Regular inspections are one of the fundamental aspects of a landlord or property manager & require responsibility in order to maintain the property and protect the investment. Not only are inspections valuable for the landlord, but also for the tenant.
Inspections should be undertaken quarterly as a minimum, however more frequent visits can be arranged by agreement if there are concerns.
Failure to inspect regularly can result in unreported damage to the property, escalation of maintenance issues and a reduction in standards due to wrong signs being received by the tenant from the owner. In addition, you will have insufficient evidence with any degree of authority to the deposit service due to a lack of timely inspections.
Inspections are a critical factor in any claim that is submitted on the deposit at the end of a tenancy. They provide an opportunity to document key evidence so that the question of accidental or wilful damage to a property can be properly assessed.
Undertaking a vigilant inspection is crucial and there are many things to be mindful of. The inventory should be taken along to each visit as it is extremely important. A report of both the internal and external aspects which should be done at the start of a tenancy will allow you to recognise any visual variations that may have occurred since the tenancy began. Any issues should be noted on this report so that all visual changes can be logged.
Assessing the extent of changes along with the length of tenancy will aid in determining whether the tenant can be held accountable for the changes and whether it is reasonable to file a claim.
The inspection can also be used as an opportunity to ensure that the tenant is abiding by the terms laid out in the tenancy agreement including things such as pets, sub-letting and smoking.
Commenting on how the tenant lives in terms of tidiness is not advised unless there is a health and safety concern such as furniture or clutter preventing an efficient fire escape route.
At Landlrd, we try and alleviate the struggle that arises in reporting and photographically documenting the inventory and inspections, removing the process of paper inspections for everyone. Our property management application allows users to comment and upload images on the fly whilst the inspection is carried out. A copy can then be forwarded to the tenant to ensure that they share the same understanding of the state of the property. Following up on issues can also be logged to produce an audit trail which can be easily accessed in the future if necessary.