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Flat still extant - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
Flat still extant
My letting agents inspect 4 times a year, which seems excessive to me.  I have made my peace with this, as it forces me to tidy the place, which is a Good Thing.  Which is what I spent yesterday doing.  The inspection today took approximately 10 seconds - may have been as long as 15.  I don't really have an issue with this - I'm tidying for me, not for them - but it does make me curious as to the purpose of the inspections.  Is it to check I've not installed a fireman's pole or demolished a wall?  It's hard to see that anything less obvious than that would be picked up by it.

I conclude that the most likely reason for the inspections is to ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned 4 times a year.
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karohemd From: karohemd Date: January 15th, 2013 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
From: bibliogirl Date: January 15th, 2013 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Making sure that you've not vanished and installed a cannabis farm. (Seriously...)
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: January 15th, 2013 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. It's hard to see on what basis the letting agent/landlord would be held liable in that case.
atreic From: atreic Date: January 15th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
They might not be liable, but as the entire wall collapsed because of mould, damp and madness they'd be a bit narked at the loss of their asset...
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: January 15th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm assuming you posted that from a phone, but I love the idea of a wall collapsing due to madness. Very Lovecraft.
From: bibliogirl Date: January 15th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd also have to go back and check what it says in the agreement with our mortgage company (I am a BtL landlord). I have a feeling that the mortgage company may expect the property to be regularly inspected (how regularly is "regularly" is another issue, of course) to make sure that it is being kept in good repair. Back in the days when we rented, we definitely had inspections but my recollection is that they were half-yearly rather than quarterly -- but I think our agents inspect quarterly.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: January 15th, 2013 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I can see it being an insurance requirement, since it costs the insurers nothing.
ewx From: ewx Date: January 15th, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
If they knew about it they'd have a problem with s8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. They might be able to persuade a jury they didn't know but why take the risk?
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: January 15th, 2013 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fair point.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: January 15th, 2013 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do note also that friends who rent have previously been told off for not being clean enough when inspected by letting agents. So it seems as though some do use it as an excuse to meddle in the affairs of their tenants. I often wonder how much the landlord cares, and if the agents who do this are just tinpot dictators.
uitlander From: uitlander Date: January 15th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suspect that cleaning and not destroying the property are the primary motives. I expect the world of tenants divides into two halves - those who are harmless, clean at least at the periodicity of the inspections and look after the place and those who see no problem with squalor and will let the place fall apart without any concern as it is not their problem. It is the latter sort of tenant that the agents/landlords worry about.
davywavy From: davywavy Date: January 16th, 2013 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Perfectly reasonable; if untidiness/ uncleanliness gets out of hand, you can get infestations of pests and mold which aren't noticed at early stages.

Very often the landlord/ agent contract will include a requirement that the agent keeps the property in good order, and they'd be in breach if they didn't.
From: pir Date: January 15th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
An excuse to meddle, check the property is clean/isn't being damaged and that there aren't too many people living there, etc.
brinker From: brinker Date: January 15th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
The inspections are for the bad renters, which it sounds like you aren't one so the landlord doesn't bother being very careful about them. Sadly, not all renters are like yours. As the owner of a few houses who rents them out, and being from a family that's done this for decades, I can confirm that the need for inspections, even though we don't do them.

One renter ignored a leak in the bathroom for 2 years. By the time he moved out, the entire floor was ruined and we had to replace it. Something that would have cost about $20 to fix if he'd told us in the beginning ended up costing us thousands of dollars because he couldn't be bothered to pick up a phone and tell us there was a leak. (We asked him about the leak after he moved.)

Another renter locked their dogs in the house for weekends while they were gone (despite the contract stating the dogs weren't allowed in the house, only the back yard and garage.) Three year old carpets (costing thousands of dollars) were ruined because the dog had no other options but to go on the carpet, so he did.... everywhere. (We learned the history from the neighbors after he moved.)

I could regale you with many many more stories, but I'll stop and just say that inspections are intended for the purpose of catching those things and saving the landlords a lot of money.
fractalgeek From: fractalgeek Date: January 15th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I heard of a great case where the tenant removed the entire interior of the flat - including plaster, floor, wiring and joists. All that was left was bare brickwork and a few rafters holding up a water tank.
davywavy From: davywavy Date: January 16th, 2013 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
It's to be sure the tenant is keeping the place in good order and not trashing it. Think of it as protecting the investment.
ar_gemlad From: ar_gemlad Date: January 16th, 2013 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like our letting agents (Spires). They inspect when they remember, or when we ask for something to be fixed. They check the maintenance of the property and don't care about tidyness. Last time they came, I was expecting to be berated about the state of the garden, but instead they said that the garden was looking like it needed sorting, and that they'd send a gardener to sort it! Mind you, I think they know that they're onto a good thing with Templars, as they haven't had to find new tenants for 12 years!
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