• March 30th, 2017 - 
  • Posted by gordonw_CLD

Property Inspection – All you need to know

Property inspections are a crucial part to keeping your rented property in shape, while also checking up on your tenants. Although you might believe that you can just pop round and inspect the property whenever, this is not the case.

What exactly is a property inspection?

The main reason for a property inspection is to have a look at the overall condition of the property. During this time landlords/agents will see if there is any damage to the property or if anything will need to be replaced soon.

The frequency of an inspection can depend on the overall behaviour of the tenants. Typically most landlords/agents will start by having inspections on a quarterly basis and then move to bi-yearly depending on the tenants.

It is important that you don’t make inspections too often. This can irritate the tenant as it can feel very invasive and give them the impression that you don’t trust them. The only reason you should be entering the property frequently is if you are making repairs.

Inspection Notice

Although you would most likely want to see exactly how your tenants are living, you cannot just walk into the property unannounced. According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 there must be a written notice delivered no less than 24 hours before the inspection, try and aim for at least a week in between sending the notice and visiting the property as then there’s plenty of time for a tenant to respond.

All inspections must be conducted at a reasonable time in the day. This means that you can’t go knocking on your tenant’s door at 11pm. It’s a good idea to double check with your tenant’s what time is most suitable for them.

If you or an agent is not able to conduct the inspection, then the person conducting the inspection must be authorised in writing.

What should you look for during an inspection?

There are a number of issues that you should be looking for when conducting an inspection. The tenant could have caused some of these issues or some could have occurred from general wear and tear. It is important that you know which is which. Tenants cannot be made liable for general wear and tear.

Dampness and mould are two of the most common problems to look out for. Often they are overlooked even though they should always be treated, as they can be dangerous. The most common areas for dampness and mould to appear are around the windows and sinks, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. With windows in a rented property it may be easier to install vents as this can help keep damp at bay, also reminding your tenant to open windows when showering or cooking can deter dampness for it increases ventilation in the property and stops moisture building up.

It is also a good idea to check hidden pipework. This isn’t just to check for dampness but also leaks, as they can lead to damp. Word of warning if you do not take action against damp and mould in your rented property, the tenants can seek legal advice for it is a health and safety risk.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are crucial and will need to be inspected each time. They often can get clogged up with dust, which can affect how they work. It is important that you clean both your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as often as possible, as well as changing the batteries every year. You should also consider installing new smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every 10 years.

More often than not your tenants won’t always notice a problem and report it, which is why it is important for you to conduct these inspections and look for the problems yourself. Using Maintenance Management Software can allow you to keep track of inspections and repairs that have been made to the property.

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