As a landlord, inspections are a great way to see whether your property is being maintained to a reasonable standard, and also help tenants iron out any problems. Inspections are also great during the early months of new tenancies, as you can ensure the tenant has settled in, answer any questions they may have and get a better feel for how they’re using the property.
Below, we’ve put together some things you need to know about mid-term inspections.
Whether you outsource inspections to a lettings agency or you conduct them yourself, it’s a good idea to make a note of the property’s condition, checking out things like the walls, floors, gardens, doors, and windows, and the condition of any contents included as part of the tenancy, such as furniture, bathrooms, and kitchens. You can also check for breaches of tenancy agreement terms, such as evidence of pets or smoking, and you can see whether maintenance is required, such as plumbing, electrical work, gardening, or general repairs.
Although we’d always recommend that landlords and letting agents complete an inventory before renting out a property, you can still perform an inspection mid-term without one. You can even take an inventory mid-term, should you feel it’s necessary, though you’ll need to work with your tenant and have them sign documentation to confirm the current fixtures and fittings and their condition, which could complicate things and result in added paperwork.
You have a duty of care as a landlord to provide a safe environment for your tenants, and part of your duty is to perform ongoing maintenance. Inspections form part of this and they fall under your responsibility, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to know that you must legally give your tenants at least 24 hours notice before visits; the longer you can give them, the better. Tenants don’t need to be in the property when you visit, though most prefer this and it reduces the chances of disputes over missing items or damage.
As a landlord, it’s entirely up to you whether you conduct inspections yourself or enlist the help of a third party. The benefit of doing it on your own is that you get to meet your tenants face-to-face, and you’re more likely to know the answers to their questions than a lettings agent who has no experience living in your property. Of course, if you manage a number of properties, you might struggle to fit in time to inspect them all, and in this instance, you can work with a lettings agent or a professional inspections agency that will produce a report.
Do you have any advice for fellow landlords and agents on performing mid-term inspections? Let us know your thoughts over on our LinkedIn page, and check back for more tips soon!