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Property inspections

Published: 16/04/2022

Our London property management team recommend bi-annual property inspections during a tenancy to establish that your tenants are looking after your investment property and are not breaching any conditions relating to, for example, the number of occupants, pets, smokers, etc.
 
An inspection report is vital when checking the tenant's compliance with the terms of the tenancy agreement, particularly concerning cleanliness, neglect, defects, damage, and health and safety issues.
 
Our property managers visit your property at a pre-arranged time to complete an inspection and condition report, documented with supporting photographic evidence. They then report to you, together with any recommendations or conclusions for repair or maintenance work that may be required.
 
Inspections can help catch minor issues before they become major problems resulting in property damage or unexpected costs.
 
What we are looking for:
 
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors 
 
Safety first! We ensure these devices are in proper working order.
 
Heating and Hot Water
 
We verify the property has hot water and that the heating works. We carry out a visual check of the boiler and check to see when it was last serviced.
 
Appliances
 

We check all the appliances to see if they work, are in good condition, or need replacing.

Electrics
 

We check the electrics, such as sockets and light fittings, for signs of damage. If there are any issues, we take remedial action as faulty electrics are a significant hazard.
 
Tenancy Breaches
 
Not all tenants stick to their tenancy agreement. Some can ignore the fact you don't permit pets or happily sub-let a room. Property inspections are an opportunity to stop any breaches and take steps to prevent further violations.
 
Smoking
 
If your lease demands a smoke-free environment, it's essential to ensure the tenants are following your requirements, as smoking damage can be expensive to repair, and it's better to catch it early.
 
Pets
 
We check for evidence of pets, i.e., pet hair, scratched doors and skirting boards, and carpet damage at the door threshold. Even if you allowed your tenant to have a pet, it's still a good idea to ensure there aren't any other pets on the property, as more animals increase the wear and tear on the unit.
 
Signs of Illegal Activity
 
We check for the distinctive smell of marijuana and keep an eye out for drug-taking paraphernalia.
 
Sub-letting
 
We look for signs of other people living in the property; extra mattresses, pillows, and bedding are a giveaway.
 
Damp and Mould
 
Damp and mould are among the most significant issues to pay special attention to, as the tenants often disregard them. The reason is that most people underestimate how dangerous a severe mould infestation can be.
 
We check the windows and sinks and pay special attention to rooms prone to moisture, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. We carefully inspect the pipework hidden in kitchen units and ensure that all extractor fans work – this will help prevent mould infestations.
 
Leaks
 
Tenants can easily miss slow leaks like dripping taps or running toilets. We check under sinks for any water damage from leaking drain pipes.
 
Pest Infestations
 
We check for cockroaches, fleas, and bedbugs.
 
Poor Cleaning Habits
 
A model tenant looks after their home, but sadly not all tenants are a pillar of virtue regarding hygiene and cleanliness. Suppose your tenant doesn't know what a bottle of bleach is, and the kitchen is piled high with debris. In that case, our property managers will remind them that their deposit will be compromised if industrial cleaners are required when vacating the property.
 
General Wear and Tear or Damage?
 
Rental properties in London suffer higher levels of wear and tear as tenants don't always treat a rental property as well as they would their own. Because of this, fixtures and fittings will need replacing sooner. That's par for the course.
 
We look closely at kitchens and bathrooms, flooring, and furniture if a property is furnished. We make a note of anything that looks worn out or has been damaged.
 
We work through each room in order so we don't inadvertently miss a room. We make a note of the condition of each item on the checklist. Compare its condition to the previous visit. Take photos to act as a visual aid in case of a future dispute.

Report
 
Once we have completed the property inspection, we will discuss the outcome with the tenant. We sign and date your property inspection checklist and ask the tenant to sign and date it too. If repairs or replacements are needed, we inform them of an estimated timescale and ensure access is not a problem.
 
Conclusion
 
Property inspections are the best way to protect your investment. Keeping a regular inspection schedule during the tenancy helps prevent problems and creates a better rental experience for you and your tenants.

If you are a landlord looking for a London lettings agents, call Circa London on 020 3137 7877.