Property inspections

How often should you carry out an inspection of your property? Toby’s friend felt that it was acceptable to just turn up without warning as often as you like. That’s what he’d been told you should be able to do.

Always best to check the legalities though, oh friend! 

Inspections are important; don’t get me wrong. Regular visits are necessary to prevent maintenance issues from having developed into a mess that is big and expensive to fix.

And you have to also keep an eye on the behaviour of your tenants. Are they surreptitiously subletting for instance? Has someone set up a cannabis farm in your loft? Are there pets there when the tenancy agreement stipulates that this is forbidden?

However, once rent is exchanged, your tenant has bought the right to a private life. The property space is “theirs” in the sense that you cannot just blunder in whenever you like. You have to give reasonable notice of an impending visit; say a couple of days. 

Etiquette is that you ring the bell when you arrive on the appointed day rather than letting yourself in. In this day and age, this would be grounds for some sort of harassment gripe!

However, it should not be forgotten that this is actually your property and a reasonable tenant ought to let you wander wherever you like within it. Following you around cautiously and pulling doors quickly shut might just signify a nervous tenant. Or something more sinister. 

Toby had a tenant that would phone and demand an instant response to an issue, that very day! But, as a landlord, whenever he had to arrange a visit for some sort of compliance reasons (like checking the fire extinguishers) from his end, that did not on the face of it directly affect the tenants, arranging a date and time would always be problematic. There was always a reason why he wasn’t allowed to visit. No equal rights on the face of it.

Uncollected, unopened mail piling up at a communal mail box is another alarm bell. What sort of scoundrels are using your address as part of their back story to sign up for credit cards, benefits, who knows what? The fewer visits you carry out, out of complacency or laziness, means you will not pick up on these things. 

Inspections. Do them!

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