Property inventory a “how to” guide for property managers
Landlords should conduct property inspections at the beginning of the tenancy, at the end of the tenancy, and at periodic intervals during the tenancy. It is inadvisable to ignore the necessity of regular inspections of your property, not least because you could end up missing a host of serious problems.
Before the tenant moves into a residential property, a professional property inspection verifies the property’s condition. At the beginning of a tenancy, it is crucial to take a proper inventory. It is vital that both tenants can refer to an inventory in case of property damage during the tenancy.
When a tenant moves out, you must conduct a full inspection. The tenant should return the property to its original condition, subject to normal wear and tear, of course. A claim can be made against the security deposit if there is any damage to be repaired.
Carry out inspections often
The Tenancy agreement should specify how often you inspect your property. The norm is to inspect the property annually, but it is wise to inspect the property twice a year or even three times a year for the first year until you are sure that more frequent inspections won’t be necessary. In any case, you are like to be viewed as a nuisance if you visit more frequently.
Tips on property inspection
Good tip: In the first three months after a tenant moves in, schedule a property inspection. Tenants can ask any burning questions they may have, such as how appliances work or where bins should be stored, during this meeting.
A lot will depend on your tenants’ characteristics and your relationship with them in the long run regarding the frequency of property inspections. As soon as your tenants have been living there for more than two years and you are satisfied with their behaviour, you might just want to do an annual inspection.
Uninvited landlords cannot just show up. An inspection of a property must be notified to the tenant in advance.
Give your tenant at least 24 hours’ notice, preferably in writing via email or in a letter mailed or hand-delivered. Ideally, give the tenant at least a week’s notice, in case they need to book a day off work to let you in. Find out why the tenant refuses to allow you access. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable so that you can fit in with their schedule. In case all else fails, remind the tenant that you are checking the property for their safety and habitability.
Send recorded delivery letters if you can’t reach your tenant for an inspection.
Top 3 things you should look at during a property inspection
- Heating and Hot water
Ensure that the heating and hot water are working in the property. Perform a visual inspection of the boiler and other hot water/heating appliances. If you don’t know when it was last serviced, check with a qualified engineer especially if you notice any problems. The best practice is to service boilers annually. In addition to keeping the boiler in good working order, following these steps will ensure the boiler’s safety and will give you a heads up if it needs to be replaced soon
- Smoke Alarms
Test all smoke and CO alarms and replace batteries if necessary.
Make sure the electrics, such as sockets and light fixtures, are in good working order. Is there any sign of damage? If there are any issues, take remedial action immediately. Make sure that electrical checks are carried out in accordance with current legislation.
Finally, make sure you go through each room in order so that you don’t miss anything. Check each item on your checklist to see if it is in good condition. Make a comparison with the previous visit. If a dispute arises in the future, take photos to prove your point visually. Once you have completed this inspection, discuss your findings with the tenant. Make sure you sign and date your property inspection.