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According to the English Private Landlord Survey (EPLS), today, there are over 4.4 million privately rented properties in the UK and nearly 60% of all landlords have two or more rental properties.
With regular property inspections, you can safeguard the value of your investment, keep your property safe and compliant, and provide added value to tenants.
This updated property inspection checklist for 2023/2024 can help – but don’t hesitate to get in touch with the expert inspectors at BPS Group to learn more or ask us to help.
Professional Property Inspections: What Landlords Need to Know
Before diving into the areas that should be assessed as part of your inspection, there are some key considerations all landlords should keep in mind.
- You’ll need to give your tenants notice of an inspection – According to the law, tenants are entitled to receive at least 24 hours’ written notice, preferably sent via email or delivered by post. However, it is best practice to give tenants a week’s notice to carry out inspections or repairs.
- Your tenants should know how often to expect inspections – The frequency of standard inspections should be noted in your tenancy agreement. Usually, landlords carry out inspections before a tenant moves in, three months after the property becomes occupied, and then every four or six months, depending on the type of tenants in the property.
- Keep compliant by working with a property manager – One of the duties of property management companies is to carry out inspections in compliance with the law. If you opt to work with a property manager, keep your tenants up to date about what they should expect.
Property Inspection Checklist: What to Cover During Your Property Inspection
From ensuring that your property remains healthy, safe, and liveable to safeguarding your asset from damages, regular property inspections offer many benefits.
Here are the main areas your inspection should cover:
- Health and safety – one of the main reasons to inspect your property is to make sure that it is safe and healthy for your tenants. Health and safety inspections should focus on assessing smoke and CO alarms, electronics and appliances, fire escapes, and systems such as plumbing, heating, and gas.
- The tenant’s behaviour – During your inspection, you should look for evidence of how your tenants maintain and treat your property. In particular, you should look for signs of illegal activity and smoking. You should also look for breaches to the rental agreement, such as the presence of pets and illegal subletting.
- Property damage – Your property building inspection should aim to uncover any signs of damage, as well as general wear and tear, in order to address the tenant’s behaviour and necessary repairs as soon as possible.
- Liveability and hygiene – Regular inspections are necessary to ensure that your property complies with the standards instituted by the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. This means that you’ll need to look for health and hygiene issues such as mildew, mould, water infiltration, dampness, insect infestations, the presence of pests, and poor cleaning habits.
- Maintenance issues – Regular property inspections give your tenants the chance to address any maintenance issues they need resolving, including leaks and blocked drains.
Working with a property inspection specialist. can help you address these areas in depth and make sure that you are not overlooking one or more important aspects of commercial or residential inspections.
Rental Property Inspection: FAQs
- How Often Can a Landlord Inspect a Property in the UK?
The frequency of inspections can vary, but the landlord should specify how often tenants should expect routine assessments in the tenancy agreements. Most tenants carry out inspections before the tenants move in, and then at a frequency of every 3-6 months. Depending on the relationships you have with your tenants, you might limit your visits to once a year.
- How Long Is a Property Inspection Report Valid For?
A property inspection report is a document used to evaluate the conditions of a property at a specific point in time, and it can be valid for several months. However, landlords should be aware that property inspection reports can also be used for immigration purposes and, in this case, they will need to be submitted by the tenants within 3 months from the date of inspection.
- Can Tenants Refuse an Inspection?
Tenants have the right to “quiet enjoyment”, which means that they need to be given at least 24 hours’ notice of a landlord visit and can refuse access, except for emergencies (i.e.: leaks or fire). As a landlord, you should consider rescheduling an inspection to meet your tenants’ needs, and only take legal action if you are repeatedly refused entry. Avoid harassing your tenants to gain access as this can give them leverage in a court case.
Working With a Professional Property Inspector at BPS
Although property inspections are necessary for both landlords and tenants, they can be sensitive projects that are not entirely free of risks. So, if you require assistance to carry out your next property inspection, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a specialist at BPS. Get in touch today to book a consultation.