Mar 09

Checking Out: From The Top

STEF-COOKE-LOGOWhat Happens During a Check Out?

Leaving a rented property can be an exciting time, moving on to new possibilities. It can also be sad, leaving behind the scene of all those good times. But it is always an anxious time, for landlord and tenant alike.  Will the property be as it was at the beginning of the tenancy? What was it really like at the beginning of the tenancy? Well, that’s why it’s a good idea to get an independent inventory clerk in to do a check in and check out.

We develop an eye for detail, a nose for issues, a list of things tenants and landlords always seem to want to discuss.

So, from the top: What will I be looking for at Check Out?

From The Top: Ceilings

What is on a ceiling? No, not spiders (or I will have to leave)! Light fittings with or withoutLights lightbulbs. I turn on every single light in a property and make note of whether or not it works or not. I also note every missing lightbulb. Even if your light fitting looks like this. There were three of these and one single, solitary light bulb was not working. I am proud to say that yes, I did notice!

When you leave there should be the same number of working light bulbs as there were at check in. If not I will leave a note “Tenant to replace at cost”.

If you think counting light bulbs is a funny thing to do for a living, I also count every light switch and plug socket!

Smoke/Heat/CO Alarms:

  • Every inhabitable floor should have a working smoke alarm.
  • Every room with a solid fuel burning device should have a CO alarm.
  • A heat alarm is not the same as a smoke alarm and can only be used in addition to a smoke alarm, not in place of one.

Following a recent calamity, involving water sprinklers, The AIIC have advised all Clerks not to push the test buttons on mains wired alarms. So, if your alarms are mains wired I will make note of there being an alarm in place and whether there is a power light visible. However, if your alarms are battery operated I will push the Test button and record if they sound or not.

When you move in the alarms should all be in place and work. That is your landlord’s responsibility. If a battery operated alarm needs new batteries during your tenancy, it is your responsibility to replace the, keeping all fitted alarms in good working order. That includes not removing or covering them!


Next in this series: Walls. What’s on Yours?