Are Inspections really necessary?
Well if you looked at the lack of inspections some Lettings Agents and private landlords carry out you would certainly think they are not important at all. To the contrary, inspections are a vital aspect of any lettings agents/landlords responsibilities. Primarily, inspections are carried out to make sure that tenants are maintaining the property, that they are following the rules of the tenancy agreement and don't have an undisclosed pet for example. They also offer a great opportunity to spot any maintenance issues before they cause a lot more damage than they would of if it hadn't been detected.
Inspections have now taken on an even greater importance as documented in the recent
Those landlords who think or suspect that their tenants are using the rented properties for criminal activates and do not tell the police will be prosecuted.
The exact phrasing of the new offence is 'Participating in an organised crime group', those landlords found guilty could face up to 5 years in prison. A long time by anyone's imagination. This does not only apply to landlords it is also for any professional that suspects criminal activity and fails to report it to the police. Letting agents be warned.
When this legislation is passed it will mean that lawyers and other professionals will have to be candid about any suspected criminal activity that they hear about, and must pass on the information to the police or face a penal sentence. So one must really ask how well do they know their tenant? how close an eye are they keeping on the property and the going's on inside? We have all heard about the Horror stories where tenants have set up Cannabis farms in their rented property. I'm sure most us think that would never happen to us, well if you don't carry out inspections you are leaving yourself as a prime target
The major concern for landlords is that the defence in court of not being aware of what was happening in their property or professional capacity, will be shot down in flames along with a "no questions asked" attitude. The legislation will state that landlords and professionals will be responsible to make themselves aware of all types of criminal activity operated within "their professional environment" otherwise they should expect to face a custodial sentence.
At Inspire Estate Agents Crawley, we realise the importance of inspections and carry out our first inspection around 6 weeks moving to 3 monthly inspections thereafter. This ensures that your asset is maintained and hopefully keeping you out of trouble with the police!