Full property inspections make up a big part of day to day work for HMO managers. Landlords who manage their own properties often wonder why the quarterly property inspections are even needed as they rely on bi weekly communal property checks by their housekeepers or even tenants themselves.
Unfortunately for them, quarterly inspections of the whole property are essential as they are part of mandatory requirements for all licensed HMO properties as per HMO licensing conditions
Based on my 8 years of experience, I would say that the biggest reason why this is a mandatory requirement is safety.
Even by providing fire safety training to tenants, having regular reminders and emphasizing the importance of it, it is still possible to have a careless person in the property who will ignore all of the safety measures, mostly because of not truly understanding why they are required in a first place.
Therefore, the only way to be truly sure that no fire safety standards are breached is to visit the rooms on regular basis.
Things to look for and things we find most often in tenant rooms:
– Portable heaters, fans, air conditioners.
– Overloaded sockets.
– Not used appliances, chargers, hair dryers left plugged in the sockets when not used.
– Computers left on easily flammable materials whilst being charged (on a bed for example).
– Fire alarms covered with plastic bags.
– Fire doors opened and blocked with door stopper.
– Blocked fire exit with belongings.
What happens if we find any breaches in the property?
– Well if the tenant is in, we request it to be removed straight away and explain why. If the tenant is not in, we would advise to call them and remove the hazard yourself.
– We go through the whole fire safety process again.
– We give them an official written warning.
– We send them a quick YouTube video about fire safety called ,,3 minutes before you die.” It is really easy to understand and shows the danger of fire really well.
– We revisit the room in 1 month to see if no fire safety breach is found. If a breach is found again, we serve official notice for the tenant as the safety is always in first place.
I believe its better safe than sorry!
Property inspections will also help you keep your property well maintained as often tenants might not tell you about the little things like, light bulbs missing, dripping shower hose or mould building up in the room.
If you need any help with your inspections, please feel free to contact us.