Landlords: What should you expect when you're inspecting?

Landlords: What should you expect when you're inspecting?

The experts at Belvoir offer their advice.....

Vaughan Schofield, owner of Belvoir Wrexham, advised: “Regular inspections to examine a property and its condition when tenanted are extremely valuable for both the landlord and tenant. They are one of the core tasks of a managing agent (or a self-managing landlord) and are probably the most high profile responsibility we have in order to protect the property and the landlord's investment...”

Inspect and protect

Vaughan commented: “It is advisable that inspection visits should take place at least quarterly. If there are concerns about the way a property is being kept, or if the property itself is subject to anti-social behaviour from neighbouring houses, then more frequent visits can be arranged by agreement.

If you don't inspect on a regular basis damage can remain unreported, maintenance issues can escalate and standards can slip as the tenant will be receiving the wrong signals from the agent or owner. Importantly, too, you will be unable to provide evidence with any degree of authority to the deposit service because your visits will not have been carried out in a timely way.

Inspections can be a critical component in any claim that is submitted on the deposit at the end of the tenancy. They provide an opportunity to document key evidence on a timeline so the question of accidental or willful damage to a property can be assessed.”

Vigilant visits

Vaughan says: “During the inspection there are many things to look out for and be mindful of. The inventory is extremely important here and should be taken along to each visit.

This internal and external property report, which was done at the very beginning of the tenancy, will allow you to identify any visual changes that have occurred since the tenant moved in. Any problems, damage or maintenance issues should be marked on this document so that all changes in appearance can be logged.

The degree of these changes, along with the length of the tenancy, will help determine whether they are something the tenant can be held responsible for and whether it's reasonable to make a claim.

An inspection is also an opportunity to make sure the tenant is living within the terms of their Tenancy Agreement,” he continues. “This could include things such as evidence of pets at the property, sub-letting, smoking or even not mowing the lawn if that was part of the initial agreement.

It's also important to remember that the purpose of the inspection is to protect the property and people in it rather than an opportunity to formally criticise the tenant's tidiness or how they choose to live.

The only things we can comment upon, encourage and motivate people to do something about is if there is clearly a mode of living in the property which is causing detrimental damage now, will potentially cause damage over the term of the tenancy or if there is a health and safety issue, such as an over-accumulation of clutter which would prevent a prompt escape in a fire.”


Aftercare assessment

“Once the inspection is complete there is still work to do,” says Vaughan. “We write a summary report for the landlord logging our findings, plus we supply a copy to the tenant to make sure there is a universal understanding and everybody is on the same page.

If the property is being well-managed and looked after by the tenant then everyone is happy and everyone should know this. Likewise, if there are issues these should be highlighted so that all stakeholders concerned are aware of what these are.

Any follow-up action will then need to be confirmed in writing in order to create an audit trail which can be easily and accessibly revisited in the future if necessary.”

 Inspection essentials – at-a-glance...

√ Visit the property regularly, at least quarterly

√ Arrange a convenient time with the tenant in advance

√ Take along the inventory so visual changes can be logged

√ Look out for evidence of anything that may contravene the Tenancy Agreement, such as pets, additional tenants, smoking etc

√ Provide a summary report after the inspection. Make sure all parties have copies.

√ Ensure follow-up actions are confirmed in writing, plus carried out accurately and adequately  

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
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You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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