There’s a lot that you can learn from checking outside a rental property: any changes on the outside (e.g. pet food bowls, broken down cars, children’s toys, etc.) can indicate changes in the tenancy. What’s more, it is totally legal for the landlord to walk on the land without giving notice. It’s good to keep a close eye on what’s happening inside the property, too, and without doing a full property inspection each time.
But how can you legally check on things inside – without doing a full property inspection?
Even though you are legally entitled to carry out a property inspection every 4 weeks, this is not always practical. Nonetheless, you might still want to see that everything’s OK inside from time to time… how do you do that?
Use maintenance and repair tasks as an opportunity to view the inside
An investment property may need the following work to be completed over a 12-month period:
- An electrician to test the stove and replace an element.
- Plumber to inspect and repair a dripping showerhead.
- Technician to check the poor reception from the Sky satellite dish and the coaxial connection.
- Builder to replace a broken security stay on the lounge window.
Most Property Managers don’t use these opportunities to access the property: they simply ask the contractor to contact the tenant to arrange access. And when the repair is made, the Property Manager won’t physically turn up at the property.
This is a lost opportunity to view the property’s interior!
Four separate maintenance tasks provide 4 additional interior viewing opportunities for the property owner or manager.
This internal viewing opportunity should not be discounted: it immediately lifts the landlord’s access to the property by 100% per year. That is, an increase from 4 official property inspections (carried out every 3 months), to a total of 8 internal viewings.
This gives you a very valuable opportunity to uncover signs of change or problems with the tenancy.
Identifying any problems early on can prevent them from escalating. Any remedial action you take now could save you a lot of time, money and stress.
What’s more, another benefit of accompanying the contractor is that you get to check the standard of their workmanship. You’ll know exactly what’s been done, and will be able to compare that to what they invoice you.
- Interior maintenance jobs provide opportunities for the landlord to inspect some of the property’s interior, without needing to do a full property inspection.
- These additional viewing opportunities give the landlord the chance to identify any potential problems early on, and take corrective action before they become major issues.
- Either accompanying contractors to the property or viewing the completed work later lets landlords inspect the quality of the workmanship.
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