How often should I inspect my property?
As a landlord, you will want to make sure that your property is in good hands, but you also don’t want to disturb your tenants with too many property inspections.
After all, while this is your property, it is your tenants home and they have the right to privacy. But there will be times when you will need access to the property in order to support your tenant:
Home Emergency Insurance for £130
- ✓ Covered up to £1,000 per emergency
- ✓ £250 for overnight accomodation
- ✓ Call out, labour & parts included
- Moving in. If you have an agent, they’ll be doing this, but if you manage your properties yourself, you can do this yourself or organise a professional check in. However you handle it, When your tenants move in, someone needs to be there to hand over the keys and show them anything they need to know about the property
- Gas Safety Certification. This compliance certificate is a legal requirement and needs to be updated every 12 months, so if you have tenants who are staying longer than a year, you’ll need access to the property to arrange an inspection. While you may not be there to let the contractor in, you will need to arrange access to the property for the inspection. While EPCs and EICRs have longer shelf lives, you will need to update those every 5 and 10 years, you may have to do that during rather than in between tenancies
- Maintenance. If your tenant has an issue with anything in the property, you will need to organise having it fixed. It may be that you can deal with the issue, if you’re bringing over a replacement washing machine, for example. Or, as with the Gas Safety inspection, you may just need to arrange access to the property for a professional
- General inspections. You have no legal right to access the property during the tenancy, but many landlords like to check in on the property and how their tenants are doing. However, you can certainly ask your tenants if you can pop by at a time of their convenience
Do you need to check in on your tenants?
Your tenants are bound to take care of your property by the terms of the tenancy agreement, or forfeit their deposit. So technically, you don’t need to check in on them as you can rest assured that your tenants are taking care of that property and any damage will be taken out of the deposit.
However, it’s understandable that you might want to check in on the state of your property as it’s a huge investment and you want to protect it.
But there here are some ways you can protect your property without bothering your tenants too much:
- Home Emergency Insurance. This insurance will cover your property in the event of any emergency issues, so it’s the best cover you can get to protect your wallet
- Rent Guarantee Insurance. If your tenant defaults on their payment, RGI covers you
What should you check?
How often you visit depends entirely on your tenants and your relationship with them, but it certainly shouldn’t be too often! You don’t want them to think that you are regularly invading their space. Just making sure they feel comfortable contacting you should they have any questions or concerns is a good step in getting ahead of any potential problems.
But when you do visit, what should you check and what questions should you ask?
- Repairs. Now is a good time to ask if there are any little things that they have noticed around the property. For example, there might be a small leak in the bathroom or a crack in one of the walls. Hearing about it now, you can look into sooner rather than later, when it may develop into a much larger problem
- Wear and tear. This is a good time to check on the general condition of the property, so you can see that your tenants are taking care of it. If you aren’t happy with the standard of care, this is something you can raise with them. Be aware, this could be a touchy subject, so be diplomatic in how you approach this!
- Preventative problems. If you notice they are drying clothes inside without ventilation, this can cause mould, so it’s a good idea to flag that to them as it may be that they simply don’t know or don’t know how dangerous mould can be to their health
The main thing to remember is that you and your tenants are working in partnership and that maintaining that partnership with respect to appropriate space and distance is key to making it a successful one!