25 June, 2015
Inspections are a central part of the lettings industry. Agents need to check a property's state of repair before advertising it for let, whilst landlords will want to ensure everything is being well maintained once tenants are found. The residents, meanwhile, can use inspections as a way to raise any questions or concerns.
So what exactly happens during a property inspection? If you're and landlord wanting to know what is checked and how thoroughly, or a tenant wondering where to focus your cleaning efforts ahead of the visit, read on.
Safety and security
Arguably the biggest concern in a property inspection is the safety and security of those who call it home. For this reason, inspectors will check all doors and windows to ensure they are in working order. This doesn't just mean they close and lock efficiently but also open enough to not be problematic in case of a fire.
Locking of doors and windows also has implications for insurance claims. Were there to be a theft, unsecure entrances would not only invalidate the tenant's contents insurance but also the landlord's policy. It might not even get this far, as poor locking may mean tenants aren't able to get cover in the first place.
Another key area of concern is heating. A reliable central heating system won't only make the tenant's life easier and more comfortable but also protect them from such threats as carbon monoxide poisoning.
For this reason, inspectors will ensure the heating is fully operational, poses no threat and has been awarded Gas Safe certification.
Before a tenant moves in, inspectors will ensure any appliances that are left for them (such as washing machines and fridge freezers) are fully operational. This means the tenant gets what they've paid for and are expecting, but also guarantees that any resultant damage is the responsibility of the tenant, should they be returned in a different condition once the tenancy ends.
Whilst not quite as big an issue as some of the above, sealant is a big part of any inspection as it's an area where small problems can quickly escalate if left untouched. For this reason, inspectors will check for mould around kitchens and bathrooms, as well as areas where old sealant may have perished. Any problems can then be fed back to the relevant person, who can take action quickly.
Lastly, inspectors will check the overall cleanliness of a property. Before a tenant moves in, this is to ensure they're not being given a dirty home that needs cleaning up (and that the landlord will expect back in a tidier condition). Mid-way through the tenancy, cleanliness will be monitored to check that tenants are keeping up their end of the bargain and keeping the place tidy.
Property inspections are immensely important, with tenants, landlords and agents all benefitting from having them done regularly. As such, it's worth knowing exactly what is checked to get everyone involved all on the same page.