Here is a question to the blog clinic from Fiona who is an inventory clerk
I would really welcome some advice regarding an inventory job I’ve been asked to undertake.
Basically the landlord is buying the property and the tenant is remaining – all parties are more than happy with this arrangement. Problem is the landlord would like to know the best solution regarding the inventory. Does anyone know where he stands legally?
Does the existing inventory carry over, legally? If so, perhaps an interim inspection would suffice?
Would you suggest a check out and a new inventory ‘make’ with a disclaimer stating the situation, as agreed with all parties? Any advice would be gladly received. Many thanks in advance.
When a landlord buys a property with a ‘sitting tenant’, he takes over the rights and obligations of the previous landlord. It’s often described as ‘stepping into the shoes’ of the previous landlord.
It should not affect the sitting tenant’s position at all.
So if at the end of the tenancy the landlord wants to make a deduction for damage he will only be able to do this if he is able to show that the damage was not there at the time the tenant took over the property. So he will be relying on whatever inventory was taken by the original landlord at that time.
He will also be responsible for returning the deposit to the tenant – the deposit that was paid to the original landlord. Even if the original landlord did not pass the deposit money on to him. After all, that’s not the tenant’s fault.
If there is no inventory or if the new landlord is unhappy with the inventory taken when the tenant went in, he could consider arranging for a second inventory to be done after his purchase of the property goes through.
There is no reason why the tenant should agree to this if he does not want to, unless maybe the landlord agrees that he will not hold the tenant responsible for any damage that was done to the property before the second inventory took place.
If the original inventory was inadequate, this may be the position anyway.
A second inventory at the time of purchase could, therefore, be useful, but it is not essential. If the original inventory is a good one, there is no real reason for a new inventory as the original one will still apply.