Landlords / Guide

Why call on a third-party expert to carry out the inventory of fixtures in France?

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All you need to know about the Rental inventory of fixtures


You have found your dream apartment rental in Paris and will soon move in; it is essential to make a check-in inventory of fixtures before signing the rental contract. This step is just as necessary if you are the rental owner.

Indeed, the inventory of fixtures (état des lieux) is a mandatory procedure in France. It serves to protect both landlord and tenant. However, since this procedure is lengthy and complicated, you can call on a professional to make an inventory report. In this article, find out why to call upon an expert for the inventory procedure.


Why do you need to do an inventory of fixtures in France?


Before explaining why an inventory expert is essential to carry out the inventory, you must understand the importance of the inventory process. Indeed, many people see this modality as superfluous and carry it out without understanding what is at stake.
There are two types of inventory: entry (check-in) and exit (check-out). As you will understand, the entry inventory happens when the new tenants move into the apartment rental, and the exit inventory occurs at the end of the period when tenants leave the apartment.
Keep in mind that this inventory procedure protects both parties (owner and tenant) in case of problems. If the dispute goes to court, both owner and tenant will consider the inventory reports virtual proof.


The advantage of the inventory for tenants


Suppose you are a tenant carrying out the inventory of fixtures at the check-in. In that case, the owner cannot accuse you of damage you have not done at the end of the rental period based on the entry inventory report. If you have not caused any damage during your stay, the exit inventory will prove it by comparison with the entry inventory. Then, your security deposit will be returned to you in full within a month.


The advantage of the inventory for owners


As a rental owner, with the entry inventory report as proof, the tenant cannot get away from any significant damage caused to the property when they move out. Likewise, the exit inventory will show the difference in the apartment state. Thus, the owner can retain the security deposit to cover the damages. Then, once the damage is fixed, the owner can deduct the repair costs with the bills as proof. Furthermore, he can initiate proceedings if the additional cost is significant.


The delegation of the inventory to ensure compliance with the conditions


Of course, the completion of the inventory is subject to conditions. That is why it is crucial to delegate this inventory procedure to professionals. Thus, you can avoid specific errors that will make your inventory invalid.


Provide as much detail as possible in the inventory report


If the inventory is done in a hurry, it may be of no value when it comes to making a comparison. So the inventory report must be documented in as much detail as possible.
The expert you have appointed will take care of writing as much detail as possible on the apartment's condition. They will be very precise so that the document cannot be subject to interpretations.
Unlike the inventory report template that can be found on the Internet, which are generic, a professional will personalize this document because each case is different.        


Presence of the two parties


When drafting the inventory report, both parties, including the landlord and tenant, must be present to avoid misunderstanding. Indeed, this document only gains its value if prepared with the presence of both parties.
Whether you are a tenant or an owner, your presence is mandatory. However, if you cannot be there or do not wish to attend the inventory, you can hire an inventory expert to represent you during the process.


Be cost-shared


The two parties (landlord and tenant) share the cost of the inventory of fixtures carried out by a professional.
Each party can take their expert if they have differing views during the inventory. However, this solution can be pretty expensive because each party will cover the costs of the inventory expert alone.


Doing the inventory yourself: good or bad idea?


Many landlords and tenants prefer doing the inventory together to save the costs of hiring an expert. However, not using a specialist may expose them to potential risks, especially if they do not comply with the conditions of the inventory.
Making so-called "amicable" inventories does not commonly create many problems regarding the entry inventory because both parties are often in agreement at this stage. But, when it comes to the exit inventory, conflicts and disputes begin to appear. For example, if the tenant damages the property but denies it, it will probably cost the landlord money on repairs. And if the landlord charges the tenant for the repairs, he may lose the security deposit. Either way, the cost of repairs and the security deposit is much higher than hiring an inventory expert.


What are the benefits of hiring an expert?


It is essential to call on a professional for your property to make a good inventory of fixtures. Here is why:

  • Time-saving: First, you save time if you delegate your inventory of fixtures to an expert. The expert will take care of both the checking and the writing of your inventory report.
  • Peace of mind: an inventory expert is impartial, which means he is neither on the owner's nor the tenant's side. He will therefore be able to ensure that the inventory of the premises is complete for both parties.
  • Quality work: an expert will ensure that the inventory covers everything in the apartment.
  • Amortization of costs: an inventory expert saves from hiring a lawyer in case of a dispute or paying repairs for damages when the lease ends.