Tales of 'Mid Term' Inspections

Zerkalo

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I carry out mid term tenancy inspections for letting agents. I don't really mind doing them as usually the tenants are polite, they expect me and the inspection only takes 10-15 minutes. It's just a case of going into a property and taking a few pics and taking note of housekeeping standards and anything that's broken or gone wrong. I usually say to the tenant, "this is a good chance for you to report anything that's gone wrong", leaving me to just take a few pics and type up a report on the things they tell me and the things I notice.

Yesterday I was sent to a property in Rednall, Birmingham. It was a block of flats. The agent told me a few things to look out for as they'd had complaints from the neighbour and wanted to evict them. He told me not to mention what I was looking for to the tenant, but they involved, smoking cannabis at the property, having a dog, having refurbished the kitchen, poor housekeeping, and an extra girl living at the property.

I rang the intercom and was let in, walked up the stairs and heard the tenant shoeing a dog into a room. When I went in he told me his mate was ill in one of the bedrooms and he didn't want me to go in. I rang the agent and let them know and was told I had to go in anyway. The tenant reluctantly agreed and inside was said dog (it was obvious he had one from the dog bowls and leads littered around everywhere), and also a pile of ripped off cigarette butts and rizla packets on the carpet, indicating cannabs use. The whole property was a state and he had refurbed the kitchen. In the bathroom was girls toiletries indicating there was a girl living there.

So as I'm taking photo's the tenant starts asking me if he's going to get evicted. I didn't want to tell him he was and told him it was just a check on keeping of the property and a chance for any issues to be resolved, but having spoke to the agent afterwards he's going to get evicted.

Now I have just been asked by another agent to do 11 mid term inspections in the Coventry area, they sent me a list of properties and asked me to call the tenants to book them in at my leisure. It's a bit far for me to go as it is, so I've emailed them back asking if they could book them in as I'm not used to doing it that way and don't want to have to spend a few hours calling the tenants to arrange in my calendar. Seems like if I accept to do them, which I have, I'm going to be back and forwards doing these mid term inspections for the next week or so.

The worst time I've had to do mid term inspections was for an agent in Leamington. Usually the tenant is in, and is expecting me as they have been called and confirmed the appointment. This agent just sent an email and gave me a big bunch of sets of management keys and told me to go in. So I was going into properties without knowing if the tenants was a) in or b) expecting me. It turned out, out of about 30 properties, only one tenant was in and she wasn't expecting me, was perturbed that I had keys. Other properties had the odd pet dog inside including a couple of staffies in one house that just lay in bed as I looked around.

I love my job and it gives me a few things to talk about, but booking in my own appointments is one thing I don't really want to do.
 

Geoff P

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Believe you me if you had turned up to a property I had rented without notice and let yourself in there would be hell to pay. You cannot enter a property without the tenant actually letting you in, not even a landlord can enter without informing the tenant he is visiting. Naught boy!!!!!

Tenancy

As a tenant, signing an assured shorthold tenancy agreement gives you the right to ‘quiet enjoyment of your property’. You are paying rent to the landlord for exclusive use as the property as your home and as such you have the right to decide who enters it and when. If a landlord enters your home without permission they are, technically, trespassing, unless they have a court order to allow them otherwise.


Landlords’ right of access

That said, landlords or letting agents do have a right to enter the property to fulfil their legal responsibilities. The Landlord And Tenant Act 1985 allows your landlord access to inspect the property, as long as they have given you at least 24 hours’ notice and that the proposed visit is at a reasonable time.

The landlord should give you notice in writing, stating who will enter the property and why. You are under no obligation to agree to the visit. However, bear in mind that it might be in your best interest to be accommodating – to allow your landlord to maintain the property ensuring it is safe and comfortable to live in – and for the sake of your on-going relationship.
 

Zerkalo

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I won't name the agent that did it that way, but they are a well known agent. The only notice the tenant was given was an email, and to them that was enough. It follows a pattern to me that some of the bigger agents don't give much care to how they do things, whereas smaller agents will not let properties without scruples. That said, the tenant would have became aware an inspection was carried out, if they hadn't seen the email, when they received a copy of my report with pictures attached. I think I would turn down jobs like that in future though.
 

