Conducting a property inspection

Conducting a property inspection
October 14, 2015

An inspection is an extremely important tool used to check a property is being maintained and tenants are fulfilling the terms of a tenancy agreement. An inspection should be carried out at least once every three months, to make sure any maintenance issues are discovered in good time to prevent lasting or costly damage.

Depending on the size of the building, an inspection may be done by one person or several. Protective clothing may be required depending upon the property’s condition or nature of its use. An inventory should be taken along, so that there is a reference point as to the original condition of the property at the beginning of a tenancy agreement, and it can also act as a checklist for the inspection. It’s advisable for a camera to be taken so any issues can be documented. An inspection should be carried out in daylight, so nothing important is missed due to poor visibility.

There are several aspects to be considered, both externally and internally. Outside the property, drainage and guttering systems must be checked, as any damage or misaligning can cause damp inside the property. Door and window locks must be inspected to make sure they are intact and that security is not compromised. The roof must be looked at where possible, to see if there are any cracked or loose tiles, to prevent accidents and further damage occurring. Cracks in brickwork or concrete walls should be closely inspected if present, as this can indicate serious structural problems, such as foundation movement.

Inside, fixtures and fittings should be considered – are there breakages, has damage been caused to walls or floors, is there evidence of damp throughout the property, caused by a visible factor such as a leak? Appliances also need to be checked – do they appear in good condition, is there evidence of damage or anything which could be dangerous?

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have to be present in rented residential and commercial properties in line with regulations, so they need to be checked to make sure there are enough and all are in working order.

If the property is occupied, the terms of the tenancy agreement should be known to the person carrying out the inspection, so if there’s evidence of damage caused by cigarettes or an animal – is smoking indoors or owning a pet permitted? Are responsibilities being fulfilled, such as any routine maintenance duties, like grass cutting? Once the inspection is complete, any required maintenance work can be arranged to restore the property to its original condition.

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