Whereas some landlords choose to rent out their properties with the help of a letting agency, others choose to do it alone. Whilst being a landlord may sound easy, it is more than just collecting rent on the same day each month. As a landlord it is your responsibility to perform several duties, one of which is inspecting your rented property. In this article we will explain the importance of carrying out regular inspections on any properties that you rent out.
Why inspect properties?
Carrying out inspections on your properties is extremely important. Even if you have carried out a strict referencing process to ensure that your tenants are good, responsible people, it is still essential to check on the state of your property every now and then.
Of course, there are the horror stories that get reported in the news of landlords inspecting their properties, only to find they have been turned into a cannabis plantation. Whilst this is not the norm, it is important to check on your tenants to ensure that they are abiding to the rules set out in the tenancy agreement. If they have damaged your property, it is going to cost you money, so you need to make sure that they pay for any damage that is a result of their actions. For example, if you have stated that your tenants cannot smoke inside your property and you find evidence that they have been smoking during your property inspection, you will be able to bring it up with them and will have grounds to evict them if they continue to do so.
Whilst conducting inspections allows you to check that your tenants are taking care of your property, you also have a responsibility to check that your property is still in a viable condition for them to live in it. For example, if things in the house are not working like bathroom taps, cracks are appearing in the ceiling or there is a damp patch on the wall, it is your responsibility as the landlord to get the problems sorted out.
When to inspect properties
It is recommended that landlords carry out inspections on their rented properties on a quarterly basis. That way you can ensure that if there is anything wrong with the property, it gets solved before the issue worsens. It also means that you will be able to check on your tenants more frequently, ensuring that if they do cause damage to your property, it does not go unnoticed.
Things to keep in mind
Landlords must give their tenants at least twenty four hours’ notice before entering their property for inspection. Most landlords give their tenants written notice, stating the date and time they will be visiting the property. If you want to carry out inspections on your rented properties, you should state this in the tenancy agreement.
Some landlords feel embarrassed entering their rented properties to carry out inspections and are therefore put off doing it. By not carrying out inspections you could be putting your property at risk and costing yourself a fortune. If you are uneasy about carrying out your own property inspections, you could always consider working with a letting agent, who will carry out rented property inspections on your behalf.
Whilst it may be a your tenant’s home temporarily, it is important to remember that it is your property they are living in, therefore giving you the right to have an insight into how it is being kept. Providing that you state that you will be carrying out regular inspections of the property in your tenancy agreement and give your tenants at least twenty four hours’ notice of your intent to inspect the property they are living in, the tenants have no grounds to say that you cannot. Carrying out a property inspection is a great way to ensure that the tenants are looking after your property and are abiding to the rules set out in your tenancy agreement.