Residential Inventories



Interim PROPERTY Inspections

About Us

Butterworth Estate Services is owned and run by Ailsa Butterworth and her team. Together, they have over 60 years of experience providing services for Landlords, Tenants and Letting Agents. Our staff have excellent industry knowledge, are members of the AIIC and have professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

We are a professional and approachable company that produces high-quality inventories, check-in, check-out and mid-term inspections for Landlords, Tenants and Letting Agents across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, North London and surrounding areas.

Our reports are detailed, easy to read and include digital photographs. Reports are delivered by email to all parties, and both landlords and tenants can add their own comments and supporting evidence to manage potential disputes. The platform gives all parties a more personalised and streamlined service without extra administration, with the added benefit of a complete audit trail of every interaction.

Why use us?

We are an independent inventory company that have been in operation since 1994.

Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme on the 6th April 2007, it is now more important than ever that Letting Agents, Landlords and Tenants have professional inventories and a schedule of condition carried out on their properties

The independent inventory and schedule of condition are very important documents that will give all parties the “peace of mind” that the properties current condition is well documented and agreed at the start of the tenancy – making a much smoother process at the end.

The Inventory

An inventory is a binding document that provides an accurate written record of the condition and contents of a property at the beginning of a tenancy. It is only effective if it is accurate so, all defects and condition of cleaning must be noted, it is those descriptions that will prove a change of condition and cleaning at the end of the tenancy and whether the landlord or tenant are liable for end of tenancy costs.

The following areas are included but more or less information can be covered by arrangement if the property is furnished:

  • Interior condition and decorative order of ceiling, walls, woodwork and flooring plus the fixtures and fittings including: doors, windows, drapes/blinds etc.

  • Furniture and other contents, excluding items which the Inventory Clerk considers as expendable, such as magazines, living plants and other such minutiae and consumables.

  • Gardens are described in layman's terms only. Garden statues, sheds, outbuildings etc will be described as deemed appropriate with supporting photographs.

  • Lofts, cellars and similar areas are not normally covered.

  • To minimise costs, most inventory clerks include items which are of little real value in general terms i.e. "a quantity of ...". Examples of such items are books, tired bedding, used kitchenware etc.

Should a property contain anything considered an antique or of great value the Inventory Clerk must be notified and, ideally, valuations should be provided. It is recommended that a property is cleaned to a professional standard including steam cleaning of carpets for the start of a tenancy paying particular care to carpets, curtains, upholstery, kitchens and bathrooms. If an item is soiled at the start of a tenancy a tenant can not be charged for cleaning it at the end. Landlords are also advised to retain all receipts.

All items on the Inventory are assumed to be in good, clean, undamaged order unless qualified by a marginal note.

An inventory is compiled when the property is first let and then for subsequent tenancies the inventory is revised, at a reduced rate, this is called a ‘remake’ so that the inventory and photographs within the inventory are date related.


At a Check-in, an Inventory Clerk inspects the property and compares it to the inventory. Any variations seen are noted on the inventory.

In order to authenticate the inventory it must be signed by both the landlord and tenant or their representative. The 'master inventory' (that agreed at the Check-in) should be kept safe for use at the end of the tenancy or in the event of a dispute and a copy is emailed to all parties.


At the end of the tenancy a Check-out inspection is carried out with the original 'master inventory' along with any changes advised by the letting agent since the Check-in. An inventory clerk will note the significant change to condition and standard of cleaning, taking into account the condition at the start of the tenancy and length of tenancy in a Check-out report.

Cleaning is often a major area of dispute. Landlords and tenants are advised to retain all receipts relating to cleaning and repairs carried out before or during a tenancy.

The benefit of an inventory by an independent inventory company is that the report is unbiased with the aim to resolve issues fairly and avoid going to arbitration, which is time consuming and can prove costly.

Butterworth Estate Services is committed to the Code of Practice and guidelines set by the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.

The AIIC are dedicated to promoting the highest possible standards of accuracy and reliability and have been endorsing high levels of professionalism in the inventory business since 1996.