How to carry out a thorough property inspection
Property inspections are a fundamental part of the UK’s private rental market. They provide both letting agents and landlords with the opportunity to assess how the current tenant is treating their home, as well as identify – and take steps to resolve – any potential issues.
Suffice to say, inspections help to guarantee a positive tenancy, while also ensuring that renters are happy and comfortable in the property. That said, carrying out a successful inspection every single time is easier said than done.
Real estate agency Bowson Estates recently shared some tips for conducting inspections that are worthwhile for agents, landlords and tenants. They are:
Arrange a time that’s convenient
First things first: the inspection should be arranged for a time that’s convenient for the person living there. Send an email setting out what you’d like to do and why, and ask the tenant to put forward some suitable days and times. The more informed a tenant feels about the inspection, the happier they will be and the smoother the process is likely to run.
Get the tenant to be there
It may not always be possible, but it will help if the tenant is present for the inspection. That way, you can guide them through the process, explaining each step and why you’re doing it. This will allow you to raise concerns about any damage with them there and then, as well as answer any questions they may have. Ultimately, having the tenant there limits the amount of back and forth later on, guaranteeing a more straightforward inspection.
Make notes and take photos
If you notice any mess or damage that hasn’t been reported by the tenant during the inspection, it’s good practice to make a note and take plenty of pictures. These can serve as evidence should your tenant dispute the findings later on. At this stage, it pays to be open with the tenant; talk over your notes with them and get them to sign at the bottom if they agree with you, which will also help to support your case if there is one.
Once you’ve carried out the inspection, don’t just leave the tenant in the lurch. They might have felt a little anxious during the inspection – like they were put under investigation – and they may think the worst if you don’t get in contact with them. The best thing to do is send an email a couple of days after your visit, listing your findings and giving as much information as possible. Inform them of any issues they need to personally address, or improvements they need to carry out going forward. Remember, a simple “thank you” goes a long way, so let them know that you appreciate their time and cooperation.
A re-cap on the law
As the law states, landlords have a right to inspect their properties or carry out repairs, providing they give tenants a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. However, immediate access maybe possible in emergency situations.
If the inspection flags up repairs that the landlord is responsible for – for instance those related to heating and hot water systems, sanitary fittings and the building’s structure – then the tenant has a right to remain in their home during the repairs.
Quality insurance with Stride
As there’s no guarantee that all tenancies will be straightforward, landlords must make sure they have robust insurance in place. Policies can include things like rent guarantee insurance and legal expenses, should a dispute arise between the tenant and landlord.
If you team up with Stride, you’ll have access to all of our comprehensive insurance cover to offer landlords and tenants. We pride ourselves on our first-class service and quality products, helping you to develop a new income stream and improve the credibility of your letting agency. Get in contact today to find out more.