All tenants experience regular property inspections. That 3 monthly reminder to have the bathroom sparkling, hide the laundry and frantically tidy and hide messier household items, often causing a late night of preparation- but is it all necessary and why do agents insist on this?
Although it can feel like an assessment of your housekeeping prowess (or lack thereof), there is a good reason for these visits and it may not be the panic-inducing judgement you think.
This is the primary reason for inspections. Throughout your tenancy the house itself is going to need upkeep, things age or break and as a homeowner you would tackle these as they came up. One of the benefits of renting is that this regular maintenance is not your responsibility to pay for or to correct. So, upon walking through your property, we will ask if you have anything that needs attending to. We check ceilings for water damage, taps and pipes for leaks, and ensure all lights are working. A fresh set of eyes will often spot damage which is slow moving and perhaps not noticed by someone in the home every day, for example now uneven paving from tree roots that have grown. It also gives us the chance to check on the quality of previous maintenance to see how repairs where carried out. It is important you report any maintenance as you find it, if it is reported it will be looked into where as if it is found at the tenancy end you may be liable.
“Fair wear and tear” is a highly ambiguous phrase and means something very different to each person. What may be seen as everyday wear for a family with 2 toddlers and a puppy is going to be very different to a single professional.
“‘Fair wear and tear’ describes the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use”
This means if it is worn through standard use this is fine, but damaged through either carelessness or intent is not. The odd chip in a wall, or sun damage to decking is expected. Ring marks on furniture, torn curtains and pen scribbles on walls are actual damage.
Property managers are not coming through to judge if beds are made or floors immaculately mopped. When we check cleanliness, we are once again attending to the maintenance of the house. For example, if a bathroom’s grout is not cleaned it stains and causes permanent damage, or left further can erode waterproofing and allow for major water damage to occur. The breakfast dishes on the sink however, are not hurting anyone. Although it is lovely to come for an inspection to an immaculate home, we are there only to assess upkeep, we understand people live in the home, and it is not a display.
It may be helpful to look on quarterly inspections as a good opportunity to declutter and give your home a spring clean, (read our blogs on tips HERE) hopefully understanding what is being checked as well as the reasons why, will take away some of the pressure and stress associated with your next inspection.