Skip to main content

How to Carry Out a Thorough Rental Property Inspection

It’s natural that all landlords should want to make sure their properties are being looked after and kept in good condition.  

Therefore, it’s important to conduct inspections that are both thorough and in keeping with the law, to help achieve a harmonious relationship between landlord and tenants. 

The main (and most obvious) reason for a property inspection is to check for any new signs of damage or deterioration, so that you can arrange to get things fixed where necessary.  

However, your duties and limitations as a landlord may not be as immediately obvious as just checking for any signs of damage to your property.  

Therefore, we have created an essential guide to help you swiftly conduct your property inspections.  

What Should a Landlord Check When Inspecting a Property? 

As a landlord, you have a duty to make sure your property is legally compliant and a safe place for your tenants to live. You will be looking to see if anything needs repairing or replacing and whether there is anything that might represent a danger to the tenant.  

It’s also a great opportunity to check that the tenant isn’t doing anything that is in breach of the tenancy agreement. As well as this, inspections give you the perfect opportunity to check in with your tenants to make sure they are happy. You can use this opportunity to discuss and resolve any potential issues they might have. 

We’ve separated our inspection check list into three distinct sections to help you: 

  • Statutory inspection checks 
  • Tenancy breaches 
  • Recording the Property’s Condition.

Statutory Inspection Checks 

The checks in this section are required for health and safety: 

  1. Fire Safety 
  • Test all smoke and CO alarms and replace batteries if necessary 
  • Make sure that escape routes are freely accessible and that the tenant knows where they are 
  • Make sure that all fire doors have clear access and can be opened 
  • Check that all supplied furniture is fire safe. 
  1. Gas Safety 
  • Give the tenant a copy of the gas safety certificate before they move in 
  • Have every gas appliance, boiler and flue checked by a registered engineer annually 
  • Verify the property has hot water and the heating works. 
  1. Electrical Safety 
  • Have a registered electrician carry out a professional check every five years. 

Tenancy Breaches 

  1. Illegal Activity 

Sometimes the signs can be obvious… Drug use can be easy to spot through smell and the paraphernalia used. 

  1. Tenants subletting 

Your tenant might be looking to sublet your property without your knowledge or permission. Subletting can lead to overcrowding which has legal implications. Signs that your property might be being sublet include: 

  • A tenant claiming the people staying there are just guests 
  • Too many beds for the number of tenants. 
  1. Smoking 

Most tenancy agreements ban smoking as it can result in costly repairs which are timing consuming. The smell of cigarettes is easy to detect as it lingers and is hard to cover up. Even harder to hide are nicotine stains or worse burns.  

Remind the tenant that they are ultimately responsible for returning the property in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy. If they don’t, they will have to pay for the damages. 

  1. Undisclosed Pets 

The government have changed their model tenancy agreement, making it easier for landlords and tenants to include well-behaved pets in their tenancy. However, many landlords still object to having a pet. If there is evidence of a pet at the property you should discuss this with your tenant. 

Read Now: Landlord Best Practices: Is it Worth Allowing Pets? 

Recording the Property’s Condition 

  1. Damp and Mould 

Condensation is the most common form of damp in rented properties. It occurs when excess moisture in the air comes into contact with a cold surface, such as a window. This can lead to mould growth and tends to be worse in winter because of the cooler temperatures.  

Mould can represent a serious health hazard. It can be caused by the tenant not using ventilation or heating properly. If that’s the case you should discuss this with the tenant to find solutions. Check for:

  • Flaking paint 
  • Mould spores 
  • Dark patches 
  • Unpleasant musty smells. 
  1. Leaks 

You should conduct a thorough check of all taps and plumbing for leaks and drips. Fix these before they develop into serious issues. 

Burst pipes for instance can cause a great amount of water to flood into the property very quickly. Prevent these by keeping all plumbing in good condition.  

  1. Pest Infestations 

Depending on the rest, both property and health can be at risk with a pest infestation. For this reason, ensure your tenant alerts you regarding any possible infestation as soon as they notice it. 

  1. Cleanliness 

If a lack of cleanliness caused by the tenant is causing damage to the property, you should address it promptly. If you believe the standard of cleanliness is unreasonable you can suggest how it could be improved. 

  1. Blocked Drains 

Blocked drains are usually caused by fat, grease, hair and objects such as wet wipes or sanitary products. Where the tenant is responsible for these, talk to the tenant about their habits and discuss preventative measures. Although drains are the landlord’s statutory responsibility, tenants will be responsible for blockages they have caused.  

How Often Should a Landlord Inspect a Property? 

You don’t want to be constantly popping in on your tenants. Usually, the first couple of visits give you a feel for the tenants and this can determine how often you’ll need to visit. 

However, it may be a good idea when you start the tenancy to agree on an inspection schedule. Quarterly (every three months) is a good amount of time between checks. 

