What to prioritise on a property inspection

by Gary Whittaker

Property inspections are often one of the responsibilities a landlord hands over to letting agents, and they are arguably one of the most important. Doing them properly can make the difference between a happy tenant and one with plans to move out as soon as possible, so they can't just be an afterthought.

However, many letting agents miss some of the vital elements of these inspections. Here are the top things you should be watching out for while looking around one of your properties:


Personal safety

Your first priority should be to make sure your tenants are safe. This means your number one task upon inspecting a home should be to check every single point of entry. Do all the doors and windows close and lock securely ' Are there any cracks or obvious weaknesses in any of them?

Of course, break-ins aren't the only thing to prepare against. You should also check that all the smoke alarms are in working order and that there are clear exit points in case of a fire. If you provide your tenants with a fire extinguisher, you should also ensure this is useable.


Basic amenities

The next thing to assess is the temperature. First of all, is it too warm or too cold? If the former, maybe look to see if there are any methods of ventilation you could install. If it's the latter, is the heating working? Of course, your tenants might just prefer a different temperature to you, but it's always worth checking.

You should also make sure the hot water is working while you're on the subject. Then, one thing many letting agents forget is the lighting. You should check each light switch, and maybe take along a few spare bulbs just in case any of them need replacing.


Damp and mould

The bane of many a letting agent's life is mould. This can be unavoidable, especially in some older buildings without adequate ventilation. It might be a pain to deal with, but it can also be hazardous to your tenants' health so it needs tackling straight away. You can get mould cleaning spray from most supermarkets, so take along a bottle just in case.

Make sure you inspect the property thoroughly for it. Mould has a habit of creeping in at the corners of showers or radiators in some homes, so have a quick look all around these. In the long run, it's worth thinking about how to prevent it; sometimes it's simply a matter of clearing out the extractor fan.


Quick fixes

So many little things about a property can be sorted out with a few simple fixes, so it would be foolish to inspect a house without bringing your toolbox along. It might be as easy as oiling a hinge or tightening a screw, but these things can make all the difference to your tenants.

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13-April-17Property Management