It is one of the least liked chores of being a landlord, but essential all the same – inspections are one of the most important factors in renting property, and should never be overlooked.

But how should you conduct a property inspection and how often should you carry one out?

It is wise for landlords to conduct a property inspection every quarter. If you have carried out frequent positive inspections from the same tenants, then you could reduce this to every six months.

Although it is important to conduct regular inspections of rental properties, it is equally crucial not to conduct too many inspections. For example, inspecting the home every month could be considered as harassment. In the majority of cases, there is no need to inspect a property more regularly than once a quarter, unless there are maintenance issues and genuine repairs which require attention.

In addition to regular inspections, conducting an inspection around one month before the tenants are due to move out of the property can prove useful, as it provides landlords with the opportunity to find any issues which could create problems at check out. Highlighting these issues in advance before check out gives tenants the opportunity to address anything which they are responsible for. This, therefore, reduces the potential for dispute and any delays for new tenants moving into the property.

An inspection also offers landlords the opportunity to remind their tenants of contractual obligations, such as ensuring that all final bills are settled and keys are returned, as otherwise there could be possible deductions to their deposit or charges.

It is wise to conduct a mid-term inspection once your tenant has lived in the property for a minimum of three months. To conduct professional inspections and create thorough inventory reports, consider using high-quality software, such as that developed by inventoryBase.

The first inspection provides landlords with a good idea of how the tenants are treating the rental home, and if there are any maintenance issues which require attention, or if any suggestions should be made to the renters. Small maintenance issues, such as fixing light switches or door handles, can also be conducted at this stage to avoid them escalating into major repair jobs.

In addition to assessing the living conditions of the tenants and finding if there are any immediate causes for worry, such as illegal activity, inspections are also good opportunities to work out if you would like to extend the current tenancy when it comes to a close, as well as building a good relationship with your tenant.

Not enough landlords appreciate or value the importance of inspections, but they can be key in forming a stress-free tenancy and profitable business.

With protection being provided under new eviction legislation, known as Retaliatory Eviction, it is increasingly important that landlords are aware of the condition of their rental properties at regular intervals. This new law was passed in 2019 under The Deregulation Act. However, landlords must also protect the tenant’s right to peace and quiet enjoyment of the home. This is an important and fundamental right for tenants and ensures they can live in a property without unnecessary intrusion or interference.

As part of the inspection, a landlord is well within their rights to take photographs of evidence should they find issues such as insufficient cleaning or a build-up of rubbish, which could cause a vermin infestation, unauthorised painting or decorating or unauthorised pets or occupiers.

Mid-term checks benefit the landlord and ensure that the home is being properly looked after. It is important that tenants also understand that inspections benefit their health and safety.

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