4 Most Common Types of Property Inspections

A property inspection is a detailed examination whose primary objective is to determine the condition of the property.

There are many different types of property inspections. 

Each type usually also has a specific purpose, such as determining if any corrective or preventive actions are needed, evaluating the property’s safety, or evaluating its condition prior to being put on the market. 

Thus, each type of property inspection will have a different checklist of parameters to meet its specific purpose.

If you're a company that runs property inspections, this article will provide you with a guideline on what your inspection template needs to cover for four of the most common types of property inspections performed in the UK.

#1 Landlord Property Inspection

A landlord property inspection can be conducted after a tenancy period has ended or mid-tenancy.

The former can help the landlord evaluate the property’s condition and evaluate the cost of damages, if any. 

This allows the landlord to deduct the cost of damages from the deposit or provides them with official documentation that they can use to file for an insurance claim. 

Conducting a mid-tenancy inspection can be useful for the landlord to identify any maintenance issues. It could also alert the landlord of misbehaving tenants who are damaging the property.

If you’re conducting a property inspection, here’s a guideline of what your inspection template needs to cover:

  1. The structural condition of walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors. Some things to look out for include:
    • Vertical or horizontal cracks on walls
    • Cracked windowpanes 
    • Excessive cracking inside dry walls
    • Sloping, warped, cracked, or uneven floors
    • Gaps between the walls and floors
    • Doors and windows that won’t open or close
    • Diagonal cracks above doorways
    • Doors that are out of alignment
    • Rotting timber
    • Wood inside or outside the house that has small holes
    • Sagging roof

  2. Any superficial damage such as:
    • Scribbles on the wall
    • Nails in the wall
    • Carpet stains
    • Curtain stains

  3. The condition of kitchen cabinets, cabinet fittings, built-in wardrobes, and so on. Some things to look out for include:
    • Broken or missing handles or hinges
    • Water damage
    • Mould, especially in damp areas
    • Damage to the paint or laminate
    • Scratches

  4. The condition of the furnishings and fittings and any significant damage that does not fall under “wear and tear”. These include checking the condition of:
    • Any furniture provided such as sofas, dining table and chairs, beds, and so on.
    • Light fixtures
    • Light switches
    • Plugs
    • Curtains or blinds

  5. The working condition of the heating system and/or air conditioning system. Some things to check include:
    • Does it function well?
    • Are there any broken or missing parts?
    • Is there smoke or a funny smell when turned on?
    • Is there a gas leak?
    • Does the temperature control work?
    • Do the remote controls work?

  6. The working condition of the stove, hood, and oven. Some things to check include:
    • Does it function well?
    • Are there any broken or missing parts?
    • Is there smoke or a funny smell when turned on?

  7. The working condition of any appliances provided, such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, and so on. Some things to check include:
    • Does it function well?
    • Are there any broken or missing parts?
    • Is it leaking?

#2 Environmental Health Property Inspection

An environmental health inspection is a specialised inspection for potential environmental health hazards. This inspection aims to identify anything within a property that might have an adverse impact on health.

The most common health hazards looked for during an environmental health property inspection include asbestos, hazardous substances in the workplace, lead, and legionella.

types of property inspections

If you’re conducting an environmental health property inspection, here’s a guideline of what your inspection template needs to cover:

  1. Guideline for Asbestos
    • Identify the presence, location, and quantity of all asbestos-containing materials. Common items to look for that may contain asbestos include:
      • Textured paint
      • Ceiling tiles
      • Roofing felt and shingles
      • Window putty
      • Recessed lighting
      • Generators
      • Tar paper
      • Spackle
      • Sponge blocks
      • Spray fireproofing
      • Linoleum backing
      • Patching fibre
      • Permaboard
      • Spackle
      • Taping compounds
      • Stone sheathing
    • Are the levels of asbestos within the safe limits drawn out by local regulations?
    • Are they any signs of damage to the asbestos?
    • If the asbestos levels are not within safe limits, then you must recommend that the property owner hire a licensed contractor to remove the asbestos.
    • If the asbestos is not damaged, within safe limits, or cannot be removed safely, then you must recommend that the property owner put in place strict measures that manage and control these risks.
  1. Guideline for hazardous substances in workplaces
  1. Guideline for lead
    • Obtain the property’s entire painting history records, or as much as possible.
    • Follow a systematic visual inspection strategy.
    • Narrow down any suspected locations of lead paint.
    • Take a sample of any suspected locations.
    • Take random samples at different locations, even if they’re not suspected.
    • Collect dust samples.
    • Collect soil samples, if applicable.
    • Send samples to a certified laboratory for lead testing.
    • Prepare a risk assessment and final inspection report based on test results.
  1. Guideline for legionella
    • Check any water storage tanks of the property and ensure they meet the required regulations needed to prevent growth conditions for legionella. Hot water should be stored above 60°C while cold water should be stored below  20°C.
    • Check the temperature of the hot water at the location on the property that is furthest away from the hot water boiler and ensure it is above 60°C.
    • Check the temperature of the hot water at the location on the property that is furthest away from the hot water boiler and ensure it is below 20°C.

