Why you need to perform thorough checks between tenants

by Gary Whittaker

When one tenant moves out, a lot of the focus is put on getting another one into the property as quickly as possible. Ensuring there is a small gap between tenants means the landlord isn't losing out on revenue and that a house can be maintained.

However, too often the rush to get a new tenant moved in results in things slipping and checks not being as thorough as they should be. Not only can this mean that damage isn't spotted, it can also make your new tenants unhappy and reduce their chances of staying in the property past their initial lease.

As long-term lets are the best option for many landlords, letting agents need to make sure a property is completely ready for a new tenant to move in. This means checking every part of the property and completing any repairs that are necessary.

Here's why thorough checks between tenants are a must:

Ensures any deposit retained is fair

If damage is caused by the previous tenant, then their deposit can be used to perform necessary repairs. While you need to allow for reasonable wear and tear, if problems haven't been reported or have been addressed poorly by a previous tenant, their deposit can be used to cover this, rather than repairs coming out of the landlord's pocket.

Just be sure to document any damage that was caused by tenants with photos and to send them a detailed list of what their deposit is covering. You should compare this with any problems they reported when they moved in to ensure you are not charging them for issues that were present at this time or that could have gotten worse due to not previously being addressed.

Reduces new tenant complaints

Having repairs and deep cleaning completed before your new tenants are due to move in will reduce the likelihood that they will have complaints straight off the bat. It also means you can inform them of any issues that will be addressed at a later date and give them a timeframe for this so they don't feel the need to chase you up. 

Even small things like leaking taps or dirty carpets can all add up to increase a new tenant's frustration, especially if they have been told that the property was inspected and everything was fine. If you have performed repairs before the tenants move in, it is also a good idea to let them know what they are so they can keep an eye on any areas that have previously been problematic.

Helps reduce likelihood of large repairs being required

Small problems in a property can easily add up to larger damage and issues that can cost landlords a lot of money to deal with. Spotting the warning signs and addressing them fully, as well as checking anything else they are linked to, can help ensure everything in a property is in full working order and reduce the maintenance bill. 

Spotting that a radiator is leaking, for example, could help to stop any damage to carpets and floors, as well as ensure you check the whole heating system for other leaks that could be a sign of greater problems. Not only does this mean tenants won't be without heating and hot water, it avoids the possibility of having to empty the property or disrupt tenants to perform repairs.

Improves tenant safety

Failing to perform a thorough check once a tenant has left a property could mean it doesn't adhere to safety regulations and could put new tenants at risk, as well as mean you aren't fulfilling your duty as a letting agent. In addition to checking how clean the property is and whether there are any small repairs that need doing, it is vital you check gas lines, plugs, switches, floorboards and fire alarms, along with any other possible safety issues.

You need to be completely sure and have the certifications to prove that a property is safe for tenants, and checking all of this before they move in will cover you and the landlord.

Maintains the property

Performing thorough checks between tenants means you can maintain the property to the highest possible standard. This not only benefits the landlord, it also makes it more attractive to prospective tenants, which can mean the letting process is much simpler and smoother. 

Showing a property to possible tenants when you know it looks its best and you can confirm that everything works as it should, will help increase interest levels and could see it off the market much quicker.

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21-April-17Property Management