How to make effective buy-to-let property inspections

Legal considerations before calling in on your tenant

As investment property managers, you can expect us to visit your property on a regular basis (in line with your requirements). These inspections are the primary way in which we monitor how your tenants are treating your buy-to-let investments. When we make our inspections, we must abide by the right-to-enter rules. Even though our property inspections are discussed in the tenancy agreement, still we must give 24 hours’ notice to the tenant.

In this article, we discuss the three types of inspection we make:

  • Check-in inspection
  • In-tenancy inspections
  • Check-out inspection

The check-in inspection

After we have vetted your tenants and signed the tenancy agreement. We’ll undertake a check-in inspection with the tenant present. During this inspection, we’ll complete a comprehensive property inventory. It helps to avoid the common property inventory mistakes that buy-to-let landlords make.

We do three things during this inspection:

  • Complete a written report, detailing the condition of all items in the buy-to-let property
  • Take photographic evidence
  • Where necessary, take video evidence

All evidence is dated and signed, by the inspector and the tenant. Our dated inventory includes:

  • Names and contact details of the tenant and landlord
  • A list of all fixtures, fittings, other items, and decorative order of the property. We include the condition of all items
  • Meter readings

After the property inventory has been signed and dated, we keep a copy on file and give a copy to the tenant.

In-tenancy inspections

While the tenant is living in your property, we’ll carry out regular inspections at intervals agreed by you. These inspections are the ideal opportunity to assess how the tenant is treating your property. We’ll assess for property damage, and if any maintenance issues need attending to.

We’ll consider the items that are on the check-in inventory, and assess their condition for abnormal wear and tear. Again, this inspection is carried out in the presence of the tenant. It gives us the opportunity to discuss any issues that we uncover.

In most cases, we don’t find any issues. However, if we do, we may request that the tenant makes good for any damage they have caused. We liaise with you first in such an instance.

These inspections are also the perfect opportunity to discover if the tenant has any concerns, and build on our relationship with the tenant. As with the check-in inspection, we and the tenant sign the inspection documentation.

The check-out inspection

When the tenant gives the notice to leave, we’ll talk to them about their responsibilities according to the tenancy agreement. This will include any cleaning stipulated, and that the property vacated in a good condition.

Once more, we’ll undertake the check-out inspection in the presence of the tenant, ticking off each item against the check-in inventory. We compare against the original inventory, using photographic and video evidence. Working this way, we assess each item and discuss issues with the tenant.

Where we believe that wear and tear are more than what would be considered reasonable, we’ll let the tenant know why. We’ll explain that there may be a deduction made from the tenant’s deposit to pay for excessive wear and tear, any cleaning or redecoration that is required, and the replacement of damaged items.

In summary

Undertaking a strategy of systematic property inspections as above allows us to monitor your property and your tenants. It also helps us to reinforce the responsibilities of both parties, reiterating our relationship in which landlord and tenant work hand-in-hand. In short, property inspections are part and parcel of good investment property management.

Contact Ezytrac today on +44  1522  503  717, and discover how we foster great relationships with your tenants. Relationships that help us manage your property, rental finances and tenants effectively and efficiently.

Yours in effortless property management,

Karen Nicholson

About the Author:

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Ezytrac. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids. Brett holds both the Level 3 Property Mark Qualifications for Property Sales and Property Lettings and Management.