Giving Notice of an Inspection  

Landlord have some rights of access, as per the Housing Act 1988. In accordance with tenant and landlord law, you’re required to give a minimum 24 hours’ notice before you visit, otherwise your tenants are within their legal rights to refuse you entry. 

Can Tenants Refuse Access to the Property? 

Be aware that you must have a genuine reason to ask for access. If you show up unexpectedly, tenants have the right to turn you away. 

Read Now: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do As A Landlord 

Entering the Property in an Emergency 

Landlords can access a rental property in an emergency, without first seeking consent from the tenant. Examples of emergency scenarios include: 

  • Fire or gas leaks 
  • You strongly suspect the tenant is doing something illegal 
  • A neighbour reports a nasty smell of decay and you can’t get hold of the tenant 
  • A neighbour reports water pouring from the ceiling from your flat upstairs 
  • You need to carry out urgent structural repairs to the property. 

Related Articles

If you want to learn more about how to manage your properties and feel you can benefit from Keey’s services, take a look at what we can do for you.  

What You Should Do When Your Airbnb is Damaged

As the host of an Airbnb, there’s no denying that you’ll be wanting to make sure your property is going to be in an acceptable working condition for your guests – especially the beds. Now, you’ll want to have good quality furnishings so that no problems occur during your guests stay. 

Read Now: Advice On Beds at Your Airbnb 

On occasion, you may find that your property has become damaged in some way since your guest’s arrival. This can vary from:

  • Damage to an item, such as a framed picture or a vase.
  • To a part of the property itself, like a wall, stair bannister, or the floor.
  • It can even be an expensive appliance or amenity.

Once you’ve discovered that something along these lines has happened, it’s perfectly acceptable to be unhappy about it. It’s just human nature. The important thing here is how you manage the situation. Obviously, you’ll need to be civil about it, but there are steps you’ll need to take to alleviate the problem. 

Here are five things you’ll need to keep in mind when your property has become damaged. 

Mistakes Can (and Will) Happen 

It’s as simple as that. We all make mistakes. It’s what makes us human. The key thing to take on board with this is to remember that just because a mistake has occurred, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Granted, the damage done may be bothersome when it’s happened, but once the issue has been resolved, will you still have that frustration? No. 

You should also be mindful that your guests may not be as immaculate and careful as you are. Particular guests are clumsier than others, and the hygiene levels of pets may be lower than that of the guests themselves. 

Do you know what type of guests are more likely to be clumsy and have lower levels of hygiene? Pets and children. It’s ultimately up to you to decide who you want to stay at your Airbnb, but you should always consider their likelihood of causing damage.

Read Now: How to Manage Having Pets at your Airbnb

Accept Wear and Tear 

Nothing lasts forever. It’s just a fact. 

Whether that’s the carpet, furniture, appliances, or any accessories you have around the property to make it appear snazzy; you’ll have to replace them eventually. Wear and tear is just a part of life. 

No matter whether your guests speed that wear and tear up, there’s no point in expressing frustration with them. Remember – this may be your property, but it’s not your own home. Even if it was, anger won’t solve anything. 

Collect Evidence for Compensation 

A no-brainer when your property has become damaged is that you’ll want compensation. This is especially true for the repairs that’ll consequently be needed. It would be ideal for you to charge your guests with a security deposit, as you’re more likely to recoup your losses that way. 

However, to receive said compensation, you’ll need to submit a damage claim to Airbnb. It’s not as simple as saying “there’s been damage to my property”. You’ll be needing evidence. As soon as the damage has occurred (or as soon as you’ve noticed it), take photos and record videos, especially in close-up, of the affected area or items. 

You must take notes on the exact order of events, who first noticed the damage (you, the guest, or a friend who’s helping you), and when (date and time). You’re more likely to receive compensation if your evidence is highly detailed. 

Communicate with the Guest 

In a perfect world, if a guest causes any damage, they would speak to you straight away about what happened and would offer to pay you for the repairs. 

But what if they don’t? 

Communicating with your guests is essential, whether they like that or not. As soon as you spot the damage, talk to them about what happened to see if they were aware of it, and ask if they’re willing to pay for the damages. 

You can communicate with them either in person or using the Airbnb platform. If you can’t achieve a satisfactory resolution to the issue and the guest is failing to cooperate with you, then you need to lodge a complaint against them using Airbnb’s resolution centre

Calculate the Costs for Repairs 

Now, it’s all fine and dandy to say that you’ll be wanting compensation for any damage that may have occurred. The real question is how much you think you should be compensated. After all, you’ll be needing money for those repairs, and you’ll want to make sure you have more than enough to pay for it. 

To figure out how much you should be compensated, do the following: 

Once you’ve done this, Airbnb can then determine your eligibility for compensation and how much they will pay for it.

Related Articles

These were just five tips on what to do should your Airbnb property becomes damaged. If you would like some more advice on this topic, contact us at Keey today. 

Discover how much your property could earn you