What's the purpose of a landlord property inspection?
The main purposes of an inspection are to make sure the property is in a good state of repair, and to check that both the landlord and the tenant are fulfilling their obligations under the terms of the tenancy agreement. Because of all the legal obligations landlords are subject to, you really do need to keep an eye on your property's condition to make sure it's fit for purpose. As with any problem, the quicker you nip it in the bud, the cheaper and less disruptive it'll be to fix.
When we inspect a property, we check for any evidence of problems such as unauthorised occupants, excessive wear and tear, condensation, bats in the belfry*, etc. Although we can't tell tenants how they should live in the property, it should be reasonably clean and tidy. Thankfully, because we have a rigorous 23 step tenant selection process, we've never spotted anything worse than the need for a little light dusting.**
We take photos (with the tenant's consent) and write a report, and any issues we find are noted. Both the landlord and tenant get a copy so that everybody knows the situation. We think good communication is vital – things run more smoothly when everybody's involved and knows what's going on.
What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
Very briefly, as a landlord you're responsible for keeping your rental property in good repair. This includes the structure of the building, as well as fixtures, fittings, services and any appliances you've provided. (Anything your tenants have supplied themselves is their responsibility.)
Whilst many of the repair and maintenance issues that might occur will be obvious to your tenants – and good tenants will let you know about them – you're also responsible for health and safety in the property, for instance keeping gas and electrical devices in safe working order and ensuring the property is free from any hazards, including damp and mould.
How often should I inspect my property?
Nobody likes people trooping in and out of their home, and we know that some tenants can find inspections quite intrusive. We think we've got the balance right by inspecting every three or six months, depending on what our landlords want. We always give tenants a choice of dates and times, and the option of whether or not they want to be there. If they are there, we'll always have a chat to make sure they're happy, and to see if there are any issues they haven't yet got round to flagging up.
How much notice do I need to give tenants of a property inspection?
You must give at least 24 hours' notice before visiting a property. Tenants can refuse access, but must not do so unreasonably. Continued denial of access by a tenant would be a breach of the tenancy agreement.
How can I find out more about property inspections?
Just contact us for more details about our award winning property management service. Don't forget to ask for a FREE copy of our booklet 50½ Killer Tips for Landlords.
*If you do have bats nesting in your property, don't worry, they won't nibble your wood, or gnaw at your wires or insulation. In fact, because they eat insects, you'll probably find them a very effective form of pest control, especially when the midges come out in the summer.
**Though obviously if we find evidence that they're breaking their lease, such as keeping a troop of performing monkeys in a place with a no pets policy, we will take action (after we've escaped from the chimps tea party).
Member since: 11th March 2014
My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...