Property Inspections…everything you need to know!

Property inspections are incredibly useful and crucial because they allow landlords or agents to spot any problems with the property, but on the other hand, they can be a right pain in the arse.

What actually is a property inspection?

The main purpose of an inspection is to evaluate the overall condition of the property. It’s also the perfect opportunity to ensure your tenants are behaving themselves.

At J Property Management, we do an inspection our first inspection 5 weeks after a new tenant moves in. We then do inspections every 2-3 months. After a year with the same tenant (provided there are no issues!), we then do an inspection every 4-5 month. If you are a new landlord or just unsure how often you should conduct property inspections, we suggest using our guidelines.

While it is very important to make regular inspections, it’s as equally important not to make too many inspections (e.g. once a month), because it could be deemed as harassment. In most cases, there isn’t a reason to make so many inspections, unless there are genuine repairs and maintenance issues that need attention.

Why inspections are important

Most obviously, inspections give you the opportunity to spot any repairs & maintenance issues

This gives the perfect opportunity to repair any minor problems before they spiral out of control and become major repairs and money pits. It’s always easier and cheaper to repair problems at their early stages. Something simple as a small leak can transform into a catastrophic disaster if it’s neglected. Unfortunately, you can never rely on tenants to report potential problems.

Assess tenants’ living conditions

While the condition of the property might be generally sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean your tenants are keeping the property in good order. If that’s the case, you may not have legal grounds to evict, but you may want to consider whether or not you wish to renew the tenancy when the fixed term comes to an end.

Helps build a relationship with your tenants

Not enough landlords value the relationship with their tenant. They should though because it can be the key to a profitable and stress-free relationship. There’s a lot to be said about a good tenant/landlord relationship- it makes everything easier, including the arrangement of inspections and repairs.

Tenants are less likely to pick up and move if they’re happy with their landlord, which ultimately equals long-term, reliable tenants. At J Property Management, we make this a priority, we always make sure we have time for all tenants. We often get calls from our tenants just for a chat.

What you should be looking for during inspections

From all the inspections we have conducted, we have quickly learnt what to look for. Here is our list of the top things you should look for, beyond general condition.

Dampness & mould

These are two things that are often overlooked so we always make extra effort to focus on this.

Most tenants don’t realise how dangerous and serious mould infestations can be so they never report it. I always look around the windows and sinks and pay special attention in rooms prone to moisture, such the bathrooms and kitchen.

It’s also worth checking the extractor fans to ensure they’re all working and not clogged up with dirt, this will help prevent mould infestations occurring in the future.

Leaks  

I run all the taps and check for any leaks. Leaks can be one of the primary causes of mould infestations and rot.

Condition of garden

Generally speaking, most tenancy agreements do come with clauses specifying that it’s the tenant’s responsibly to maintain the garden(s).

So, I just check that the garden is neat and isn’t overgrowing. I also check for pile-ups of rubbish, because they can attract nasty rodents and other unwanted wildlife.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Very important to check all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Legal Notes

Let’s cover some of the basic laws so you know where you stand.

We’ve translated the laws into normal human talk to make it easy for you to understand.

Your tenant is entitled to live in “quiet enjoyment”, which essentially means the landlord /agent (or anyone on behalf of either) must ask the tenant’s permission before entering the premises. You must give at least 24 hours written notice. We like to message our tenants at least 2 weeks in advance and let them pick a time convenient for them. The inspection must also be conducted at a “reasonable times of the day”.

Finally,

Always remember that you need to be respectful and communicate well with your tenants. Good tenants will make or break your profit margins. They hold the key to YOUR success.

It’s important for you to appreciate your tenant’s right to live in quiet enjoyment, along with understanding that your property is their home. They are paying for that privilege.

In most cases, tenants will be more than happy to accommodate inspections, but only if it’s done with courtesy. Don’t just assume you have a right to enter the property, you don’t, so respectfully ask for permission. Be generous and flexible with your time and make sure it’s convenient for all parties.

If you do not want to deal with this yourself, call us on 02084322919 to see how we can help you.