again, including what to do if a student tenant wants to move out.
  • Learn more about managing Houses of Multiple Occupation in our HMO Landlord Programme, which includes fire safety and HMO property standard.
  • RLA Inventory Plus allows landlords to create detailed property inventories and ‘Right to Rent’ reports on the go. Learn more about this here
  • As an RLA member there are several ways to obtain advice from our Landlord Advice Team. You can give us a call, send us an email or use our online live chat service.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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