We carry out a full video inventory before the Tenant(s) move into the property.
Some agents take a written inventory and some take digital photographs - perhaps due to time constraints.
At Brookdale we take a full video inventory. This means that, just before the Tenant moves in, one of our staff videos every part of the property with one of our high-tech HDD camcorders. The video is then copied to our servers and stored. Included on the video inventory is the condition of every room including decoration, flooring and fixtures and fittings
Every cupboard door is opened and recorded. We also record the condition of the inside of the cooker, down the loo!, the meter readings and the condition of the garden.
The Tenant receives a copy of the video in DVD format. This is important. We ask the Tenant(s) to view the DVD and check we have included all defects..
Many people see the video inventory as a means to protect the property from damage caused by Tenants. In reality it serves two purposes; protecting the Landlord against any potential damage/cleaning issues but also it helps to protect the Tenant's deposit by ensuring that we do not make charges for defects which existed prior to the tenancy.
Lack of video evidence is the main reason Landlords lose out in disputes over deposit returns. A video inventory is absolutely essential. As far as we know most other agents merely write a few notes and take a handful of photos. Clearly this would be insufficient if there was ever the need to prove Tenant liability in a deposit dispute.