Q. I AM a private landlord and I have good tenants so I do not like to bother them but I am due to do an inspection.
What should I be looking at?
A. My top 10 things to check on a property inspection.
1 - Is the house and garden generally clean and tidy throughout?
This is important as a build up of dirt and grime will over time cause damage to the fabric of the building.
2 - Are there any maintenance jobs required?
Obviously it is important as landlord that you are aware of any maintenance issues and that these are dealt with.
Asking your tenants to show you any issues is the quickest and easiest way to identify them.
3 - Are there any up-grade works which you might look at doing in the near future?
If your tenants have been in the property for a number of years, there may be up-grades required in order to maintain the value in you investment property, such as new floors or a new kitchen, or even to up-grade the heating system.
These things need planning ahead and budgeting so it might be worth thinking about what will need doing next and how much it is likely to cost you.
4 - Are there any signs of damp internally?
This is very important.
Damp can cause serious problems to the property and health problems to the tenants.
But be mindful that mould does not always mean damp, black specks in bathrooms and the corner of colder rooms is usually condensation caused by lack of ventilation.
5 - Are the tenants happy there and planning to stay for the foreseeable future?
It is good to ask the question, this information helps you to plan ahead and can help you to resolve any issues which the tenants may be experiencing but not necessarily talking to you about.
6 - Are all their contact details up to date?
Often tenants change their mobile number and or e-mail addresses and forget to tell their landlords.
You may also need these to up-date the deposit scheme registration if thee are any changes to the tenancy.
7 - Have the tenants got all of your up-to-date details, including any emergency contact details?
If your tenants do not have your up-dated details, as well as an emergency contact for you, they may not be able to reach you in an emergency, or if they choose to leave.
This could cause serious problems in the future.
8 - Are all of the windows reasonably clean and functioning properly?
Windows need to be properly maintained otherwise they break down very quickly and are not cheap to replace.
9 - Are the gutters and drains clear and sound?
Blocked gutters and drains are one of the main causes of damp, this can be easily avoided if they are regularly cleared and maintained in good working order.
10 - Are the roof, building and fixings sound visually from the outside?
This is also worth checking, a good inspection of the exterior should tell you if there are any slipped tiles, loose wires, plants where they shouldn’t be, and so on.
Good property management is vital in order to maintain a good working relationship with your tenants and the value in your investment so if you are struggling to keep on top of these things I would advise that you instruct an agent to manage the property for you.
Please continue to send in your letting related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org