Archives March 2021

Amending An Inventory: Can It Be Done?

Amending an inventory… you might initially think that this is a definite yes; if your report needs to be amended, inventory clerks can make amendments. However, when you think about what a property inventory really is, that is, it’s an accurate reflection of the state of the property at the time of the report, sometimes amending an inventory isn’t possible. That’s not to say it can’t ever be done, but both tenant and landlord must be careful when requesting changes. 

What Does Amending An Inventory Mean?

Firstly, let’s look into what amending an inventory really means. Essentially, it means changing the report once the property inspection has been carried out. Sometimes this is not only possible, but essential. Sometimes it’s the wrong thing to do entirely. 

Take this example as a way to determine whether your amendment is necessary and fair or not. The report has been carried out, and then the landlord decides to purchase an oven for the property for the tenant to use. It would be fair to add this to the inventory report since it is something that will be installed within the home and that will need to be left in a good state at the end of the tenancy. 

amending an inventory

Then take this example: the inventory report has been carried out, after which time the landlord goes in and makes repairs or redecorates. This should not be a reason for amending an inventory. This instead would constitute a ‘major change’ and would mean a new report being carried out. In terms of cost for the landlord, it’s best to wait until all repairs are completed before booking an inventory clerk like the experts at Looksy Inventories to come in and carry out an inventory. 

The same is true if the report was carried out before someone cleaned the property. For an honest, accurate report, Looksy – and any other inventory clerk worth their salt – would have to return to the property to update their initial inventory report, and if an entire clean has taken place, that essentially means an entirely new report; and an inventory company would charge for it as such. 

Any inventory clerk who accepts these changes on the landlord’s word is not doing their job correctly; amending an inventory is not a simple task and must be considered on a case by case basis. 

Tenant Comments and Requests For Amendments 

Of course, sometimes things are missed by even the most eagle-eyed of inventory clerks; this is why the tenant has seven days from the day they move in to either accept the inventory (and the easiest way for this to be done is electronically – that’s how Looksy works because we’re a modern, dynamic property inventory company in Kent) or raise any amendment requests. Ideally, they will be able to provide photographic evidence of the problem, and these issues are generally amended without the need for an additional visit. 

Contact Looksy Inventories: Sevenoaks Inventory Clerk 

At Looksy, we provide extremely detailed, up-to-date, easy-to-read reports that are very unlikely to mean we end up amending an inventory. However, if need be and it’s right to do so, that’s something we are happy to do. Contact Looksy Inventories today to find out how we can help you in Sevenoaks and across Kent, Surrey, and East and West Sussex. 

Is Legionella A Problem In Empty Rental Properties?

Empty rental properties can be a problem for a wide range of reasons; when they are sitting dormant, the landlord isn’t receiving an income for one thing, but there are other issues to consider. One is mould and damp, another is pests such as rats and mice, and of course, there is always the risk of break-ins, vandalism, and – in rare cases – squatters

Yet something a landlord might not have considered when it comes to their empty rental properties is the challenge of legionella. This serious health hazard is undetectable to the naked eye; you can’t smell it, you won’t notice it at all until it causes a tenant or visitor to become unwell, potentially fatally so. 

empty rental properties

What Is Legionella? 

Legionella is a type of bacteria that, when inhaled, can lead to legionnaires’ disease, a lung condition similar to pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease affects the respiratory system, and, as we’ve mentioned, it can be a fatal illness, especially since it is often confused for flu at first, and medical help is not received quickly. 

Most legionella outbreaks don’t occur in empty rental properties or occupied ones, come to that. They occur in poorly maintained cooling towers, cold water storage tanks, showers, hot water calorifiers, etc. This is because the water within these storage vessels often sits for some time at the right temperature (between 20 and 50 degrees C) for legionella bacteria to proliferate. 

However, if your empty rental property has a cold water storage tank, that too can become a place for legionella bacteria to thrive. When a tenant moves in and turns on a tap or shower or uses the garden hose, if they inhale any droplets of water containing legionella, they could become unwell. 

