The value of comparative reports at check-out 

Here's what should be included in a check-out report and how it clarifies to residents how their deposit is used 

A check-out report is produced at the end of the tenancy, when a resident vacates their property, to note the difference in the condition and cleanliness of items compared to the beginning of their stay.  

This is best produced as a comparative report against the report completed at the beginning of the tenancy. 

A comparative report generally allows the opportunity to note any maintenance issues or items requiring attention ahead of the next resident’s occupancy. This will also give the opportunity to discover who, if any party, may be responsible for any of the works to be undertaken.  

If the resident were to be deemed responsible, it would usually be requested that this be deducted from their initial deposit.  

Impact on the project: It’s common practice, where possible, to return a unit to its previous state prior to the next resident’s check-in. Producing a comparative report highlights exactly what areas require attention or repair. A PropTech solution may also integrate with a maintenance platform directly   

Impact on the customer: A comparative report will highlight exactly the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy allowing a customer the security of knowing they cannot be charged for spurious items  

The reason most deposit disputes occur at the end of a tenancy is because residents are often unaware what is expected from them at check-out.  

It is important to highlight the reason for holding a deposit is more than just the potential of a month’s void rental payment.   

Without clear guidance or outlined expectations, residents will assume that they have left the property in an acceptable condition. The best way to avoid the deposit dispute is to ensure they understand right from the outset exactly what their responsibilities are and what is expected when they leave.  

A large chunk of all protected tenancy deposits is subject to some form of agreed deduction

Since 2013, the percentage of total deposits ending in a formal dispute across all tenancy deposit protection schemes has remained low, ranging between 0.82% and 0.92%.  

In comparison, the number of deposit deductions (with no formal dispute) is 38.6%.  

In short, a large chunk of all protected tenancy deposits is subject to some form of agreed deduction. More information can be found in the 2019-2020 TDS Statistical Briefing. 

A comparative report will enable an adjudicator to see, clearly, the condition and cleanliness of the item at the beginning of the tenancy and as the resident vacates.   


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