10 things to check during a property inspection

Property inspections are an important part of the responsibilities of a landlord, so here are 10 things to check:

1. Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure the property being let is safe to occupy, which includes ensuring smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.

2. Working heating, hot water and lighting

Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord is responsible for keeping installations for the supply of gas, electricity, water and sanitation in good repair and proper working order, including sinks, basins, toilets and baths.

3. Access to escape routes and fire doors

Potential hazards that may block access to escape routes should be evaluated and action should be taken to clear or repair them if necessary.

4. Health and sanitation

Keeping a good eye on plumbing and leaks can avoid costly damage to the property in the long run. Signs of mould or pests can be indicators of health and sanitation hazards and should be noted so that remedial action may be taken.

5. Condition of doors and windows

Check that locks are in working order and that doors and windows operate effectively and do not leak.

6. Condition of fittings and furniture

Damaged or missing inventory items supplied with the property should be recorded, taking photos or videos if possible. Using a property inspection app from a specialist such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can help with the production and management of inventories for property inspections.

7. Illegal or unauthorised activity

Check for signs of illegal activities, unauthorised pets, smoking or subletting within the property.

8. Electrical safety

Ensure the electrics, including any portable appliances supplied with the property, are in a safe condition. Check that plugs, sockets and adaptors supplied with the property comply with current standards.

9. Gas safety

Landlords must have an annual gas safety inspection and a certificate must be given to tenants each year. All appliances, installations, pipework and air vents must also be checked.

10. General condition, including the garden

Assess the condition and cleanliness of the property both inside and out; for example, are any items damaged or missing and is the garden well maintained and clear of rubbish?

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