Mid-Tenancy Reports are Critical when Letting a Property
If your business is that of operating a lettings agency, or even if you are an estate agent who has a lettings side to your business, one of the many things that you have to do is to care for the properties of your landlords. You may be responsible for their state of repair, depending on the terms of the management service. Or you may be responsible for advising the landlord of a property if anything needs attention and for securing the services of tradespeople to carry out necessary.
Indeed, some landlords may have their own preferred trades contacts, and if that is the case, so be it.
However, you are very likely to be responsible for the various reports on the condition of each property, in the way of check-in reports, mid-tenancy reports, and check-out reports.
Unfortunately, carrying out the various inspections in order to produce these reports for your clients can take up a considerable amount of time, but it is all part of the job. All of these inspections are important, and the check-in report is best done with the new tenant present, as you will well know. When the tenant is present, everybody can agree on the condition of the property and anything that the landlord provides in the way of furniture, carpet, curtains, white goods, and so on. If the tenant is not able to be present, then they must be given a copy of your report and allowed a week or so to confirm it or point out any discrepancies.
All such reports are best when accompanied by a lot of photographs, because even if the tenant is not present, they cannot argue if there is a photograph that is duly time stamped.
Much the same thing applies to check-out reports because the condition of everything will not be exactly the same at check-out as at check-in. Obviously, there will be wear and tear to things such as carpets, sofas, and so on, and these are the responsibility of the landlord, while damage is the responsibility of the tenant.
However, every mid-tenancy report is equally important for several reasons. When you undertake a mid-tenancy report it can become apparent early on in the proceedings whether there is any damage that has been caused by the tenant. Fortunately, the majority of tenants are reasonable individuals and do not set out to cause damage or to hold riotous parties when their guests may do so, but for which they are ultimately responsible.
There are other Reasons too
But there are other reasons why a mid-tenancy report is important, and not the least of them is that it lets you spot anything that needs attention and for one reason or another the tenant has not reported. Damp and mould is something that many tenants just ignore, perhaps because they don’t realise how serious it can be. But these mid-term inspections can sometimes find things that need fixing before they become serious, thus saving a lot of money in the long run if things develop to the point where there is a lot more involved.
There is another benefit, and this is from the tenant’s point of view. The landlord is not allowed to claim for fair wear and tear, of course, but if you take photos on each inspection, it will become apparent over a period of time that it is taking place. This means that there is far less likely to be a dispute at check-out if the landlord has realised that wear and tear has happened, and it is their responsibility to repair or replace.
There is yet a further benefit to interim inspections and that is that it gives you a chance to chat to the tenant and get to know them. If a good tenant feels that they are being looked after, then they are more likely to stay, and that is to the benefit of everyone in the long run.
Gary, 22 October 2021
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