How often should you inspect a rental property?
As a rule we inspect properties at least twice yearly for Investor service clients, and three times for Home-Owner service level. In addition, we like to meet each landlord at their property once a year for their peace of mind,and to minimise the ‘old friend has changed’ effect. It’s amazing how different a property can look if you have not seen it for a number of years. We also use this as an opportunity to discuss any maintenance needed in person.
If the property is not being maintained properly or mistreated, we will communicate with the tenant and re-inspect. Almost always, this has the desired effect and house-keeping standards improve.
An essential part of our inspection is taking note of any unreported maintenance issues such as an overflow running, a gutter leaking or a missing roof tile. It’s also easy for many tenants to not notice slow burning issues (damp and black spot mould are two classics).
Obviously we can’t predict emergency situations such as break-ins, floods, or fire (this is very rare). But if we do spot any problems at all, however small, we visit as often as necessary to be sure that it is put right; in the most urgent situations we will visit daily – but that is very seldom necessary.
What we can’t do is keep the property under constant vigilance, unlike some well-intentioned neighbours. Brief your neighbours to contact us (not you) if they have any concerns. Invariably, neighbours exaggerate problems and add fuel to the fire. This can seriously jeopardise the tenants’ goodwill.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.