Peace of mind for Landlords..
When it comes to letting out a property, there’s a lot to think about when considering the Landlords legal obligations and the importance of tenant safety during the term. Our ever-evolving legal system has, and shall continue to develop, rules to ensure all parties are kept safe and legally coherent as possible when an agreement is being made. From a Landlord’s perspective, documentation such as tenancy agreements help to prohibit possible mistreatment or unlawful letting during the term. Additionally, documents such as safety certificates help keep tenants protected in relation to several factors, these include electrical appliances, gas appliances, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms etc.
The best, and arguably only way, Landlords and agents can protect a property and check it is being treated correctly is by seeing it with their own eyes. This is where the importance of a midterm inspection comes into play. Midterm inspections are an opportunity for the Landlord or letting agent to attend a rented property and assess various factors such as the following;
- How well the tenants are living, i.e has the property been kept to an acceptable living standard?
While tenants may indeed be living there, ultimately the property is the Landlords financial investment and belongs solely to them. It is important inhabitants recognise this and treat the property with respect for the duration of their stay. The clauses drawn into an AST agreement, such as prohibiting tenants from modifying the property without written consent, must be adhered to. Midterm inspections not only encourage tenants to abide by such clauses, but simultaneously highlight circumstances in which they’ve been breached.
- Whether the property is safe / working – i.e, are the smoke alarms still working?
It is against the law to let a property without a working smoke alarm. It is also a legal requirement for smoke alarms to be checked every six months to ensure they still operate correctly. Midterm inspections allow agents to carefully check such devices and practise safe letting.
- Is there any mould on the walls – i.e is the property being properly ventilated?
Long term mould issues can cause significant issues to both tenants and Landlords. Living among such environments can present long term detrimental health effects and have an overall impact on the wellbeing of tenants (something all Landlords should absolutely feel the need to prevent!) Moreover, long term mould has a devastating impact on the quality of structure within a property. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on such matters and in turn, it will avoid costly repair work in the future.
- Potential maintenance works – i.e does the Landlord need to carry out essential works to prevent problems later down the line?
Similar to that of damp, a quick check around the property allows Landlords to be aware of any other potential issues. Perhaps a draining system is hanging loose. In this circumstance, it is much more cost efficient to correct the issue now, rather than wait until a large-scale leak occurs, and a whole kitchen floor needs to be replaced as a result.
- Are the correct amount of people living in the property?
Finally, a midterm inspection allows the agent to ensure the terms of the tenancy agreement are being adhered to regarding who is residing in the property. Circumstances in which multiple people are living in a property where there is no HMO license, and only one named tenant on the agreement, is a criminal offence. It’s important to be vigilant and in turn, this will prevent Landlords being unfairly prosecuted as a consequence.
For our fully managed Landlords, this is included in the service we provide. Please feel free call us if you’d like to discuss the mid-terms inspections further