What are property inspections?
When you install a new tenant it's always nice to think you'll return at the end of the tenancy to find the property in good order. No mess, no damage and nothing for you to do before the next tenant moves in. It can happen. It's great when it does.
But sometimes the opposite happens. The landlord turns up to find the property in disarray or damaged. This can be a stressful and expensive time for any private landlord. It can involve a lot of work and expense in tidying up. You may even have to redecorate or carry out repairs. And of course, no tenant is able to move in until the work is finished. The lost rent only adds to the financial pressure.
Private landlords who find themselves in this situation have often failed to regularly inspect their property during the tenancy. Whether the tenancy is over six months, a year or even three years regular inspections should be an important part of your schedule. They help to nip any problems in the bud.
You, or your representative, should periodically inspect the property. The tenant must be present. So you will have to prearrange a time and date. You can't just drop in out of the blue. Include an inspection schedule in your tenancy agreement.
An inspection gives you the opportunity to ensure the tenant is complying with their tenancy agreement and keeping the property clean. Some landlords may see this as snooping. But inspections are a legitimate way to safeguard the investment you have made in the property. It also gives you an opportunity to visually inspect appliances and judge whether any repairs may be necessary in the near future.
I don't have the time to do property inspections
Most busy landlords don't. They can be a pain to organise. You have to negotiate a date with your tenant, make time in your diary to conduct the inspection and then record your findings. Inspections do take time and effort. This is why many private landlords will delegate inspections to their letting agents.
What happens during a property inspection?
At MakeUrMove, for example, we will arrange for an independent professional to inspect your property. The inspector will contact the tenant to arrange a convenient time for the inspection.
A written report will be produced which includes photographs. This condition report will also include observations and recommendations. For example, any repairs which need doing. But the report will also highlight any instances in which the tenant is breaking the tenancy agreement. There may be evidence of sub-letting or smoking for instance. Whatever the outcome of the report will be invaluable to you as a private landlord.
There will, of course, be a cost involved in having an independent inspector produce a condition report for you. But those landlords using the MakeUrMove property management service have property inspections included as part of the service.
Benefits of regular property inspections
There are benefits both to you as a private landlord and to your tenant. These include:
- Identifying new or ongoing issues with the condition of the property.
- Providing your tenant with a means of reporting any concerns they may have.
- Peace of mind from knowing your tenant is taking good care of the property.
- Ensures your tenant is complying with the tenancy agreement.
- A schedule of regular inspections encourages your tenant to keep the property tidy.
- An independent condition report will be excellent evidence should a dispute arise as a result of the inspection.
As a private landlord, you can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the original online letting agency.