Landlords – When did you last visit your rental properties?

As letting agents, we are very much used to carrying out regular property inspections, but when was the last time you visited your own rental properties?

According to the latest TDS stats, property damage is becoming a growing problem for landlords and agents, now accounting for % of all deposit disputes and up 29% over the last four years.

Regular property inspections are crucial to all tenancies, most landlords do not bother to visit their property so long as the rent is being paid, but there are a number of benefits to visiting your tenants to have a catch up and check on your property…

 

PETS

We are a nation of animal lovers, and most tenants will ask to have a family pet.  If you have agreed to this then any potential issues will have been anticipated and prepared for.  However, if a pet is being kept at a property without permission, the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement and any problems may come as a surprise.  By visiting your property regularly, you are able to keep an eye out for any signs of pets.  If a pet is found to be at the property you can discus it with the tenant and then decide whether to allow it to stay, or whether to inform the tenants that the pet is not allowed.

 

SUBLETTING

Subletting without permission is now more common than ever.  As well as breaching their tenancy agreement, by subletting their rented homes tenants are putting you at risk of breaching the terms and conditions of your insurance policies or mortgage conditions.  In some instances subletting can even result in your property being classified as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), which is regulated by the Housing Executive.  If you have an unauthorised HMO, you could be fined up to £20,000.

Without regular inspections on your properties you could find yourself at the centre of neighbour complaints, property damage or even a costly legal battle.  By visiting your property every six months, you can easily spot the signs of subletting and a regular formal presence will also discourage tenants from considering subletting at all.

 

PROACTIVE REPAIRS

By visiting your property regularly you are able to see first-hand the current condition of the property.  Most tenants will report any issues, but occasionally tenants will worry that they may be blamed for problems whilst some tenants may just be too busy with their own lives to report smaller issues in a timely manner.  By carrying out regular inspections, you can action any necessary repairs that may be evident and check for issues such as mould, condensation and broken fixtures.  Remember – it’s always better to operate proactively rather than re-actively!

 

We conduct regular inspections every four months on the properties we manage and give a full written report of our findings, unlike some agents who will visit their managed properties perhaps once per year, or even not at all!

But what if you don’t have an agent to manage your properties, or you simply don’t have the time to conduct the visit yourself.  How can you make sure your property is being well maintained?

Following a growing demand from local landlords we can now conduct a one-off inspection of your property, send you a full written report of our findings and also include the current market rent your property would acheive.  (If you haven’t increased you rent in a while, you might be in for a pleasant surprise!)

 

To discuss this service further, please contact me (Gavin) on 02838 355100 or email me gavin.boyle@orchardlettings.com.  We also offer a free buy to let consultation to anyone who is considering becoming a landlord which aims to provide valuable information on the local lettings market including potential rents, current demands and predicted returns.  Just ask for more details.

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