Property Inspections in Wales
As a landlord, it is best practice to keep an eye on your property through occassional inspections to ensure that tenants are upholding their obligations while you also get the opporunity to see what you can do for them.
Additionally, you should also be keeping all correspondence involving inpections (both before and after) to ensure you are keeping on track of any jobs that need undertaking and so you have a papertrail proving your actions as an active, responsible landlord.
However, there is another reason for you to inspect your property after Rent Smart Wales (RSW) changed their licence conditions as licences issues from 1 July 2020 includes a requirement to carry out inspections on your rented properties after certain intervals.
What does Rent Smart Wales say?
The licensee must ensure that robust management arrangements are in place throughout the period of the licence and in particular ensure that suitably qualified contractors competent in their area of expertise are available to deal with emergencies if / when they arise at the property(s). Emergencies include but are not limited to gas / electric, locksmith and general building issues.
The licensee must ensure that the rental property(s) for which they have management responsibilities are visited at appropriate intervals determined by the licensee, taking into account property condition and tenant risks, while protecting the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, but in any event the minimum routine visit intervals must be:
- Annually for single dwelling tenancies, and shared houses on a single tenancy, with the first routine visit taking place within the first 2-6 months of the tenancy.
- Every 6 months for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and shared houses on separate tenancies, with the first routine visit taking place within the first 2-6 months of the tenancy.
In addition, the licensee must respond to all matters that arise in between routine visits appropriately and in accordance with the licensee’s reporting maintenance procedure and where applicable, the licensee’s complaints procedures. Property visits must be documented, signed and dated by the licensee or appropriately trained user connected to the licence. The licensee must retain the documentation for a minimum period of two years and provide the information to RSW when requested.
Routine Visits are the ideal opportunity to check that the property is free from hazards in accordance with the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) and that it continues to be fit for human habitation. During the visit, you should check that the provision in the property is maintained and identify any maintenance issue which is a hazard or, if left, may become a hazard. This is in addition to any reported repair or maintenance issues the tenant may already have raised previously. The routine visit is also an opportunity to check that the tenancy terms and conditions are being adhered to by the landlord/agent and tenant.
RSW deems that the routine visit is a check of all areas of a property. Licensees must ensure that before/ during and after a tenancy they are complying with all relevant legislation and guidance, including but not limited to the Code of Practice for Licensed Landlords and Agents.
Many landlords will have their own checklist having long inspected their properties on a recurring basis and kept good records. However, with RSW making inpections a licence requirement now, all self-managing landlords with properties in Wales must now undertake the charge or risk being stripped of their licence.
RSW have produced their own template which you can access via the below button, but it is not compulsory to use it. NRLA members and website guests can also access the NRLA's own checklist below
Last Updated: 27/01/2021
See the NRLA's own template to help you keep records of your rental property. NRLA members and website guests only.