Openrents inventory small pictures and not fit for purpose?

I’ve used open rents inventory and the format it displays in is very small pictures. If it went to arbitration i think i would loose by default because the images are so small. Does anyone have any experience of using openrents service and whats your opinions?

I was friend advised to get a 3rd party to do the inventory but logic tells me, I might be better getting a 360 high definition camera and filming myself, talking about the state of the house while walking around. It would give me and the tenant a clearer view of the state of the house rather than small images that you cant see. Does anyone have any experience of using this method? and going to arbitration with one of the services? is it accept by the depositors arbitration services?

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I always just use my phone to take the photos, but the resolution of these is perfectly high enough to see detail. The issue is more how you prove to a deposit scheme/court that the photo you’re now sending them is the one from the start of the tenancy that the tenant agreed at the time. In the past I’ve put them all on CD Rom which the tenant and I sign the face-of. However, CD drives on computers are no longer commonplace so in future I may use one of the specialist inventory companies who have mechanisms for linking and locking the online photos to the written inventory.

@David122 do you use a form or just send the pictures? have you thought about using video? Do you know of any online services that provide linking and locking online photos?

I use the NRLA inventory template for the written part, but if you use an online service they will probably provide you with one. A detailed written inventory is vital and should list the condition of everything right down to skirting boards and light switches. I haven’t used video, mainly because in the past the deposit schemes didn’t like accepting them. I think that may have changed, but it would be worth checking with yours.

One online inventory company I’ve looked at but not yet used is Inventorybase, but there are lots of others.

Hi @Alex61 - Have you flagged this with our team? I’m sure they’d be happy to take a look. The inventory documents get very big very fast, so sometimes send images compressed backed by originals. Our team would need to take a look, but if there has been an issue (eg. images overly-compressed), then I’d hope they can resolve this for you. If we’ve let you down here / a mistake has been made, and we can’t recover the images, then we’d of course refund you.

Our inventories are designed to be a professional service to be used specifically in cases like arbitration / deposit disputes, so they 100% need to be up to required standards in that regard.

i havent flagged with your team, how do i do this? i have some suggestions to make the service better

You can contact our support team here (as well as on any page on the main website, or by replying to any of our emails), they should be best place to hopefully resolve directly, as well as process your suggestions.

I use Inventory Hive. You can also upload 360 degree photos to this using a sensibly priced Theta camera. Software is very thorough.

Thanks for replying, I only have one property so inventory hive seams expensive at £30 a month, that’s £360 a year. Is there a Cheaper way to make it work? I can see you can get the camera mentioned at £350 from Ricoh’s website which at a one off purchase seams reasonable. It can be used for other purposes too like family/concert ect.


If you complete the inventory as the landlord yourself it will be null and void. The arbitration system will not use it as evidence as you are not impartial. An inventory must be completed by a 3rd party for it to have any substance. And even still, it is hard to get any money at dispute stage. My advice is use a 3rd party, make sure they know about correct wording such as when there a scuffs on a wall, it must be detailed as “low level light” or “heavy scuff marks to lower left hand side” with a picture of the specific issue.
An inventory clerk who uses inventory base will have the capacity to provide an online PDF version that has pictures that can be enlarged.
I am an ARLA property manager and having dealt with hundreds of deposit disputes on behalf of landlords I have good experience of dealing with arbitration, what they do and do not accept.

Sorry, but thats not true @Jessica27. I and many other landlords I know have always completed our own inventories and checkout reports and have never had any problems with the deposit schemes.


I second that. I did inventory for all my properties too. Clear images accompanying with written description are all the document needs. Tenants cross-checked the inventory declaration, signed and dated before I uploading it to OpenRent. All done within 2-3 weeks of tenancy started.

This isn’t true……… …

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I do my own inventories for some properties and use inventory clarks for more remote properties.

Third party inventories are more independent and so better and more likely to be accepted.

In over 20 years and 6-13 properties we have always agreed deductions with tenants and never gone to dispute resolution over damages, only unpaid rent which is more difficult for a tenant to argue.

Dont forget, it is not just an incoming inventory you will need, you also need an outgoing report if you wish to use a deposit resolution scheme. I think an outgoing landlord inventory could be a problem in any resolution process.

If i think the outgoing tenants are reliable i tend to take the risk of not doing an outgoing inventory because it is just another £120 or so


Alex61. Think you may have missed their pricing. Inventory hive is £35 per annum for one property

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I agree. I do comprehensive inventory and all photos at the same time with tenants. Also I ask tenants if they wanted to any photos. I also use DateStamper app to stamp each photos and send copy of inventory and photo by email to the tenant.

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