Landlord inspections can help to reduce the risk of insurance claims by identifying and correcting potential problems before they become major issues. For example, a landlord inspection might identify a loose stair rail, a faulty electrical outlet, or a water leak. By fixing these problems before they cause damage, landlords can reduce the necessity of making a claim on their landlords insurance, which although they may cover the cost of repairs, will inevitably lead to higher premiums and excesses.
In addition, landlord inspections can help to ensure that tenants are complying with the terms of their leases. For example, a landlord inspection might identify a tenant who is smoking on the property or who is running a business that is not allowed in the lease. By taking action to address these issues, landlords can reduce the risk of tenant damage and eviction claims.
Specific Areas of Concern – Water damage
Water damage. By far the greatest cause of damage to properties comes from water, entering the building through problems with the roof, guttering, render, and window frames. Regular checks of these areas will identify where prompt repairs may be needed to prevent further damage to the fabric of the building.
Faulty plumbing and household appliances can also be sources of water damage. In older properties, antiquated pipework and aging solder joints can lead to leaks that may reveal themselves slowly over time or by catastrophic failure. Again, regular inspections and maintenance should minimise these risks.
Seals around baths, sinks, and showers are another potential source of water damage which can be alleviated by a little remedial action in the form of new sealant.
Where there is evidence of damp walls and black mould, it would suggest that the ventilation in the property is not sufficient to cope with the levels of water vapour in the air. While it is almost impossible to eliminate all sources of vapour, we need to breathe, we need to cook, shower, and do laundry, it is possible to provide suitable ventilation in the form of extraction fans, particularly in high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Specific Areas of Concern – Electrical faults
Electrical installations are also of particular interest during these inspections. Loose wiring, broken sockets and light switches, and flickering lights may all be indicative of more substantial problems. Not only should the welfare of the tenants be a priority in such instances, but the future safety of the building itself may be in question.
The inspection would also be a good opportunity to make sure the tenants themselves are not impacting the integrity of the electrical systems by overloading circuits, using too many multiple sockets, or in any way tampering with the wiring.
This inspection would also enable the testing of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are now required to ensure that adequate detectors are properly installed and maintained. It is also incumbent on the landlord to immediately replace any that are found to be faulty. Most deaths due to fires are caused by smoke inhalation, most often when the victims are asleep., so working alarms are vital to ensure the risks of a tenant dying in a fire are at an absolute minimum.
And while any damage to the furnishings or fixtures of the property caused by general wear and tear is rarely an issue for the insurers, the inspection will allow the landlord to keep track of any damage beyond normal wear and tear which would need to be a matter of discussion between the landlord and the tenant. Photographic records of before and after damage may help resolve matters, especially where tenant negligence may be an issue.
Finally, landlord inspections can help to maintain a good relationship with tenants. By showing that they are taking care of the property and that they are responsive to tenant concerns, landlords can build trust with their tenants. This can help to reduce the risk of tenant turnover and claims. It also helps tenants build confidence in their landlords when maintenance issues are quickly resolved.
Overall, landlord inspections can be a valuable tool for reducing the risk of insurance claims. By identifying and correcting potential problems, landlords can help to keep their properties in good condition and their tenants safe.