By Rose Jinks
If you’re a landlord that self-manages your property or uses a let-only service from a letting agent, you should be conducting regular checks of your rental property. If not, or if you’re yet to complete a summer periodic inspection, Just Landlords, the specialist landlord insurer, explains why they’re so important…
Landlords or their letting agents should aim to visit their rental property once every quarter for newer tenancies, and biannually for longer-term tenancies that have been going smoothly so far. This handy guide explains exactly how to complete a periodic inspection and what to look out for.
A change in the seasons is an ideal time to complete an inspection of your property if you haven’t done one recently. This is because certain issues can only become evident at particular times of the year. As summer is now officially underway, this is why you should be planning a visit to your rental:
Address regular maintenance
Your property is more likely to stay in a good condition throughout a tenancy if you conduct regular maintenance throughout your tenant’s stay, rather than allowing issues to pile up (and potentially get worse) until the end.
By undertaking a thorough inspection of your property and having a catch-up with your tenant, you will be able to make a list of the small tasks that need completing now, to avoid them progressing to a much bigger – and more expensive – issue in the future.
What’s more, summer is the perfect time to get these works done, as your tenants may be going on holiday. Ask them about their summer plans and schedule in some maintenance if they’re happy for you to be in the property while they’re away.
Tackle seasonal maintenance
At the same time as looking out for general maintenance tasks, your summer periodic inspection is a great opportunity to identify and tackle season-specific issues.
During a summer check, one of the most obvious things to look at is the garden, which should be in full bloom at this time of year (especially considering the great weather we’re having). Make sure that it is not getting too overgrown and be sure to take photos to include in your inspection report.
Windows and doors – particularly if they’re wooden – can be susceptible to damage over warmer months, so pay extra attention to them during this visit. Additionally, roofs and chimneys can experience cracking at this time of year, so arrange a contractor to come out and check them if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
Set expectations for the end of summer
Once your periodic inspection is complete, you should compile a report of your findings to keep in your records and send to your tenants. This should include a section with your expectations for your tenants ahead of your next visit, with the proposed date.
Although you can go through your expectations with your tenants during the visit, it is worth having this in writing, so that you can clearly prove that you have informed them of their responsibilities.
Unless there are specific issues that you’d like them to resolve, one of the most important expectations to include is how the garden should be maintained over summer. Make sure to make a note that they must cut the plants back before winter and inform them that you will check that they’ve completed their duties during your next visit.
We hope that this advice gives you some pointers ahead of your summer periodic inspection and that you don’t uncover anything too problematic!