#3 Survey and Valuation Property Inspection

When it comes to buying or selling property, whether commercial or residential, a survey and valuation property inspection must be conducted. 

A bank or organisation responsible for mortgage lending purposes will conduct a valuation property inspection to ensure the loan is not over the proper market valuation based on its size, location, condition, and other factors. 

A potential owner would be advised to request a full structural survey to identify any defects or major faults not immediately visible to the naked eye. These faults could range from insect infestations to a leaking roof.

If you’re conducting a property inspection for survey or valuation, here’s a guideline of what your inspection template needs to cover:

  1. The structural condition of walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors.
  2. The working order of interior plumbing and electrical systems.
  3. The condition of the roof and rain gutters.
  4. The condition of the attic, including visible insulation.
  5. The condition of the basement.
  6. The condition of the foundation.
  7. Any superficial damage such as scribbles on the wall, nails in the wall, or carpet stains.
  8. The condition of kitchen cabinets, cabinet fittings, built-in wardrobes, and so on.
  9. The condition of the furnishings and fittings and any significant damage that does not fall under “wear and tear”.
  10. The working condition of the heating system and/or air conditioning system.
  11. The working condition of the stove, hood, and oven.
  12. The working condition of any appliances provided, such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, and so on.
  13. Location factors that can affect valuation, such as the nearest school, highway access, and so on. 

#4 Insurance Property Inspection

If you are making an insurance claim for property damage, then a property inspection may be carried out by an insurance inspector.

Unlike the checks done in the commercial or real estate industry, these checks will be specific to the claim for damages rather than a holistic view of the property.

These property inspections can sometimes require specific expertise, such as examining any structural damage to a property after a natural disaster such as an earthquake. 

In situations like natural disasters, property inspections would often need to be conducted on a large scale. 

Having a digital inspection system in this scenario can help insurance companies or their assigned property inspectors manage the large demands required. 

If you’re conducting a property inspection for insurance purposes, here’s a guideline of what your inspection template needs to cover:

  1. Assess the items submitted for insurance claim in terms of damage, working condition, whether it can be repaired, or whether it needs replacing.
  2. In the case of a natural disaster, assess all structural damages that can occur.

The Advantages of Digital Inspection Platforms

The four common types of property inspections in the UK show just how much variation in coverage and specialisation is involved with property inspections. 

It is evident then that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all property inspection checklist that will meet the needs of every industry or type of inspection. 

This is where having a digital inspection platform is better than traditional pen-and-paper inspection systems.

Here are a few key advantages: 

  • You can customise inspection templates
    Managers can create any type of inspection form with customisable checklists to suit their needs. Team members or third party contractors select the template they need for the task at hand and simply follow the checklists to complete the inspection without needing to carry around multiple forms.
  • It’s mobile-friendly with attachment features
    Digital inspection platforms typically allow inspectors to take photos or upload any relevant documents into the inspection form from their phones. This makes it easy, for example, to quickly take a picture of a leaking roof and attach it to the digital inspection form. 
  • It’s easy to follow up on completing corrective and preventive actions
    Unlike pen-and-paper, digital platforms have the potential to connect to a task management application or software. This allows managers to ensure any outstanding issue has been issued a corrective or preventive measure.

    The manager can then easily track and follow up with the responsible person to make sure that the measures have been implemented within a reasonable timeframe.

Simplify Your Inspection with Workflows

If you’re interested in easily creating, managing, and completing all your property inspections, talk to sales and find out how Workflows can be customised to meet all your property inspection needs.

Mail icon

Want to receive our monthly updates?

Subscribe to our newsletter.
menu