Now is a good time for Landlords to carry out mid-tenancy inspections

by Jason McClean

16:41 PM, 10th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Now is a good time for Landlords to carry out mid-tenancy inspections

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Now is a good time for Landlords to carry out mid-tenancy inspections

mouldLandlords are being urged to carry out mid-tenancy inspections of their rental property, with February being the optimum time to do so, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

This is because it is currently the time of year when many homes will be suffering from mould, generally caused by condensation problems.

Landlords are advised to carry out a mid-terms inspection in the next few weeks in order to spot the problem and stop it from spreading.  “There are many causes of mould, but in rental properties it is generally down to lack of ventilation or the incorrect drying of wet washing,” said a spokesperson for Discount Insurance.

“It can also be caused by blocked guttering and missing roof tiles or on-going leak. The sooner the problem is spotted, the quicker it can be nipped in the bud before it escalates,” added the spokesperson.

HMOs are often more susceptible to mould and damp problems as they have many tenants each doing their own washing and drying, as well as showering, however the problems can also be prevalent in properties with just a single tenant.

The AIIC advises that landlords make sure that any signs of mould build-up are not down to external factors, such as a lack of ventilation or any other problem they could sort out themselves.

If they believe that the problem is being caused by bad living conditions caused by the tenant, then they should inform them in writing of what action to take. “If mould is not dealt with on a regular basis the resulting damage could cause both tenant and landlord a lot of money at the end of a tenancy,” says Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC.

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Comments

Mandy Thomson

13:46 PM, 11th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Sensible advice. Inspections are extremely important, but so also is a full proper inventory done by a professional, before the tenant moves in, on check in (so the tenant signs the property off as acceptable), and the check out.

Some landlords assume that anyone can carry out an inventory, and that inventory providers get money for old rope. However, few inexperienced people will be able to carry out an inventory inspection to the detail necessary, within a reasonable time, as a professional can.

Also, inventory providers who belong to bodies such as the AIIC and APIP are required to have a full knowledge of landlord and tenant and related health and safety legislation, the same as regulated letting agents.

There is an assumption that inventories are simply done to ensure any damage is paid for out of the deposit; however, there is a much more compelling need for an inventory - and that is for the protection of the landlord should a maintenance claim be brought against them by the tenant or local authority (I've seen many landlords go through this with bad tenants).

It also protects good tenants against wrongful accusations of damage.

philip ellis

16:34 PM, 11th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Condensation is a massive problem. I discovered to my horror that a tenant had failed to vent a house and consequently is was ravaged by mould spores. The bathroom was blue, despite there being an extractor with timer that fired with the light. The new tenant has been briefed and I redecorated the bathroom using a new Dulux Anti-fungicidal paint. I have also bought two desiccant dehumidifier (£150 each) for tenants in the last month. One was drying washing on the radiator on cold days. I saw her front windows were running with water when passing and immediately explained the problem, which hopefully has gone away and in the long term I have a delighted tenant and a house protected from on-going mould problems.

Helen (up North)

9:38 AM, 12th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "philip ellis" at "11/02/2016 - 16:34":

Have you considered installing a (PIV) Positive Input Ventilation system? They are more effective, cheaper to run and not much more expensive than a good dehumidifier. It will erradicate condensation completely and black black mould caused by condensation. It can also be hardwired so tenants can't turn it off. A simple but amazing bit of kit, perfect for rental properties. I wish we had known about them a few years ago it would have saved lot of time, grief and money.

philip ellis

17:43 PM, 12th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Thank you Helen.
My electrician actually mentioned this when I discussed the problem with him originally. I should have done it then but needed to act quickly at the time. My next project is going to have exactly as you mentioned. You've persuaded me. Thank you Helen


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