Why you need to carry out Interim Inspections of your BTL
When you are a landlord there are many things that you have to do, but one of the most important is your inventory. Yes, you do a check-in and check-out report, but equally important, and possibly more so, are interim reports.
An interim condition report is not the most convenient of jobs for any landlord, but it is one of the most important. So, you should always carry them out. They help you to spot any maintenance issues that may need attention and that have not been reported by the tenant. Equally, they are the perfect opportunity to assess whether your tenants are looking after your property.
How often should you carry out an interim condition report? It depends. Many landlords or letting agents will do them every quarter, but it’s fine to downgrade this to every six months if you have tenants who are following the terms of the tenancy. At the same time, you need to get the balance right between too frequent and just right.
When you want to carry out an interim inspection, the law says that it must be carried out at “reasonable” times of day, and you must give the tenant 24 hours’ notice in writing. Furthermore, if someone other than the landlord or agent is going to carry out the inspection, that person must be authorised in writing.
You can spot Maintenance and Repair issues before they become Serious
One of the main reasons for carrying out an interim inspection is that it provides the opportunity to spot any maintenance or repair issues. While most tenants will report any serious issues, many of them won’t report little ones – that is if they even spot them. The result is that a small issue can develop into a much larger – and much more expensive – one. So, catching these things early can save a landlord a considerable amount of money.
An interim inspection also provides the opportunity to assess the living conditions of your tenants. It also allows you to spot any activities not consistent with the terms of the tenancy. Some of the best paying tenants may have pets, which may be allowed, or more than specified number of tenants.
Another important point about interim inspections is that it also gives you the chance to build up a good relationship with your tenants. Every landlord wants good long-term tenants who pay on time, and if your tenants are happy with their landlord there is less reason for them to pack up and go.
What should you look for in an interim inspection? One of the most important issues can be dampness and mould, because many tenants don’t realise how serious such things can be, and so they just live with it.
Obviously, you need to check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and it is also worth running the taps and checking for any leaks. You also want to check the overall condition of fixtures and fittings, and the condition of the garden if appropriate. Check that drains are not blocked. It is also worth having a quick look around the loft.
Dan, 11 March 2022
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