Residential Landlord spotlight – Quarterly property inspections

Friday, 16 March 2018

If you’re one of our Full Service Residential Landlords, you will already be benefitting from a quarterly property inspections with us as part of your package. As part of this service you will be getting a tenant and property report and we will help you make sure your property remains compliant with all the current legislation.

If you are one of our Part Managed Landlords, or your lettings property or portfolio is with another agent, you might be missing out on some of this vital information that will not only hugely impact your profits as a Landlord, but could also mean your property is not compliant with current legislation.

If you’re non-compliant you run the risk of being prosecuted. This could mean massive fines and sometimes a prison sentence. This might sound like we’re just trying to scare you, but this really isn’t the case, we see Landlords being prosecuted all the time and we don’t want this to happen to you.

What should you be looking for in a quarterly property inspection?

Whether you conduct this yourself or your agent does it on your behalf, it is very important to do some basic checks. You are then able to limit possible future damage and be a responsible Landlord.

Here are the key things to look out for and check:

  1. Proactive maintenance – is there anything that looks like it needs some attention? Maybe a fence is down, the banister is loose, a window seal has gone. Anything you can proactively fix puts you in a good light with your tenant and nurtures a great relationship. It also prevents any bigger issues or accidents happening down the line.
  2. Leaks – can you see any signs of any leaks? Fixing them early will save a lot of time and money in the future.
  3. Wear and tear – Is anything starting to look shabby that needs to be replaced, fixed or redecorated? Also ask yourself if it’s general usage that has caused it or misuse that needs to be addressed.
  4. Seals and guttering – are all the window seals and the guttering performing as they should? Sorting any issues out straightaway will save you lot of money and potential property damage from water or mould.
  5. Pets – are there signs of pets living at the property that you were not aware of?
  6. Compliance – you need to be regularly checking your property to ensure it is safe for your tenants. You also need to document these visits and send the report to your tenant. This will help to protect you as the Landlord if an incident were to happen. The next few points detail what you need to check:
    1. Smoke alarms – during the visit, you need to physically test all the smoke alarms and sensors at the property. If any of them are not working you need to work out why and get them working as soon as possible.
    2. Carbon monoxide sensors and alarms – you also need to check any carbon monoxide sensors and alarms. There are kits you can buy online to help you to do this. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and makes this a very important test to carry out.
    3. Fire safety – also check over any fire safety features to make sure they are working, in date and haven’t already been used.
    4. Over population – you also need to work out how many people are actually living in the property and if the number is as you expected. If it goes over a certain threshold you need to adhere to different property guidelines. This is one of the main publicised factors that Landlords are getting prosecuted for.
  7. Finally, talk to the tenants – make sure you have the correct details for them. You might need to update the tenancy contract or they might need to update the secure deposit account. You need to have the correct details on your files. Also, you can talk to them about the property. Do they have any concerns? Do they know of anything that isn’t working? This is a great way to find out anything that you wouldn’t necessarily spot on a visit.

If you don’t currently have quarterly property inspections and you are not looking to conduct them yourself, give us a call on 01604 823 445 and we can talk you through your options.

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