Property inspections are an important part of working as a landlord. They not only ensure that your property is being kept to a good standard, and they also ensure that your investment is protected, maintenance issues can be identified in their early stages, and they also build a good relationship with your tenant.
Many landlords underestimate the value of a property inspection, which can provide the key to a stress-free and profitable tenancy. Once your tenant has been living in the property for a minimum of three months, it is wise to conduct a mid-term inspection. This provides landlords with a realistic impression of how the tenant is treating the home, and if any maintenance should be carried out, or suggestions made to the tenants in terms of looking after the property.
Minor maintenance issues such as fixing a light fitting could be carried out during the inspection, avoiding the potential escalation to a major repair. However, if a maintenance issue takes a longer timeframe, it is advisable to schedule a convenient time with your tenants to return and fix the problem. In addition to ensuring that there is no immediate cause for concern such as illegal activity, and assessing the living conditions of your tenants, inspections are an ideal opportunity for a landlord to decide if they would like to extend the duration of the tenancy.
With innovations in software such as the InventoryBase, the completion of inventory reports can be simple and straightforward.
With the introduction of new legislation which provides protection from retaliatory eviction under The Deregulation Act, which was passed in 2018, it is now even more important to establish the state and condition of the rental home at regular intervals.
However, it is a careful balance, as a landlord must also respect the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property. This is one of the fundamental rights of renters and means that they are allowed to live in the home without unnecessary intrusion or interference.
A landlord is well within their rights to take photographs to use as evidence during an inspection. This is particularly useful if there is a build-up of refuse which could cause a vermin infestation, insufficient cleaning, unauthorised painting or decorating or signs of unauthorised pets or occupiers.
Mid-term inspections not only reassure landlords that their property is being looked after properly, and it also ensures that the tenants remain safe. Whether a letting agent or the landlord conducts a mid-term inspection, the property should be inspected throughout, and followed by a written reference which details any differences between the current condition of the property and the original inventory report which was created at the beginning of the tenancy.
The property inspection will list all the relevant and specific details of the home in regard to the general condition and cleanliness, including any items or belongings which are damaged, broken or missing. Discrepancies can then be raised with the tenants at a later date. If there are broken or missing items, or poor cleanliness and damage, the landlord has the opportunity to contact the renter and advise them of the appropriate action which should be taken to resolve the issues.
The landlord also has the opportunity to fix any damage which relates to the general wear and tear and use of the home, to ensure it is kept in good condition.
Most tenants will welcome this as it demonstrates that the landlord has a duty of care to the property. Keeping a rental property maintained well will not only appeal to prospective tenants, and it also helps to rent more quickly, achieve maximum rent prices, and attract better quality renters.
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