Mid-Term Inspections For Rentals - What Landlords Need To Know

By Helen Davis

A woman carrying out a mid-term inspection

Landlord Mid-Term Inspections: What are they and why do I need one?

February 12, 2021 Helen Davis 3 Comments

This post was last updated on August 18th, 2021 at 01:18 pm

A mid-term inspection is a formal check of your property during tenancy. It's a useful exercise for both landlords and tenants. Landlords can ensure their property is being well looked after and that the tenancy agreement is being followed, whilst tenants have the opportunity to highlight any issues that might otherwise go a miss.

What is a mid-term inspection?

A mid-term inspection, otherwise known as a property inspection or mid-term report, involves visiting your rental property and making a record of its condition.

The main purpose of the inspection is to confirm that the property is being cared for in a satisfactory manner. It's particularly beneficial during new tenancies, as you can make sure your tenant has settled in well and they have the chance to raise any queries early on.

Your mid-term inspection can be carried out by a professional clerk (similar to an inventory and schedule of condition) or by you, the landlord.

Your clerk will inspect the property in the same way they would during a check-in or check-out and will have your inventory to hand to refer back to.

Book your professional mid-term inspection today.

What does a mid-term report include?

A professional clerk will put together a full mid-term report. This is a written and photographic record of the property's condition. A typical property report includes:

  • Details of the property's overall condition (including walls, floors, windows, doors, gardens and exteriors)
  • The condition of the property's contents (such as any furniture or appliances supplied by the landlord, as well as kitchen and bathroom fittings)
  • A check for any breaches of the tenancy agreement, such as evidence of smoking or pets
  • A check for any required maintenance (such as plumbing, electrics, gas issues or general repairs)

You will be provided with a copy of the report after the inspection. You should keep this document (along with your inventory and relevant property certificates) in a safe and secure place.

How long does a mid-term inspection take? 

A mid-term inspection usually takes around half an hour. It's much shorter than an inventory and schedule of condition. The larger the property, the longer the inspection typically takes.

When should I have a mid-term inspection?

A mid-term inspection is recommended around 3-6 months into a new tenancy. This gives you and your tenant ample time to address any problems early on.

From this point, an inspection once every six months will be sufficient. It's also a good idea to do this just before a tenancy renewal is due.

Why do landlords need mid-term inspections?

A mid-term report, along with an inventory and schedule of condition, and check-out inspection will support your case in any damage-related deposit disputes.

If your tenant returns the property in a poor condition at the end of the tenancy, your professional reports will evidence what has happened.

For example, if your tenant left the property in a significantly unclean state, or any supplied furniture was damaged beyond fair wear and tear, your mid-term report will show the level of deterioration.

If you do find yourself in a damage-related deposit dispute, it is unlikely you will be awarded any dilapidations without inventory or property reports put together by a third-party.

Arrange your mid-term report with a professional inspector today.

Potential deposit disputes aren't the only reason you should organise a mid-tenancy visit. An inspection can help identify minor maintenance issues that could easily turn into major repairs if not fixed as soon as possible.

At no one's fault, some things can simply go unnoticed. You might have a rotten fence or pest infestation at the bottom of the garden, but if it's the winter and your tenant hasn't been out there for two months, no one will know.

There might be areas of the property that your tenant rarely goes into. A spare bedroom or second bathroom that's hardly used could easily develop an unknown mould problem.

It's also a great opportunity for tenants to raise any property issues they are aware of. Generating an honest discussion with your tenant will build your relationship and encourage an open line of communication throughout the tenancy.

On more serious note, mid-term inspections can uncover breaches to your tenancy agreement and possible illegal activity. Serious crimes, such as cannabis farms, can be reported before they cause serious danger to other tenants and the surrounding neighbours.

If you're debating whether to renew with your current tenants or find new ones, carrying out a mid-term inspection can help you make an informed decision.

Do I need a professional inspection or can I do it myself?

Professional third-party inspections and reports are always favoured when it comes to damage-related deposit disputes.

