Landlords responsibilities go beyond checking tenants in and out at the start and end of their agreements. To keep your property in good order throughout the course of the tenancy, and to ensure that your tenants are happy and safe in the property, it is important to carry out periodic inspections. In this guide, NRLA partner Rentguard explain what you need to know about periodic inspections. 

Homematch pride oursevles on comprehensive insecptions.  A good landlord helps tenants know their responsibilities and if you look after your proeprty they are equally more likely to.How can periodic inspections help to keep your property safe? 

Periodic property inspections help you to identify any safety or maintenance issues that may need addressing, as well as assessing how well your tenants are looking after the property. But try not to present it as an examination of their activities or something they should worry about. Inspections should also be an opportunity for your tenants to ask questions or let you know about any issues they are having with the property.

If any issues do arise with your tenants or property, then having suitable landlord insurance in place could help with the costs. You may want to look for a policy that covers risks such as accidental damage by tenants, theft, and water damage.

Read on for guidelines on conducting periodic inspections and what to look out for during your inspection.

How often to perform inspections 

There are no set guidelines for when and how often to perform periodic inspections. It can vary depending on the tenant, the property, and your preference as the landlord.

You may want to perform an inspection relatively soon after the tenants move in, after one month, for example. This lets you check if the tenants are settled in and whether there are any initial issues with the appliances and other aspects of the property.

After this, you might want to avoid performing inspections too regularly as it can come across as being overbearing or even as harassment. A minimum of 3 months in between inspections might be suitable. If your tenants have lived there a while and are generally trustworthy, and if the property itself doesn’t have any major ongoing issues, you may choose to hold inspections only every 6 or 12 months.

Gaining lawful entry to the property 

Unless there is a genuine emergency like a fire or a gas leak, it is unlawful to enter your rental property without giving prior notice and gaining consent from the tenant.

Following the regulations of both The Housing Act 1988 and The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords have the right to enter the property in order to assess its condition, or to make repairs, but they must give at least 24 hours’ notice. It can be better to give notice sooner than this whenever possible in order to give the tenant sufficient time to respond and make arrangements if necessary. The proposed inspection should also be planned for a ‘reasonable time of the day’.

Some landlords choose to plan their inspections for the year in advance so that both parties know when they will be happening. These may even be laid out in the tenancy agreement.

Tenants do have the right to refuse your request to access the property. They may do this simply because they are ill or are not available at the proposed time and would prefer to be present during the inspection. In this case, simply request access at a different date and time, ensuring to still give sufficient notice.

In most cases, you will find that tenants are cooperative. However, if they continue to refuse you access, then it may be because they have something to hide. Regardless, you still cannot access the property without their prior consent, therefore, a court order might be required for you to carry out your inspection if you are still refused entry.

Inspecting inside the property 

Once you’ve entered the property while respecting both the law and the tenants’ privacy, here are some examples of what to check for.


Check the building, furniture (if included with the property), fixtures and fittings, appliances, and anything else for noticeable damage that was not present during the previous inspection and has not been reported by the tenant. Inventory photos from the beginning of the agreement can be useful here when assessing the condition of the property.

Appliance condition 

Inspect all appliances to ensure they are in good working condition. Even if tenants have not reported an issue with an appliance, there may be a problem they are not aware of or they may not have reported it due to forgetfulness or not wanting to cause a fuss.

Damp and mould 

Look for signs of damp and mould, especially in areas with lots of moisture like the bathroom, and areas with poor ventilation. If your property has an attic and/or basement, then don’t forget to check these areas.

Plumbing issues 

Check for dripping taps and showerheads. Inspect the pipes and plumbing fixtures for any leaks, and look for signs of hidden leaks that may be apparent on the walls and ceilings. Also check the sink and shower drains for any blockages.


Pest infestations could occur if tenants don’t keep the property clean or if food is regularly left out. If not dealt with, pests can pose a health risk to the tenants. Look for signs of rodents, ants, moths, cockroaches, bed bugs, and other common household pests.

Safety checks 

Landlords have certain safety responsibilities to help provide safe and suitable housing for tenants. Necessary checks can be undertaken during periodic inspections. For example, you can arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to perform an annual gas safety check. You could also check electrical systems, such as sockets and light fittings, and ensure that escape routes remain accessible in case of a fire. Read the government guidance on private renting for more information about your responsibilities as a landlord.

Tenancy breaches 

While periodic inspections are an opportunity to help build a rapport with your tenants, you should still be looking out for breaches of the tenancy agreement. These may include illegal activity taking place in the property or sub-letting a spare room without your permission.

If the tenancy agreement states that smoking and/or pets are not allowed in the property, then check for evidence that either of these terms is being broken. Signs of smoke damage or a lingering smell may give this away, or items such as pet bowls or a litter tray if they secretly own a pet.

Inspecting outside the property 

As well as the home’s interior, you should also check the garden and other outdoor areas. Even if your property doesn’t have a garden, you should still check the condition around the outside of it. Here are some important checks to consider.

Garden maintenance 

Your tenants don’t have to maintain a pristine garden, but if it is particularly overgrown, then it could attract rodents and other pests. Debris left on the lawn could also pose a safety risk. If garden furniture is included with the property, you can check this for significant damage or disrepair.

Roof maintenance 

Inspect the roof for any damage that could either pose a safety risk, such as broken tiles falling off the roof, or cause problems inside the property, such as rainwater coming in through holes in the roof.

Paving and decking 

Check outdoor areas for anything that could be a trip hazard or otherwise pose a safety risk. For example, uneven paving stones or wooden decking that is damaged, uneven, or rotting.

Plumbing issues 

As well as indoor checks, you can also inspect the property outdoors for problems with the plumbing. Check that the gutters aren’t damaged or blocked with leaves and other debris, especially if there are tall trees close to the property. Also, check the outdoor drains for any blockages.

What to do with your findings 

Keep a record of your findings as you conduct your inspection, with accompanying photos if required. It can help to then create a report documenting everything noted during your inspection, even if everything is in good order.

For any problems you did find, you can now take the necessary next steps to resolve them, ensuring that minor issues don’t escalate into something worse. This may involve servicing appliances, repairing any damage, replacing damaged furniture, or handling pest problems.

If you have seen warning signs of future problems, then you may just need to speak to the tenants to advise them on how to take care of the property. This could include emphasising the importance of properly ventilating the bathroom to avoid damp and mould.

If working with an agency, you may choose to have a letting agent perform the inspection for you. In this case, it is important to acquire a written report from the agency.

Ultimately, you want to try and maintain a good relationship with your tenants. This can help to make the periodic inspection process go as smoothly as possible, letting you perform your duties as a landlord while respecting your tenants and keeping their best interests in mind.

Help is at hand – get in touch with Rentguard 

With vast experience handling insurance policies for a wide range of landlords, and with relationships with a number of leading insurers, Rentguard Insurance aims to simplify your insurance arrangements and help to protect your property, its contents, and your liabilities.

Get a quote online or speak to our specialist team on 0333 000 0169.

The sole purpose of this article is to provide information on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Rentguard and National Residential Landlords Association, an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.

National Residential Landlords Association is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909. Rentguard is a trading name of Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited.