It is vital landlords carry out property inspections knowing what to look for. This guide will ensure you maintain a good standard across your rental properties.
While there are many important tasks for a landlord to manage, the property inspection is one of the most vital. The check-in and check-out process are critical, but given a tenant may be in a rental accommodation for some time, there is a need to ensure the rental property is being well looked after. A good landlord, or the agent working on their behalf, will carry out regular property inspections, making sure everything in the rental property is as it should be.
You should always provide the tenant with notice of the inspection. The minimum notice is 24 hours, and this should be provided to the tenant in written format. However, you should give the tenant more time than this, and if you can inform the tenant about a planned inspection one week in advance, it will be appreciated. Landlords and tenants should look to develop a strong relationship, and how you communicate is a massive factor in developing respect.
What checks should be undertaken
Given the number of things a landlord wants to review in a rental property, it may seem as though carrying out an effective check of rental property is difficult. However, there are certain elements that need to be tested in a periodic visit, so make sure these are on your list of aspects to consider:
- CO alarms and smoke alarms must be tested – it is helpful to carry replacement batteries with you, and if these need to be changed, you can do so
- The heating system and hot water should be checked – if a problem arises, you should arrange for a qualified engineer to attend the rental property
- Bathroom and kitchen appliances should be checked – make sure you check these aspects for cleanliness and that they are in good working order
- Electrical points, appliances and system – Landlords should review sockets and light fittings
- Fire escape – Landlords should ensure the fire escape route is clear and that nothing is blocking the way
The property inspection is also a great opportunity to look out for any tenancy breaches, such as a pet staying in the property, or a sign that the rental property is being sublet. The inspection should also look for signs of the tenant smoking in the property.
Look for signs of damage
Another important thing to look out for during a rental property inspection is signs of damage. Look out for furniture placed in strange ways or if something looks out of place in the room. This may be down to the tenant covering up a problem. You should also look out for stains or missing appliances or pieces of furniture. If any problems arise during the test, it is important to photograph the problem so there is evidence of any issue.
Being a landlord is difficult, but the property inspection helps a landlord stay on top of proceedings. If you are looking to maintain a good relationship with your tenant while ensuring your property is well looked after, take the time to conduct a suitable property inspection.