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Keep a photographic record of your property

Anna Lourens in Landlords & owners 


Keeping a photographic record of the condition of your property before, during and after is a long-term investment not only in advertisement material for your property, but also ensures that there is irrefutable evidence with regards to issues of maintenance and damage. Keeping an inventory will help you, the landlord, protect you assets.

Before a tenant moves in, make sure that they sign both a written and an up-to-date photographic record of the condition of the accommodation. This statement should specify the accountability of maintenance issues as well as damages in detail.

ALSO: Read up on how to take good property photos!


Damage versus ordinary wear and tear

The maintenance of ordinary wear and tear¬† of a property is usually the responsibility of the landlord. Damages to the property are however deducted from the tenant’s security deposit. Damages are usually due to negligence on the tenant’s part. It is therefore important to show whether the damages were incurred before or during the stay of the tenant.

Ordinary wear and tear includes cleaning, plumbing, replacing broken light bulbs and the discolouration of surfaces.

Actual damages includes large holes in the walls, large stains on the walls or carpets, broken fixtures and furniture and an excessive amount of dirt.

Prevention of damage

A written statement is just as crucial as the photographs, yet written statements are often ambiguous and subject to misinterpretation, therefore photographic evidence can be a deciding factor in determining who is responsible and what actions need to be taken.

A signed photographic record of your property will ensure that the tenant knows what they are held responsible for and to what extent they can personalise or decorate the property.

Manage your photographic record

For irrefutable comparison of the condition of your property, take photos of the property before a tenant moves in and after they have moved out. Also take photos of any damage that may have occured during their stay and add them to your inventory.

Keep these photos safe and accessible by storing them on Dropbox or on Google Drive. You can share the folder with tenants for viewing.

Protect your assets! All TheRoomLink agreements and contracts include a written inventory of the lease agreement to keep your property safe.