Landlords are not obligated to get a professional clerk and can simply do it themselves. It's a great opportunity to talk to your tenant directly and build rapport – particularly if they are new to the property.

However, this isn't always an option for landlords. Landlords with many properties will struggle to find the time for mid-term inspections – especially if they don't live nearby. Fortunately, a professional clerk can do it for you. They will produce an unbiased and extensively detailed report that will strengthen any damage-related deposit claims.

Book a mid-term inspection with our nationwide network of AIIC-accredited clerks today.

Can I get a mid-term inspection if I haven't got an inventory? 

Yes, you can still carry out a mid-term inspection even if you did not have a formal check-in or inventory at the start of the tenancy.

Your professional clerk will not have an inventory to refer back to during the inspection, but the visit will still be worth it.

We always recommend a professional inventory and schedule of condition to all our landlords, but it's better to at least have a mid-term report, than to not have any formal documentation at all.

When it comes to damage related claims, it's always the ones with inventories and schedule of conditions that are successful. Without one, landlords are rarely awarded the full amount they need to cover the costs, or in some cases they don't get anything at all.

Natalie Deakin, Operations Manager at LettingaProperty.com

Can my tenant refuse a mid-term inspection? 

As a landlord, ongoing maintenance is part of your health and safety responsibility. Carrying out a mid-term inspection falls under this duty of care.

The coronavirus pandemic may mean your tenant is isolating or uncomfortable with visitors. This should be respected and latest health and safety guidelines should be followed.

You or a professional can visit your rental property to perform routine inspections as well as other maintenance services like EICRs and Gas Safety Assessments, but you must inform your tenant beforehand.

Ideally, you should let them know as soon as you've booked it so they can be prepared. You must legally give your tenant at least 24 hours' notice for any property visits.

Can mid-term inspections go ahead during the pandemic?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have confirmed that routine inspections can continue during the national lockdown.

Mid-term inspections can go ahead, but landlords should respect the concerns and caution of their tenants. If your tenant is vulnerable, isolating, or has been in contact with anyone with COVID-19, then no inspections or property visits should go ahead.

Where safe to do so, it is in the best interests of both tenants and landlords to ensure that properties are well maintained, kept in good repair and free from hazards. Latest health and safety guidelines should be followed at all times and face covering should be worn.

Landlords should give tenants plenty of notice and ensure they are totally comfortable with someone visiting their property.

More information on property inspections, maintenance and repairs can be found here: GOV.UK Guidance for Landlords and Tenants: Repairs, Maintenance and Health and Safety.

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I'm a tenant, how can I prepare for a property inspection?

Tenants are expected to treat their rental property in a “tenant-like manner". This simply translates to looking after it keeping it in good condition.

Tenants aren't expected to keep the place spotless. After all, it's their home. However, they are expected to return the property in the condition it was originally let – aside from fair wear and tear. This being said, if you're planning on doing a good ol' spring clean, a mid-term inspection is an ideal time to do so.

It's also a good idea to make a list of any ongoing problem's you've noticed. This could anything that falls under the landlord's responsibility, from a funny noise coming from the boiler, to low water pressure in the kitchen sink.

If you're unsure on whether something is your landlord's responsibility, bring it up anyway and they will be able to confirm. Identifying these things beforehand means you're less likely to forget them and your landlord can make the required arrangements as soon as possible.

Where can I purchase a mid-term inspection?

LettingaProperty.com offer professional mid-term inspection services throughout England, Scotland and Wales. We have a nationwide network of AIIC-accredited clerks that can perform all property inspections – including mid-term reports, inventories and schedule of condition and check-out inspections.

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About Helen Davis

Helen joined LettingaProperty.com in 2020, bringing with her over 14 years of experience in the UK lettings industry. Helen is a fundamental part of our all-important Operations Team and organises tenancy renewals for all our landlords and tenants. Helen's known as the 'font of all lettings knowledge' amongst the team. If you've got a question, you can bet Helen's got the answer!

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