Monthly Archives: May 2011

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By Terry Rogers

One way of monitoring the condition of a let property is to visit on a regular basis for a property visit.  This can be an ideal time to discuss any issues that may have arisen or any future plans, but are the visits to keep the property in good condition or just to have a look at what the Tenant is doing?

Always Arrange an Appointment

Any visits by the Landlord or Landlord’s agent should be agreed with the Tenant. Best practice states that agreement should be in writing although in some circumstances, a telephone conversation may be more personal. Whether it is the Landlord or a contractor to carry out repairs, permission should always be sought from the Tenant in order to gain access to the property, even if it is exterior work!

Shouldn’t This Have a Battery?!

The visits should ONLY be to monitor the condition of the property and, if needed, give advice to the Tenant as to how to best look after the property to avoid any damage. For example, maybe mould is developing around a window, you may advise the Tenant to clean it off and keep the room ventilated.

Also, the Landlord should make reasonable steps to ensure that fixtures and appliances are still in working order, such as smoke alarms. The Tenant should always ensure that any battery is working and should test the alarm regularly but if the Landlord tests it themselves on a visit, best advice can be given to the Tenant.

How Often Should I Visit?

There is no real right or wrong answer as to how often a Landlord should visit their rental property, although trying to visit too often could make a Tenant feel harassed. Castle Estates visit fully managed properties on a Landlords behalf around every 3 months or so. This is to keep an eye on any parts of the property that may deteriorate such as bath & sink seals or window frames becoming rotten.  By reporting back to our Landlords, we can carry out preventative maintenance or advise the Tenants on how best to avoid any costs.

But the Dishes Haven’t Been Washed!

Remember, property visits are only to assess the condition of the property and not how a Tenant chooses to live. Everybody lives differently so some people may be tidier than others but whether belongings are left tidy or not is only a matter of opinion. The best way of looking at the difference is that there may be unwashed saucepans left on the kitchen worktop which is fine, but when a hot saucepan has burnt into the worktop, there should be correspondence between the Landlord/Agent and Tenant as this could help to avoid any disputes at the end of a tenancy.