How to keep an eye on your property as a Landlord
There are many areas within your rental property that require frequent checks and the list grows, the larger the property is. Property visits are midterm inspections to check on the maintenance and condition of the property, as well as ensuring nothing untoward is taking place. They occur every three to six months, this ensures that there isn’t a rapid decline in the properties condition.
Arranging and carrying out interim property visits can be quite involved and whether you’ve got a lot of properties, or even just one, it can take up a lot of time planning and conducting the visit.
Ultimately you want to keep your tenant happy, they are your income, yet you also need to make sure that your property is in a good condition, and required repairs are kept to a minimum. (Just think of the potential bill if a midterm inspection isn’t done!)
Arranging a visit to the tenants can turn into a nightmare for a landlord or even a letting agent. This is even further exasperated if the tenants or landlord works a normal 9-5 job; missed phone calls, voicemails and unread or missed emails, you only have so much time to chase up.
As the landlord you may think, ‘well I own the property, I can just go ahead and carry out the inspection anyway’ you would be wrong. You always need your tenant’s permission to enter the property whether you hold the management keys or not. You have to remember it may be your property but it is their home. You can only enter the property in case of emergency, e.g. fire or flood.
If the tenant doesn’t give permission for the visit to go ahead, with either the management keys or themselves present, it can get very frustrating trying to arrange a date that works for both yourself and the tenant, the delicate relationship between a landlord and tenant can get quite strained during this process. Using a third party company allows for independent verification.
So when you have finally arranged the property visit and attend the property, are you sure that you know what to look out for?
Animals or Pets
Pets are generally a very easy spot is the garden dug up? Or pet bowls and toys lurking in corners? But don’t forget to keep your eyes out for smaller critters.
If the property has multiple occupants it can make it harder to spot if there is subletting going on. Quick check; how many toothbrushes are in the bathroom? Or are there a very large number of shoes in the hallway?
Damages and Mould
Then there are the all too common issues associated with properties; do you know the starting signs of mould? How to spot small leaks? Or what cracks in the walls and ceiling are structural?
You will need to check on all of these points and many more in each room of the property, not forgetting the garden, outside of the property and any out buildings. An issue in one room may not be present in another, or the problems may be persistent throughout the property, this can suggest underlying issues.
Don’t forget to check on the condition of your furniture if it is furnished, the costs of replacing furniture can be quite expensive.
A Final Thought
In essence planning and conducting a property visit takes time and a lot of it, the main question is really do you have the time to spare?
At Hinch Property Management we do all of this for you and compile it all into an easy to read Property Visit report with photographs of any issues. We plan, contact and conduct the visits. Giving tenants several dates to choose from allows for less pressure of the tenant to take time off of work. Then our clerks attend the property to carry out the inspection, they know what issues to look out for and all the nooks and crannies that can hide maintenance issues. 48hrs after the report is conducted we will send the report to either the letting agent or landlord. Then in three to six months, the process begins all over again.