As an important matter of note, drinking water that contains legionella is not harmful; legionella must enter the lungs to cause any health issues. 

empty rental properties

How To Control Legionella In Empty Rental Properties 

Temperature is the first defence against legionella bacteria. If you have a cold water storage tank, the water within it must be kept at lower than 20 degrees C if possible. If hot water is stored in a calorifier or Megaflow or similar, it must be stored at over 50 degrees C. 

On top of this, legionella bacteria grows when it can live on stagnant water, rust, and other debris. When the house is occupied, assuming the cold water storage tank is the right size for the property, then the water within the tank will be turned over every few days, meaning there is no chance for it to stagnate. If you have empty rental properties, it’s a good idea to run the taps once a week or so to empty the tank and reduce the risk of legionella growing. 

On the subject of rust and debris, the tank must be in good condition. If it is old and degraded, legionella is much more likely to occur. If there is no lid, or the lid is ill-fitting, it is much more likely to occur. As a conscientious landlord, if the tank in your empty rental property needs to be replaced, now is the time to do it before any vulnerable tenants move in

Showerheads are another cause for concern. Since legionella bacteria must be inhaled for it to cause damage to the lungs, and since showerheads produce a spray that someone can easily inhale, they need to be cleaned regularly. As ever, when the property is occupied, this is not an issue – the tenants will clean the showerhead or at least use the shower enough for it not to harbour any stagnant water. When you have empty rental properties, this is not the case. Before a tenant moves in, flush the showerhead through and clean it with a strong solution to ensure it is entirely descaled. 

Risk Assessment 

A legionella risk assessment is mandatory when you are renting out your property. You can do this yourself, although if you’re unsure about whether or not your empty rental property is at risk of legionella bacteria and potentially causing harm to the tenant or a tenant’s visitor, it’s a good idea to get a risk assessment carried out by an expert. Looksy Inventories can do this for you, so contact us today to find out more. 

Buying A Property With Sitting Tenants: What Do You Need To Know?

Since 2008, the number of properties sold with sitting tenants has quadrupled, and that figure accounts for about 11 percent of all rental properties. So what does this mean? And if you are thinking of buying a rental property with sitting tenants, what should you be considering? Read on to find out more.

A Property With Sitting Tenants Is Good News All Round

The first thing to take note of is that this is a good thing all round. If a property with sitting tenants is bought by a landlord, that means the tenants can remain in their home, and the landlord doesn’t have to spend any time or money searching for new tenants for the property. Everyone wins.

That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t some important things to consider when you are buying a property with sitting tenants. It might be the easiest option of all when it comes to starting your landlord journey – or adding to your portfolio – but in order for the entire thing to go smoothly, you need to do your research too. Don’t just assume that all is well.

property with sitting tenants
Image from Pixabay


When you are buying a property with sitting tenants you’ll want to see the inventory that was carried out when they moved in. 25 percent of all tenants sign a lease that lasts for two or more years, and the longer tenants are in a property, the more potential there is for damage to have occurred.

The inventory is the ideal tool to make sure that, when you inspect the property before buying it, it is all how it is meant to be, bearing in mind how wear and tear will affect the look of a property too. This will give you a good idea about how the tenants are treating the property and how much you might have to spend when the tenancy is up. If that cost is going to outweigh the cost of buying an empty property and finding a new tenant, it’s not worth the risk.

And make sure to see any copies of the mid-term inspections that should have been carried out. Again, you’ll be able to see exactly what’s happening and have all the information this way to allow you to make an informed decision.


It might surprise you to know that, as a new landlord, you have the right to run checks on the sitting tenant of the property you buy. You can’t charge them for the work, of course, but it’s worth doing a check for your own peace of mind. You’ll want to know that they are exactly who they say they are and that they have the right to reside in the UK. This is crucial since you’ll need to comply with the immigration right to rent legislation.

Anything could have changed between the original tenancy starting and you taking over, and since you’ll be responsible for ensuring that your tenants are living here legally, you must check this out.

Deposit Protection

Make sure you have proof that this has been carried out correctly by the previous landlord, including serving the paperwork to the tenant. It wouldn’t hurt to have written confirmation that this has been carried out too directly from the tenant, as an extra safety net.

Rent Guarantee Insurance

Because you haven’t hand-picked this tenant from the start you have no idea whether they are a good tenant or not, so obtaining rent guarantee insurance would be a good idea.

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