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How can a Schedule of Condition help me as a tenant?

By: Kelly Bellerson
Commercial Articles

As rising interest rates continue to draw people to the rental market, tenants will want to make sure they are not paying any more than they need to.

For the first time in decades, it’s cheaper for people to rent than buy their own home. With mortgage rates now sitting at 5% or above, renting is 10% cheaper on average than buying – despite increased rental prices.

If you’re renting, a Schedule of Condition could be your most valuable tool as a tenant…

What is a Schedule of Condition?

A Schedule of Condition is a detailed document that records the state and condition of a property at the beginning of a tenancy.

Typically, it includes written descriptions, photographs, and sometimes even videos. This document serves as a snapshot of the property’s condition before a tenant moves in and can be crucial when the tenancy ends.

Benefits of having a Schedule of Condition

Deposit Protection: One of the most significant advantages of having a Schedule of Condition is that it helps safeguard your security deposit.

Most landlords require tenants to pay a security deposit before moving in, which is intended to cover any damage or unpaid rent.

With a Schedule of Condition, you have concrete evidence of the property’s initial condition, making it more challenging for the landlord to deduct money from your deposit for pre-existing issues or normal wear and tear.

Reducing Disputes: Disputes between tenants and landlords often arise when it’s time to move out. Having a Schedule of Condition can minimise the potential for disagreements.

If there are disputes over the property’s condition at the end of the tenancy, you can refer to the schedule as a neutral and objective reference point. This can be invaluable in resolving disagreements quickly and fairly.

Transparency: A Schedule of Condition encourages transparency between tenants and landlords. When both parties agree on the property’s condition at the outset of the tenancy, it sets clear expectations.

This transparency can help establish a positive and trusting relationship between tenants and landlords throughout the rental period.

Preventing unfair deductions: Landlords often use a tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of repairing damage that occurred during the tenancy.

However, without a Schedule of Condition, you risk being held responsible for damage that was already present when you moved in.

With a detailed record of the property’s condition, you can prove that certain issues were pre-existing, ultimately preventing unfair deductions from your deposit.

Peace of mind: Knowing that you have documented the property’s condition can provide peace of mind throughout your tenancy.

You won’t have to constantly worry about being unfairly charged for damage you didn’t cause, and you can focus on enjoying your home.

So, why should I get one as a tenant?

A Schedule of Condition can greatly benefit residential tenants. It protects your security deposit, reduces disputes, encourages transparency, helps prevent unfair deductions, and provides peace of mind throughout your tenancy.

By taking the time to create a thorough Schedule of Condition at the beginning of your lease, you can enjoy your rental property with confidence and security.

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