Geoff P

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I won't name the agent that did it that way, but they are a well known agent. The only notice the tenant was given was an email, and to them that was enough. It follows a pattern to me that some of the bigger agents don't give much care to how they do things, whereas smaller agents will not let properties without scruples. That said, the tenant would have became aware an inspection was carried out, if they hadn't seen the email, when they received a copy of my report with pictures attached. I think I would turn down jobs like that in future though.
The tenants, who had seen your report knowing that an inspection had been carried out by you entering with a key, would have every right to report you for trespassing.

Not sure if I should let you incriminate yourself further by leaving this thread open. I will leave that decision to Red Leader.
 

Zerkalo

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The tenants, who had seen your report knowing that an inspection had been carried out by you entering with a key, would have every right to report you for trespassing.
Well if they did, it wouldn't have came back to me, it either would have been the agent or the company I worked for at the time. I don't think you're right on that though, as there was no complaints. An email or written letter suffices.

It's part of the job I do that you have to expect people not to like someone entering 'their' property and going round taking photos of bedrooms etc. But that's part of what I have to do.
 

Zerkalo

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That’s not very exciting, I was expecting a tale of a bored housewife who lured you into the bedroom to examine a problem.....
Not had that yet. It's a fun job otherwise though, easiest I've had.
 

Geoff P

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Well if they did, it wouldn't have came back to me, it either would have been the agent or the company I worked for at the time. I don't think you're right on that though, as there was no complaints. An email or written letter suffices.

It's part of the job I do that you have to expect people not to like someone entering 'their' property and going round taking photos of bedrooms etc. But that's part of what I have to do.
It is not part of the job to enter a property without the tenant agreeing to a date and time for entry, and you definitely cannot enter when they are not in the property.
 

Zerkalo

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It is not part of the job to enter a property without the tenant agreeing to a date and time for entry, and you definitely cannot enter when they are not in the property.
This is what covers it.

That said, landlords or letting agents do have a right to enter the property to fulfil their legal responsibilities.

Letting agents can enter a property so long as sufficient notice is given. I do hundreds of these a year, usually with compliant tenants, but the difference is the agent will call the tenant to arrange a visit.
 

Zerkalo

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I will name the agent and the company I used to work for. Connell's and RGIS. Since working for myself I have not been asked to do any inspections where I haven't spoke to the tenant after a call from the agent. Sometimes I do go into vacant properties but I will have spoken to the tenant first.

Say this happened though, I'm in a property and tenant comes back and is furious, takes the stance that I shouldn't be there and I get attacked. He would have every right to ask me to leave but this could then affect his tenancy. If he attacked me the law would be on my side.

All of this is why I don't want to have to make the initial call to the tenant as I would have to explain if they refused an inspection it could affect their tenancy.
 

mickthechippy

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one of my jobs when working on the refurbishment team for local councils

was to enter the property for a delapidation inspection before the property could be re-let

trust me mush, you need a strong stomach for that,

the tales I could tell
 

Zerkalo

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Dilapidation inspections sound similar to the checkout inspections I do but probably more thorough?

I don't mind doing mid term inspections as most tenants are nice about it, but it can be an unpopular job, the worst I've had is tenants telling me they don't want any photos to be taken. When I worked for RGIS they'd just taken on the Property side of inventories and inspections and were trying to grow the business. I used to get paid for time when I left my house to when I got home (so traffic jams didn't matter) and for fuel. So I was at times being sent to London to do one mid term inspection. I'd get to the flat and the tenant wasn't in so I'd have to drive all the way there and back for nothing. Didn't effect me as I still got paid but did effect the business to the point they stopped it. I had good relationships with a few agents I'd worked for so decided to do start doing it myself.
 

Pompous git

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As I understand it gas boilers have to be inspected/serviced once a year. I was told by a gas safe mush I know that many
tenants ignore the letter to let them in. So what happens then?
 

Zerkalo

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As I understand it gas boilers have to be inspected/serviced once a year. I was told by a gas safe mush I know that many
tenants ignore the letter to let them in. So what happens then?
I should know this but the furthest I got up the property management chain was 'Property Assistant' just doing the clerical stuff. :LOL:
 
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