As landlords, it’s important that we frequently perform inspections.
Inspections don’t just serve to maintain & uphold the quality of your properties.
They also provide Landlords with a great opportunity to connect, conversate & ultimately build a relationship with their tenants too.
So, here’s a brief blog on How to Perform a Property Inspection as a Landlord
What is a Property Inspection
Typically, property inspections are thorough internal and external checks of a residential address to make sure that all is in order.
They usually take around fifteen to twenty minutes to execute and can give you a clear indicator of any repairs or maintenance that your property might require.
It’s important however to be respectful and to make sure you give your tenants the right space when attempting to perform an inspection as usually they can come off as intrusive.
Give plenty of notice before you perform house inspections.
Making sure your tenants know what time and date you’ll be turning up to do the inspection is crucial.
This is so they don’t deem you as intrusive or overbearing.
It’s also important to try and get the tenant to be within the property when you perform the house inspection as usually, they can share any frustrations or potential future repairs that they might have noticed.
Be respectful of your tenant (s) needs
Tenants have varying lifestyles, so it’s important for us to know our tenants before trying to set dates and times for property inspections.
Some tenants have children and won’t appreciate you calling round at 9PM on a Monday night to perform a surprise housing inspection.
Whereas on the other hand, some work night shifts.
You get the point.
It’s worth keeping this in mind as it’s important to keep our relationship with our tenants in good standing if we want long, healthy leases.
Make notes & take photos when doing a real estate inspection
We can’t stress this enough.
Crack in the ceiling that needs repairing? Yellowed ceiling from smoking inside the property?
If (and fingers crossed it doesn’t) a tenancy ever ends on bad terms and goes to small claims court, you’re going to want to have every shrapnel of evidence present.
Not only does it serve as concrete evidence, but it also shows that you’ve done your part and documented molehills before they turned into mountains.
We’ve covered this previously in an interview we did with Tessa Shepperson from LandlordLaw. It’s worth a quick read!
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Giving tenants feedback or criticism
When performing landlord inspections, you’re likely to pick up on one or two bad tenant habits.
On some occasions it might boil down to accidents, like tenants unknowingly blocking fire exits with rubbish.
Whether it’s an accident or a clear tenancy agreement violation, you’re going to want to give documented feedback to show you’ve acted.
Again, there’s nothing more important than making sure that feedback or criticism is logged and stored safely in case of any disputes.
Especially when it boils down to evictions too, as most Section 8 or Section 21 notices are more likely to stick when you can show you’ve done your part and documented it with care.
Hopefully, your tenancies won’t end up in any of the above being served, but it’s always worth taking precautions as without the correct materials you could find yourself in hot water!
Make sure your house inspection is legal and compliant
Consider that the law requires Landlords to provide at least 24 hours’ notice in regard to an unscheduled inspection.
Meaning you can’t just turn up unannounced! Make sure that your property checks are, before anything else, legal.
They also must be performed at a reasonable time of day.
It’s best practice to exercise common courtesy and schedule a property inspection way in advance as lumbering a surprise inspection on a tenant can be overwhelming!
Take a Checklist
Taking a checklist not only helps stay organized, but it can also prevent any oversights that may end up costing you lots of money in the future.
It also means that you know exactly what you’re looking for and don’t have to snoop around for longer than you have to.
Checklists can, once again, be stored to serve as evidence of a property inspection actually taking place.
In most cases, you can actually have tenants sign off to say they’re satisfied with the inspection’s outcome too so there’s no disputes in the future.
Landlord Property Inspection Checklist
We’re giving away a free Landlord Property Inspection Checklist that you can take with you when inspecting a property.
It’s comprehensive, thorough and gives space for tenants to highlight any potential maintenance work they might want to raise with you.
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