Why are Property Inspections so Important?
Inspections are often a nuisance for tenants and can be painful for landlords if the property isn’t being looked after.
We find it scary when landlords speak to us and say:
“I’ve had a really good tenant for the last 2 years who has always paid the rent on time but is leaving next month- can you please list the property please?”
Anyway it turns out that that the landlord has assumed they have a good tenant just because they have paid the rent on time when actually the house has been trashed, the garden is a wilderness or even worse- the property has been turned into a drugs den.
Scruffy or tenants involved in drugs are of course going to pay on time to try and keep their landlords away. They will probably keep quiet and avoid landlords having to visit their property for repairs at all costs.
Aside from this there are a lot of reasons why landlords/agents should perform regular checks on their properties. When we say regular we mean at least once every quarter (more than that could be viewed has harassment by the tenants and less than that will mean small maintenance issues not reported which could escalate and become big issues).
Inspections allow landlords/agents to identify small repairs or maintenance and nip them in the bud- often something as simple as a small leak or damp patch can escalate into an expensive job which could be damaging to the property.
If there is a small amount of mould and/or scale build up in a bathroom identified we can speak to tenants early on to keep on top of it. Filled gutters, blocked drains and moss build up can be addressed as this is often something which tenants do not notice and report. Tenants don’t always fail to report things because they are being neglectful, often it’s because they don’t want to come across as a tenant that’s always moaning.
With regards to gaining access you have to be very careful about giving enough notice to go into the property and you HAVE to respect your tenant’s quiet enjoyment under Common Law. If permission is refused and you still go in because you have given 24 hours’ notice then it could be deemed as trespass or harassment. This is why it’s so important to have a good professional relationship with your tenants. Ultimately if a tenant continues to refuse access then you have to ask yourself why- what are they trying to hide? In this instance then it would be very sensible to question whether the tenancy should be extended and a notice to be served.