How often should your landlord inspect?
While there is no hard and fast rule about landlord inspections, you can usually expect the managing agent or landlord to undertake property inspection at least once per quarter. If, however, you are a tenant living in a house of multiple occupancy – a “house share” to you and me - you can expect the number of visits to rise to one per month as generally the tenancy periods are much shorter in these types of properties and maintenance and safety issues need addressing more swiftly.
With the growing trend of long-term renters and the government trying to encourage three-year rental agreements there will be more and more families and individuals who see their rental property as their home and see inspections from landlords as an invasion of their personal space, but there are benefits for both parties as far as inspections are concerned.
So why do landlords undertake inspections and do they have to provide tenants with notice?
For landlords, ongoing inspections are the only true way to ensure that the property is being well maintained, that there are no issues that would constitute a breach of health and safety laws and they also reassure all parties about the state of the property. Where pet terms are not agreed within the rental agreement, it is often only an ad hoc visit that will shed light on whether any additional furry housemates have been moved in. Also, visits can be useful in developing a rapport between tenants and agents/landlords so if problems do arise they are dealt with and resolved quickly through good communication.
A recent survey* suggests that one in four private rented sector tenants in the UK would keep details of significant damage to the property to themselves but, if found out, most would offer to pay for repairs. Some 27% said that they would wait and see if they needed to pay anything rather than offering to cover the costs of repairs, so as a landlord you need to get past putting your tenants at a minor inconvenience to check against the initial inventory and to monitor and discourage any potentially dishonest behaviour.
In terms of how much notice you need to give prior to a property inspection this really depends on what is stated within the contract. As a general rule, a minimum of 24 hours is generally acceptable, although a week would be preferable to most tenants to give them chance to make sure the property is spick and span. If you are a landlord it’s important you make sure you schedule regular inspections and help the tenant to see that this is not an invasion of privacy but more a way to keep them safe and the property well maintained whilst renting.
A good letting agent can undertake inspections on your behalf. If you would like to talk to us about our managed service packages, contact a member of the lettings team on: 0121 445 7410 or visit our lettings page for more details.
*YouGov research for TheHouseShop