Mid-Term Inspections or Periodics
By trekproperty, Jul 23 2014 12:36PM
Most tenancy contracts will make provision for a mid-term inspection (periodic) of the property, to be undertaken by either the landlord personally or the landlord's nominated agent. The inspection is important to check that the tenant is maintaining a good standard of cleanliness and that the property is being kept in good condition.
Trek do a fair number of periodic inspections every month and this is more or less the procedure we follow. First, catch your tenant. Ignoring repeated phone calls and SMS messages is fairly standard practice and sometimes the landlord or agent may have to help with setting the appointment day. A tenant must have at least 24hrs notice of the inspection but we try to make appointments a week in advance. Any longer notice will usually result in the tenant forgetting and a new date having to be set!
Secondly it is important to consider the privacy of the tenant. Some clients ask that photos be taken of each room but Trek will only do this with the consent of the tenant, though few tenants object. Obviously damage or maintanence issues will be photographed as a matter of course. But we will not look inside wardrobes and drawers. We will try to exclude family photos from our room shots. And obviously make sure that the tenant or any children do not feature in any image. However I do have a bedroom shot I took without thinking featuring a nude painting of the tenant she had done for her husband's birthday! So all these privacy issues need to be considered. Some tenants request that shoes be removed. Again we are happy to oblige even if that reveals a hole in our sock!!
So what are we looking for? Generally you get an impression of the property the moment you walk in. Most tenants will make an effort to clean and tidy up before we arrive. We do not expect it to be spotless as the property is being lived in. We check that smoke alarms are still present and ask the tenant when they last checked them. We check door and window corners for any build up of mould. We check the sanitary ware for cleanliness. We ask the tenant whether there are any outstanding maintenance issues. We check for signs of over-occupation, pets and smoking. Is the decor unchanged? Is there laundry drying on radiators? Bicycles in bedrooms? Is there any obvious damage? In blocks of flats we ask whether there are any issues with the communal areas or neighbours. Finally we inspect the garden and exterior of the property and note anything that may be of interest to the landlord.
While the tenant is only expected at the end of the tenancy to return the property in the same order as at the start, a periodic inspection will give the client a good idea whether the tenant is keeping to their contractual obligations. Or perhaps the tenant just needs advice on damp management, allowing the agent or landlord opportunity to intervene before a major problem develops.
A periodic inspection is an important part of tenancy management and should not be ignored.