When it comes to a landlord's property and a tenant's deposit, one of the most commonly misunderstood factors is that without any inventory reports, you can not withhold those funds.

It is absolutely vital that as a landlord your are ensuring the most efficient management of your property, which is why we have listed the top 10 check-out tips, as noted by DPS.

1. Take along your check-in report

You should have made a check-on report after your initial inspection with your tenant when they moved in. bring this to the check-out as a reference point.

2. Invite tenants in writing and with sufficient notice

Tenants should be given a reasonable chance to attend the check-out. Keep a record of the invitation so its existence cannot be disputed afterwards.

3. Make sure your tenant understands the process

Explain that this is his or her chance to put forward their case regarding the state of the property. Detail the process in your invitation, and allow them to ask questions at the start of the check-out.

4. Consider using an inventory clerk 

These are professionals who understand best what needs to be recorded when tenants arrive – and how to assess and demonstrate change at the end of the tenancy. If you do use their services, make sure your tenant understands their role.

5. Be safe

Make sure someone else know where and when the check-out is taking place and if you have any concerns about your safety, bring someone else along.

6. Take your time and be thorough

Touring your property when it’s been the tenant’s home can feel awkward, but you need to cover every aspect of your check-in list property, or you could face problems later on.

7. Make notes

In particular, record any of your tenant’s admissions or agreements you reach. Ask your tenant to sign and date the notes. Make sure they receive a copy of these soon after the check-out takes place.

8. Bring a camera and take photos of any damage or anything else contentious

Digital cameras work best because they have a date stamp, which helps demonstrate when the photos were taken. Explain in your invitation that you may take photos during the visit.

9. Use video evidence where appropriate

For example, a video recording can demonstrate that equipment is no longer working. However, most often photos provide the best form of evidence as adjudicators can study these more easily.

10. Carry out the check-out before any repair works take place

Although you’ll want to deal with any problems quickly so that you’re ready for your next tenant, you’ll need evidence of the damage to demonstrate your case.