As a Landlord you need to carry out Interim inspections

As a landlord, one of the things that you need to do on a regular basis is to carry out routine mid-tenancy checks. While doing this can be something of a pain, it is nonetheless essential for a number of reasons. Not only does it help you identify any issues surrounding maintenance before they get out of hand, it also helps you to keep an eye on how your tenants are getting and it can also promote goodwill between the two of you. A good relationship between landlord and tenant makes life easier for everyone. Furthermore, a contented tenant is likely to be a longer-term tenant.

While it is important to make regular inspections, the frequency is important to get right. An initial inspection at 3 months is about the shortest duration possible followed by, perhaps six monthly and then annual as the tenancy progresses.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s11 gives the landlord the right to enter the premises to view the “condition and state of repair”. You must give the tenant 24 hours’ notice in writing and the inspection must be carried out at “reasonable” times of day. If someone other than the landlord is going to undertake the inspection, he or she must be authorised in writing.

Obviously, one of the most important reasons for an interim inspection is to be able to spot any minor issues before they become major issues. A tenant will normally report any serious issue, but very often may not report a minor one, or may not even spot it. That can mean that it can accelerate out of control and cost a small fortune to fix.

An interim inspection also gives you an opportunity to check on that the conditions of the tenancy are being followed – no pets, no smoking etc.

As the landlord, you are responsible for the fabric of the building. External drainage, roof leaks, drains all need to be checked regularly to ensure they are up to standard and any problems can be nipped in the bud. Often missed are internal leaks under the sink and in bathrooms. Also, check mechanical items such as extractor fans. Tenants have to keep the filters clean.

Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and also ensure that any fire extinguishers are serviced when they should be. They should be serviced every 12 months according to BS 5036-6.

You need to check over the condition of any fittings such as toilets and also white goods if supplied with the property, such as fridges and freezers. It is worthwhile to check lofts for any holes, leaks, and even possibly signs of rodents.

You also want to check that the garden is tidy, if there is one. You don’t expect your tenants to be the next Alan Titch marsh, but the garden should at least by presentable neat and maintained.

When it comes to the end of the tenancy, you will need to complete a check-out report, and you might wish to use the app we provide at Reports2Go in order to produce a free checkout report.

You can download this from The App Store or Google Play to your mobile or tablet. It makes producing a free checkout report very simple because you can type up the notes as you go.

Gary, 19 March 2021

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