publication date: Jun 4, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
Top Five Reasons why Property Inspections are Essential
It’s easy to think that because your rent is being paid every month, there is no reason for you to worry about checking the property. However, that is a big mistake that has cost landlords dearly! So read our top five reasons why you should always inspect properties on a monthly and quarterly basis.
1. The tenant may have moved someone else in!
It’s easy to do, move into a property as a single person, then meet someone and ask them to move in with you. The problem for you as a landlord is that this ‘new’ person isn’t on the tenancy agreement! So what if the official tenant moves out and the unofficial one stays?
2. What if the tenant is up to something dodgy?
One of the biggest reported crime increases by the police for rented properties is the growth (literally!) of renters who turn a property into a cannabis factory. Make sure this isn’t happening to yours – or that the person is running an illegal business from your address!
3. Ensure the property is being kept clean and tidy
You don’t want to have invested tens of thousands in a property to have tenants trash it! So make sure you check they are treating the property and its fixtures and fittings as well as possible.
4. Make sure the property is in good order
It’s not just the tenant’s responsibility to keep the property in good order, but you also need to. For example, what if there has been a storm and some roof tiles were missing slowly causing serious damp issues; or a pipe/guttering is broken? What if the locks aren’t working properly? Make sure you have a checklist or get the letting agent to ensure the property doesn’t require any maintenance.
5. Check with neighbours that the tenants are behaving OK
It’s important that people either side of the property know you (or your agent) check on property regularly. They don’t want ruffians living next door who have late night parties! So knock on a few doors if you don’t know them already, and give them an emergency number in case they feel the need to call you (or the letting agent) out!
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