The importance of rental inspections

From Robert Ulph on December 8, 2021

When you rent out your property, of course you want the peace of mind that it is being kept in good order by your tenants and inspections are the way to keep on top of that. This is an area that surprisingly though, landlords who manage their property themselves often fail to do.  If rent is being paid on time and the tenants aren’t raising any issues around repairs or problems, the landlord may see no reason to visit.

However unfortunately we do see what can happen when landlords don’t inspect, sometimes over the years of a tenancy and this can mean that what could have been a small job to fix has turned into a costly repair.

This is especially concerning as according to the latest English Housing Survey, published in October for the period 2019-2020, the average length of a tenancy in the private rented sector is now 4.3 years. While this longer tenancy is great news for both landlords and tenants, if inspections are not being carried out over that time, the landlord could be in for a nasty shock when their tenants move on. 

Most tenants will expect inspections to be carried out and if certain procedures are followed, there are rarely any problems with them. Tenants need to be given notice of any inspection and we suggest at least 48 hours’ notice is good practice. In current times obviously coronavirus precautions need to also be considered, especially where any occupants may be self-isolating.

When a property is being managed by an agent, regular inspections should be part of the service and a Propertymark registered agent should be carrying these out every six months. An agent should also send you a full report and photos of the inspection, showing how the property is being looked after as well as highlighting any work that needs addressing. A managing agent will also be able to advise on any work and can arrange for this to be done, with either their own in-house team or through trusted contractors they use or as specified by the landlord. 

Ongoing maintenance support is also part of an agent’s full management service and this could mean the difference between needing to deal with a broken down boiler in the middle of the night or not. At Pennington, as well as the regular inspections to keep on top of any issues, we also provide a practical, online repair reporting facility for tenants to accurately describe any maintenance that is needed so that it is efficiently communicated and managed.

Renting out your property is renting out one of the most expensive assets you own so you want that to be well looked after and maintained to a high standard, helping to maximise your income from it and increase its value. As always, if you would like any further discussion on this or anything else on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.