Inspections are essential to check for both normal maintenance issues and to ensure that the tenant is treating the property as they should and no serious neglect is taking place. If a problem is caught quickly, it will not exacerbate and cause a bigger issue with a higher cost to the landlord or tenant. Tenants are notoriously bad at reporting any problems during their tenancy. Since the property is rented, they always seem to think that it’s someone else’s problem.
Landlords should be visiting their properties on a regular basis -“ the general rule is every three months – to carry out maintenance checks and to identify any damage to the property.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said:
A recent case shows how important it is for landlords to make regular checks on their property. A check-out was in progress and it was discovered that there had been a water leak from the bathroom above a kitchen which had caused the ceiling to fall down. The tenant said that the leak had got worse, but hadn’t bothered to report it and a couple of days ago the ceiling had come down. The tenant thought that as they were moving out, this would just be reported at time of check-out. As a result of the tenant’s negligence, they had to pay for a percentage of the ceiling repair.
Time and time again we see maintenance issues and property damage at check-out because of poor communication between the tenant and landlord. Very often the tenant won’t report a problem until it becomes serious and without regular visits from landlords, potential big problems are not sorted.
AIIC has put together some advice on what to look out for when carrying out maintenance checks on rental property:
– Water stains on ceilings and walls, especially in rooms below bathrooms
– Signs of mold spores anywhere in the property, but especially in corners and around windows & on curtains, grouting or bath sealant
– Water damage to flooring or skirting (from either leaks or overflow of bath/shower water)
– Exterior and interior window frames for rotting, flaking etc which could lead to water ingress
– Signs of vermin infestation such as rodent droppings in kitchen cupboards or corners of rooms
– Dripping guttering
– The general condition of the garden -“ check for evidence of rats.