How are mid-term inspections being carried out since Covid?
Mid-term inspections are important for both tenants and landlords. These reports are a formal check of the property and usually take place during the tenancy at regular intervals.eg. every 3 months. They allow the landlord to see the status of their property and whether the tenant is adhering to the tenancy agreement. For instance, if the tenancy agreement does not allow for roommates or pets, then a mid-term inspection by the landlord can confirm this. In the same way, for the tenant, the mid-term inspection is a good time to raise any issues or concerns they may have with the property. Perhaps there are some minor repairs or issues with neighbours that the tenant wants to have addressed. The mid-term inspection is a good time to discuss such issues directly with the landlord.
Flexibility is key
Covid and lockdowns have unfortunately complicated how mid-term inspections have been carried out. Some tenants may not want non-family members or anyone who is not in their ‘bubble’ walking through their property, especially if they have small children or elderly parents. Whilst landlords should be understanding about such concerns, legally, they do have the right to perform routine inspections of their property, even during a pandemic. Because of their importance, both landlords and tenants should work together as much as possible to try to complete the inspection.
Agree on a mutually suitable time, be flexible and where possible provide alternate dates and times in case of contingency. This is important because many people are working from home or have children that are attending school virtually. Both parties should also agree to wear masks throughout the inspection and avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily. For example, tenants should leave all doors open, so there is no need to open internal or external doors. Also, if either party has Covid symptoms or someone in their vicinity has become sick, they should immediately let the other party know, so the inspection can be rescheduled.
In these difficult and challenging times, both tenants and landlords should be understanding of each other’s situations and work together to find a mutually agreeable solution to successfully complete the mid-term inspection. It is for the benefit of both parties.