A long term let is advantageous for landlords in many ways. With an on-going tenancy, property owners can be assured of regular payments and potentially increase their capital as property values rise too. However, long term lets can carry risks, particularly if landlords rely too heavily on their tenants’ goodwill.
When properties are let to different tenants for relatively short periods, they are subject to regular inspections. This enables the property owner or their appointed representative to evaluate the condition of the property. Based on this evaluation, repairs or maintenance can be carried out as required. Additionally, landlords can address issues of property damage with ex-tenants quickly and effectively.
In contrast, interim inspections can be overlooked when a long-term tenant is in situ. With many rental agreements spanning years, landlords or letting managers may not actually see the inside of a property for a significant period of time. Due to this, property owners are often unaware of maintenance issues, damage, or wear and tear. Unfortunately, this can result in costly repair bills when the tenant finally moves out of the property.
Undertaking Interim Inspections
Interim inspections should be undertaken at regular intervals, even if a long term let has been agreed. This routine assessment of the property enables property owners to confirm the house or apartment remains in good condition. If any issues are identified, these can be addressed with the tenant before further damage occurs. If necessary, the landlord can give a long term tenant notice and bring the tenancy to an end if they are unhappy with the way the property is being used or maintained.
Although interim inspections are essential to protect your property, many landlords fail to undertake them. Often citing time restrictions or unnecessary expense as a reason to avoid carrying out interim inspections, logistical issues may be a major factor in the lack of interim inspections being undertaken during long term tenancies.
Fortunately, there is an efficient and cost-effective way for you to safeguard your property. With property inspection software, report templates can be prepared in advance and customised to reflect the particulars of every property in your portfolio. Whether you let one property or hundreds, a letting inventory app makes undertaking interim inspections simple and straightforward.
Limiting Your Liability with Routine Inspections
Letting a property is a viable source of income for many people, but landlords do have obligations they need to fulfil. Rental properties must be safe and free from health hazards, for example. Similarly, electrical equipment and gas-powered appliances must be safely installed and maintained.
Failure to meet your legal obligations as a landlord, property owner, or manager can have serious consequences. As well as being fined heavily, letting an unsafe property could have a catastrophic impact on the tenants. If someone is injured or killed due to this type of negligence, the individual responsible for maintaining the property is likely to face criminal charges.
Due to the potential severity of these sanctions, it’s vital that property managers, letting agents and landlords undertake interim inspections, even in long term lets. By doing so, you can ensure that your property’s value is maintained, but you can also fulfil your legal obligations and limit your own liability.
Recordkeeping and Long Term Lets
When a property is let on a short term basis, check-in and check-out inventories will be carried out regularly. If interim inspections are not undertaken on long term lets, however, there will be no such records relating to the property.
By using a customised property inspection app, landlords can ensure that records are updated for every property they own. Similarly, lettings agents can retain up to date records for every property on their books.
When comprehensive records are compiled, it provides a historical and verifiable account as to how the property was maintained, what issues arose, when they were identified, and what action was taken. With the latest property tech, these records can be created on-site and stored in the cloud or on a dedicated server.
It’s clear then that undertaking interim inspections on long term lets should be a top priority for landlords, property owners and letting agents. By conducting interim inspections, the integrity of the property can be maintained, and its value protected. Furthermore, property owners can limit their liability and increase profitability by scheduling routine interim inspections during long term tenancies.