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If your happy with the way the property has been left then your in control .As you say no going back .
The checkout inventory is for both you and the tenant . I have had a few where havent needed one too .
Generally when I find issues it is rarely at checkout as the tenants are ushering you through. I tend to notice things a few days later when I go round the property looking for issues prior to a new tenancy. It is for this reason we do a quick handover with photos and our inspection is without the tenants a few days later. To be fair this has never resulted in disputes as the tenants most of the time know that something was wrong and think they were going to get away with it.
Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing, ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk
If it looks OK then be glad you have had a tenant for 5 years with regular rent payment - just hope the next tenant is there for 5 years sounds ideal to me!
What exactly does your agent include in the check out service? If it includes photos of the property once the tenant's moved out, and liaising with utility companies with final meter readings etc, it might be worth paying for. I'd base my decision on what the agent includes in their service, how much they charge for it, and how much of this you can do yourself (and what that costs you in terms of your time).
All the best
The Property Investor's PA
Freelance Administrator for Property Investors / Entrepreneurs
Find me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heleneade/
This may sound naive, but i've never really understood the point of paying for a check out service.
My checkout process consists of simply turning up at the property with the inventory, and going through the property with the tenant highlighting areas of concern, taking pictures of anything that has changed, and discussing what will/won't come out of the deposit. Takes no longer than half an hour.
What am I missing?
If you haven't got any concerns then I'd still do a check out but do it yourself rather than pay for it.
I just prefer to have everything closed off in writing. Remember that this is to protect both you and the tenant at the same time. Even if it is a simple sign off exercise to say no concerns and deposit returned in full.
Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise nor am I a qualified advisor on any subject. A humble landlord using an open forum to exchange ideas and experiences.