Explained: Types of Inspections

Inspections are a word that can sometimes strike fear into the hearts of both tenants and Agents/Landlords. However, they are a formality that should be carried out in the interest of both parties for different reasons and shouldn’t always be seen as something negative. What should also be known is that there are differences to the types of inspections which are carried out in rental properties for the start, duration and end of a tenancy. Here is a list of a few and the differences between them:

Move In/Move Out

Exactly what it says on the tin, a ‘Move In’ or ‘Move Out’ inspection is something every tenancy should start and end in. This will protect both the tenant and the Landlord if there are any issues that need confronting within the property. 

A ‘Move In’ inspection is at the start of the tenancy to confirm there to the Landlord/Agent that the tenant is happy to move into the property in the condition it is in as well as to note any issues as part of an inventory that a tenant wants noted as present before their tenancy. Then a ‘Move Out’ inspection is for the Landlord/Agent to walk around the property with the tenant and confirm it has been left in the condition it was originally let in and if not so the issue can be spoken about there and then and any costs from a deposit can be discussed upfront. This also protects the tenant as it ensures that they have the opportunity to debate any charges and also get confirmation of whether they will be receiving their full deposit back and can plan financially for their new property.

Seasonal Inspection

This type of inspection is more in the interest of the Landlord/Agent. A seasonal inspection is an opportunity to review the condition of the exterior and interior of the property and identify any urgent or preventative maintenance for the future. This type of inspection will also mean tenants are given the chance to be offered any helpful pointers if they could be doing things different to better take care of the property (e.g. opening windows to ventilate, hanging things on the walls etc.). These types of inspections are only usually twice a year and will be planned in advance with plenty of notice being given to the tenants.

Pre-Move Out

These types of inspections may be used as an alternative to ‘Move Out’ inspections if a property management company is wishing to re-let the property quickly. This is so they can ensure there is no time wasted in turn around maintenance at the end of the current tenant's tenancy agreement. This is extremely beneficial for the Landlord/Agent as It means that they can get ahead and plan any types of repairs or cleaning that will need doing and advise the tenant of this with plenty of time for them to rectify it or be threatened that they will lose their deposit. This is a more unpopular choice with tenants as it means they feel partly interrupted whilst they are packing and organising leaving the current property.

Pre-Management Inspection

This is a type of inspection that a tenant shouldn’t necessarily worry about, especially if they are mid-way through their tenancy. It is a formality for a Landlord if they are choosing to have their property managed by a company. This will be an extremely thorough inspection to allow the company to have a proper knowledge of the condition of the property and everything included within it such as furniture and appliances. This can sometimes happen while a property is vacant if a lot of work needs to be done in order to make the property rent ready.

Drive-By Inspection

The is more of an incognito, unofficial type of inspection which can prove especially useful to a Landlord/Agent if they suspect foul play in their property. By simply driving by a property between the usual seasonal inspections a Landlord/Agent may be able to confirm their suspicions of tenancy violations such as extra people living at the property or unauthorized pets. However, every Landlord/Agent should remember that if they are going to adopt this tactic that they don’t want to disrupt their tenants or invade their privacy. If they do notice any issues that need addressing during this type of inspection, they should notify their tenants formally in writing and offer a solution to the problem.

In conclusion there are several different types of inspections with more than those discussed above. However, they are not something that should be viewed negatively by tenants or Landlords as they ensure that the lines of communication are kept open and the property is kept up to the correct standards avoiding any necessary cost for both parties; whether that be paying out for maintenance that could have been avoided for the Landlord or the tenant losing their deposit.

Disclaimer: Ezylet is not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information shared in the above blog is an opinion based on personal experiences within the property rental sector, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice.