Some tips for Landlords carrying out Property Inspections

If you are a landlord with several properties, one of the jobs that you have to do – among all the others – is to carry out property inspections, or inventories as they are also known. This is to check if everything is in working order and a reasonable state both inside and out. It also gives you the chance to check that your tenants are taking care of things.

Obviously, you will need to carry out an initial inspection when the tenant moves in, and ideally this should be on the same day and with the tenant present. You will need to record everything in the property and its condition so that you can compare it later when the tenant moves out. If the tenant is present, it is good because you can both agree on everything. If the tenant cannot be present at the check-in inspection, you must give them a copy of your report and allow a few days – normally a week – for them to make any comments and record any disagreement.

You may also need to carry out interim inspections for the duration of the tenancy, and these may be quarterly to begin with but reduced to half yearly if you have a tenant who is following the terms of the tenancy.

You have the right to carry out these inspections under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The inspection must be completed at reasonable times of day, and you must give the tenant notice in writing at least 24 hours beforehand. If you are having someone else carry out the inspection, that person must be authorised in writing.

Carrying out mid-term inspections makes sense because it gives you the chance to spot anything which may need attention before it becomes a major issue. Unfortunately, many tenants will fail to report it because they simply don’t notice it. Certainly, most tenants will report a major issue, but a fresh pair of eyes can spot a minor problem and deal with it before it becomes an expensive repair job.

Interim inspections also enable you to assess the tenants’ living conditions, and if they are not taking reasonable care, you may not have immediate grounds to evict, but you may well want to consider whether you want to renew the tenancy at the end of the fixed term. You will also be able to see if a tenant is conducting any l activities outside the terms of the tenancy.

One thing that is often not spotted by tenants is damp and mould. Or if they do notice it, they just live with it because they don’t realise how dangerous it can be. So, you need to check around sinks, basins, baths, and showers. It is also a good idea to run all the taps and check pipework under the sink. In addition, you should check that the drains are not blocked and are flowing properly. Of course, you need to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have provided furnishings, you will also want to make notes of all those too.

Taking all your notes can be time-consuming, so if you have several properties, you can use our free inventory report software which we provide at Reports2Go. You download it free from the App Store or Google Play Store to your phone and you can type up your notes as you go. Our free inventory report software will also give you prompts as you go through the property so that you don’t miss anything out.

When you have completed your inspection, you just upload it to your portal on our server and it will be ready to download a few minutes later. If you prefer, you can use the app in audio mode and dictate your notes instead. Then you upload to your portal, and you can download and type it up later.

Gary, 11 February 2022
Some tips for Landlords carrying out Property Inspections

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