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Property managers’ guide to periodic property inspections

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As a property manager, it's a good idea to keep track of the conditions of the properties you look after by scheduling periodic inspections. In this guide, we outline why property inspections are important, everything you should look out for when inspecting, and how to handle these visits in a respectful manner. 

Why should you carry out property inspections?

Property inspections are important as they allow you to assess the condition of your property, record and schedule any maintenance or repair work that may be needed, ensure the tenants are looking after the property and offer them any assistance or advice they might need about living there. 

How often should you carry out property inspections?

You should carry out property inspections before the tenant checks in and after they check out. This will allow you to assess any damages that may have occurred during the tenancy. Keeping thorough records will help to resolve any deposit deduction disagreements more easily. 

You may also want to schedule periodic property inspections within the tenancy itself. The 1988 Housing Act provides landlords with the right to enter their property to view its 'condition and state of repair'. However, the act also protects a tenant's right to live in a property undisturbed for an agreed period of time. Therefore, you should provide at least 24 hours notice for an inspection, ideally in writing. If possible, you should schedule any property inspections even further in advance.

What should you look for in a property inspection?

During a property inspection, your priority should be ensuring that your property is a safe and legally compliant place for your tenants to live. You should assess whether anything needs to be replaced, repaired, or undergo maintenance. You should also check that the tenant isn't breaching any conditions of the tenancy agreement, and check in with them to see if you can resolve any potential problems they might have.

Safety checks

It is your duty as a property manager to ensure that the properties you let are fire-safe, gas-safe, and electrically safe. 

Gas safety

You should have every gas appliance and boiler in the property checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer every year. You should then provide your tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate within 28 days of the annual check being completed.

Fire safety

To ensure the property is fire-safe, you should install smoke alarms on each floor or, if the property is an HMO, in each room. You should also install a carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a stove or fuel burner. At the property inspection, you should test these alarms and make sure they are working properly.

Before the tenancy, you should also ensure that any furniture and furnishings you provide are fire-safe and that all the doors in the property are fire doors. 

Electrical safety

You should get a registered electrician to conduct a professional inspection every five years or as needed. They can then provide you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which you should make available to every tenant before they move in. You also need to ensure the property has an adequate residual current device (RCD) installed to help protect against electrical shocks. You can check that this is functioning properly during your periodic tenancy inspections.

Tenancy breaches

During your property inspections, you should look for evidence that your tenants might be breaching the terms of their tenancy agreement. Be on the lookout for signs of smoking, illegal drug use, sub-letting, or keeping pets without permission. If you do suspect that tenancy breaches may be occurring, ensure that you keep written records of all communication. 


One of the main reasons to carry out a property inspection is to assess any damages and schedule necessary maintenance work. It's a good idea to come prepared with a checklist of items to assess, and inspect whether each item on the list has changed in condition since your last inspection. You should also take photographs of any significant damage or deterioration and date them so you have them on record. This will help make it easier to settle any deposit disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Examples of damages to look out for include:

  • Cracked or damaged walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Broken or malfunctioning appliances, fixtures, and fittings.
  • Signs of excessive wear and tear, such as scuff marks or scratches on surfaces.
  • Damage caused by tenants, such as holes in walls or doors.

Bear in mind that as the property is inhabited during inspections, it will not look the same as on check-in. Tenants are also not responsible for any 'reasonable wear and tear' that may occur during the tenancy.

Damp and mould

Damp and mould can not only damage your property but also pose health risks to your tenants. During your inspection, be on the lookout for:

  • Flaking paint or water stains on walls or ceilings 
  • Musty odours, which can be a sign of damp 
  • Visible mould growth on walls, ceilings, or around windows and doors.
  • Condensation on windows, which can contribute to damp problems if left unchecked.

Addressing damp and mould issues promptly is essential to prevent them from worsening and affecting the habitability of your property. It may involve improving ventilation, repairing leaks, or installing damp-proofing measures.


Water leaks can cause significant damage to your property if left unattended. During your inspection, check for:

  • Leaky faucets, pipes, or water heaters.
  • Water stains or damp patches on walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Signs of water damage around sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
  • Unusual sounds, such as dripping or running water, which may indicate an active leak.

Promptly repairing leaks not only prevents further damage but also helps conserve water and reduce utility costs for both you and your tenants.


Unfortunately, pest infestations do occasionally occur and need to be contained as quickly as possible. Pests such as rodents, insects, and other vermin can not only damage your property but are also unhygienic. Warning signs of pest infestations include:

  • Droppings, nests, or chewed materials indicating the presence of rodents.
  • Signs of insect infestation, such as droppings, shed skins, or visible insects.
  • Damage to property caused by pests, such as gnawed wires or holes in walls.
  • Unusual odours, sounds, or sightings that may indicate a pest problem.

If you discover signs of pests during your inspection, it's essential to take swift action to address the issue. This may involve hiring professional pest control services to tackle the infestation and implement preventive measures to avoid future problems, such as laying traps and blocking entry holes.

Blocked drains

Blocked drains can lead to unpleasant odours, water damage, and sanitation issues if not addressed in good time. Signs of blocked drains to check for could include: 

  • Slow drainage in sinks, showers, or bathtubs.
  • Gurgling noises coming from drains.
  • Water pooling around drains or sewer access points.
  • Foul odours emanating from drains.

Blocked drains can be caused by various factors, including grease buildup, foreign objects, or tree roots invading sewer lines. It's crucial to address any drainage issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the proper functioning of plumbing systems within the property. Consider scheduling regular professional drain maintenance to prevent blockages and maintain optimal drainage.


While tenants are living in the property, you cannot tell them how they should keep their space. However, if you feel that the standard of cleanliness has deteriorated to the point that it may cause issues or attract pests, you can sensitively offer some advice on how to improve it.

Resolving maintenance issues

Conducting thorough property inspections will help you maintain the condition and value of your rental properties. By paying close attention to areas such as damages, damp and mould, leaks, and pests, you can identify and address issues early on, ensuring the comfort and safety of your tenants while protecting your investment for the long term.

For more information and advice, check out our blog on managing property maintenance effectively.


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