Do I need a survey on a buy to let property?
In some ways it is even more important to have a survey on a buy to let property than one you plan to live in yourself. If you live in a property yourself you will note whether any maintenance works need attending to. If a property is let then you will be relying on the tenant to inform you if any works need attending to. If you employ the services of a letting agent, while they may carry out periodic checks they may not be aware of repairs being required unless the tenant informs them. Some tenants will bring any necessary repairs to your attention but others may not. It is not a risk worth taking.
When instructing a surveyor to carry out a survey on a buy to let property it is a good idea to let them know that you plan to let the property rather than live there yourself. This can then be considered during the inspection.
A survey should reveal whether anything needs attending to before a tenant moves into the property. In most cases it will be necessary to carry out a test on the electrical installation and to service any gas appliances, such as boilers and gas fires.
The survey report will also let you know if there are any other potential hazards including:
- Dangerous wiring.
- Low level glazing and/or large panes of glass which are not safety glass.
- Large opening windows without opening restrictors.
- Windows to upper floors which do not allow escape or rescue in the event of a fire.
- Large gaps to balustrades.
- Lack of a handrail to staircases.
- Lack of smoke detectors.
- Infilled/capped chimneys or flues. A tenant must be aware that any disused chimneys/flues should not be used.
- Loose tiles.
- Inadequate fire door (or lack of a fire door) between the dwelling and any integral garage.