Having a good working relationship with your tenants during a tenancy is important as it means that the experience of buy-to-let is more straightforward.
One of the issues that can cause friction between landlord and tenant is a misunderstanding over the landlord’s right to inspect or view properties that they own.
The rights of both the landlord and the tenant don’t have to be in conflict as you’ll see in our handy guide here (based on information from the Housing Act 1988).
1. A Landlord’s Right of Entry
You have 3 primary rights to enter your rented-out property.
- The right of reasonable access (do you need to gain entry to carry out repairs or due to an emergency?)
- The right to enter to inspect the state of repair of the property/ to empty a fuel slot meter (unlike the former right, this doesn’t mean an immediate right of entry)
- The right of entry to provide room-cleaning services (if this is something you have a previous agreement for and means you don’t need to obtain permission before entering)
These are the only circumstances when you are able to enter the property without a court order.
2. How Much Notice Do You Have To Give?
The Housing Act of 1988 states that you need to give your tenants 24 hours’ notice. Your tenancy agreement should have stipulated that you will only visit at “reasonable times” of the day. From a relational point of view this also makes sense, as you are entering their home and so need to show respect for that.
It’s worth bearing in mind to not visit more than is absolutely necessary as it does cause some inconvenience to your tenant. Also, it’s advisable to ring the bell rather than letting yourself in with a key.
You probably only need to conduct an inspection every quarter or bi-annually.
3. What Should You Look Out For?
Check for any maintenance issues that need to be resolved. Make sure there is no damp or mould and inspect to see if all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
Is the property being looked after by the tenants? If not, this is something you will need to address with them.
Be aware of any illegal activities, such as extra people living in the house, drug dealing etc.
Taking the time to note down any maintenance issues that need to be resolved and being polite, respectful and fair when you conduct your tenancy inspections means that the relationship between you and the tenant is more likely to work well for both parties.
If you are looking for further advice on property investment, take a look at the property mentoring services we provide at Nick Fox Property Mentoring here. We offer a range of mentoring packages to suit all needs.
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