Property Inspections

A landlord or letting agent should carry out regular inspections to ensure that a property is being looked after and to keep up to date with any maintenance jobs that may need to be carried out.

Phillip James Letting Agents will conduct an initial inspection after three months (for landlords using our full management service). Provided we are happy with how the property is being looked after, we will then carry out formal inspections every six months thereafter. If we discover any areas of concerns as a result of an inspection, we reserve the right to inspect the property more frequently.

Landlords receive a report of our findings each time we carry out a property inspection.

Maintaining the property

It is important for properties to be maintained properly and for complaints from tenants to be dealt with fairly and quickly.

A tenant cannot demand that a landlord improve a property (by replacing single glazed windows with double glazing for example) but tenants can expect properties to be reasonably maintained. If a tenant feels that a landlord is not maintaining the property properly, they can complain to the environmental health department of the local authority or bring proceedings in the County court. A good letting agent can negotiate with tenants on the landlord's behalf to ensure that a property is properly maintained without unnecessary expense being incurred.

Access to carry out maintenance work at the property should always be agreed with the tenant in order to ensure the landlord is acting within legislation. It is only in extreme cases that landlords or letting agents should access a property without prior notice given to the tenant.

Phillip James Letting Agents use many different contractors with specialisms in all areas of property maintenance. Landlords using our service have access to our approved contractors whose work has been quality-checked and whose prices are guaranteed to be reasonable.

Increasing the rent

In order to make the most of an investment, landlords should ensure that the rent being charged is appropriate to the property and current market conditions.

Once a tenancy has started, it is advisable to make regular increases to ensure that the appropriate market rent is always being charged. This provides the best return on the landlord's investment and ensures that tenants pay a fair amount of rent without having to cope with larger, infrequent increases.

There are three ways of increasing the rent for assured and assured shorthold tenancies:

  • By granting a new fixed term tenancy agreement with a new rent.
  • By increasing the rent in accordance with a rent review clause written into the original agreement.
  • By serving a notice of increase (a section 13 notice). The increased rent can only take effect at the end of a fixed term (if there is one) and at the beginning of a new rent period. Landlords can only serve a notice to increase the rent once each year. If a tenant disagrees with a rent increase, they can apply to a Rent Assessment Committee who will hear evidence from both the landlord and tenant, and issue a decision.

More information on Rent Assessment Committees can be found at