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Why Landlords Should Complete Regular Property Visits

Like most things, deciding how often to visit rental properties as a landlord is a balancing act, with many different factors involved. What all landlords agree on, however, is that it is vitally important to complete these visits. Any prospective or first time landlord should not be shy to go and view their properties every once in a while.

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This can be a daunting prospect however, especially with the many different conflicting considerations that must be taken into account. Here are some words of advice on why you should visit your tenants regularly and what you should do when you’re viewing your property.

Whilst arranging property visits the relationship between yourself and your tenants should always be at the forefront of your mind. You must give at least 48 hours of written notice before viewing the property. Tenants don’t like feeling as though their privacy is being compromised.

That being said, it's clear that property visits are beneficial to both landlords and tenants. For tenants, it means they can regularly air grievances about the property. They can inform you of any problems, such as issues concerning maintenance like damp or loose fittings, or even complaints about neighbours’ behaviour. If a tenant has just moved in, a property visit is the perfect time to explain the workings of the house to them if they are confused or need help, like activating the hot water or understanding the electrics.

Perhaps most importantly, a tenant wants to feel as though their voice will be heard if they have a problem, and that they can trust their landlord. Regular visits shows the tenant that you are willing to go out of your way to help them should problems arise, and that you will be a familiar face.

This works in your favour too. Tenants who feel appreciated by their landlord are less likely to damage the property or make things difficult for you, such as by ignoring the terms of the lease or intentionally breaking them. Many landlords recommend bringing a gift to the tenant during a property visit to improve this relationship—or even invite them for a coffee!

Ultimately however, the property that you are visiting is yours, and it is your money that you must spend on it. It is vital on a property visit to make sure that tenants are respecting your property and are not causing damage that isn’t just incidental wear-and-tear. When visiting a property that has just been moved in to, make sure everything is present from the inventory and that the tenants understand the lease and its terms. Frequent visits will ensure that tenants can’t mislead you over the state of the property or that there is no chance of misremembering the condition of the property and its contents.

This will serve you well in future too, when the flat is due and HMO inspection. Regular and consistent maintenance of things like safety procedures (fire alarms, window locks etc.) as well as the property’ overall condition will mean a lower price tag when things must be updated and renewed. Regular visits also prevent small problems becoming bigger problems—smaller problems can be fixed by you without the need of a specialist. This is all good tenancy management, which will generally make your life easier.

The regularity of your visits is up to you. Seasoned landlords recommend visiting new tenants once every three months, before you have managed to form a relationship with them. Once you know and trust them, these visits can be more sporadic, with the most trusted tenants only needing a visit once every two years.

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Though visiting a tenant may seem a little nerve-wracking, considering the need to balance your relationship with matters of upkeep, they will serve you well and are a vital part of the landlord's role.

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