Property Inspection is a noninvasive, visual inspection of a building in evaluating buildings and their components. The inspection is designed to provide you with all the information of the property and the primary purpose of an inspection is to evaluate the overall condition of a rental property; specifically, to check if everything is in good working order and reasonable state, both the interior and exterior.

This article will be looking at 3 major inspections necessary to be carried out on a property;

  1. Inventory (Pre-Occupation Inspection)
  2. Routine Inspection
  3. Pre-Vacation Inspection.

For the sake of this edition, we shall be looking at Inventory (Pre-Occupation Inspection), while the other two will be discussed in our subsequent articles.


As the name implies, “Inventory” a complete list of items. To move further for the purpose of our discussion an inventory helps to give a list of items while it also details the conditions of the items. The inventory is an in-depth report on the rental property and its contents. Inventories are created for all types of rental property, from furnished and part-furnished through to unfurnished accommodation, and they list the furniture, fixtures, and fittings in every room, along with a description of their condition. 

Inventories are a significant part of tenancy. They hold the key to the tenant getting his/her full deposit back or only some of it when he/she move out, and they can help to prevent disputes with the landlord or letting agent. From the above statement, it can be clearly deduced that an Inventory is usually taken at the beginning of a tenancy, just before the tenant moves into the new apartment for a clear understanding of the building components between the tenant and the landlord or his representative.

Why is an inventory important?

The inventory is important because it’s an account of what everything looked like before the tenant moved in which would have been signed also by both parties.

If everything is detailed for the tenant and Landlord to see, there is a low chance of dispute with the landlord about the condition of the property and the tenant is more likely to get his/her full deposit back. To quickly chip in, the inventory is what creates the need for refundable/caution deposit.

Who should conduct the Inventory?

As earlier said, it should be a joint inspection between the new tenant and the landlord or his representative. The report generated with the date of inspection therefore should be signed between both parties for reference.

What to look for

The inventory sheet might already have a structure to it for you to follow, but if you’re unsure about where to begin when double-checking the information listed, here is a brief overview of some of the things to look out for as you move from room to room:

  • Walls and floors, including stains, scuffs, dents, holes.
  • The reliability of the walls, floors, and ceilings. Are there any broken floorboards or holes in the ceiling?
  • Curtains and carpets: are there any stains, holes, or marks?
  • Mould and mildew marks: If you see any stains or tide marks indicating mould being wiped away, you can query whether the property has a mould and damp issue and request that your landlord addresses this.
  • Windows and doors: Are there any chips? Is there damage to the sealant? Can you see any rot or mould?
  • For furnished properties, what condition is the furniture in? Note things like rips in the fabric of the sofa and scratches on the coffee table.
  • Cupboards, doors, and wardrobes: check for warped, sticking doors and broken hinges.
  • What do the electrical and gas appliances look like? Are they regularly tested? Are the sockets, ok? 
  • Run the taps to check for pressure, as well as the quality of the water.
  • Are there any cracks in the sink or chips in the tiles?
  • Head outside and check the roof and gutters. Any missing slates or roof tiles? Do the gutters need cleaning?
  • What do the external walls look like? Any cracks? 

This is just a starting point for your own inventory checks, and you may find that this process takes some time. You don’t know the property that well yet and even the smallest flats take time to thoroughly check through, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Should you spot anything that you think might need repairing soon, this is your chance to bring it up with your landlord.

In our next edition, we shall look into ROUTINE INSPECTIONS AND PRE-VACATION INSPECTIONS.

Written by

Oluwafemi Olowoyeye

Olabisi Ojekunle, ANIVS.