We all know that the tenant has an obligation to report any issues and maintenance problems straight away. So when you do not hear from the tenant you might assume all is fine. However, that is not always true and it is still worth it to visit the property yourself (or, in case of managed property, making sure your letting agents does a proper inspection).
For example, it is worth making sure that during inspection the external of the property is checked as well. That way not only any obvious problems can be picked up (like problem with a roof, gutters etc) but someone with a good eye will be able to spot signs of less ‘obvious’ problems (like black marks on the walls suggesting rain water from the roof is going down the walls rather than into the gutter). The tenants, for best part, would not only lack the expertise in such things but would rarely be looking for problems the same way a landlord or a proper managing agent would.
Very recently, while inspecting the external of the property, we have spotted a large hole in the roof by the chimney. Turns out a tile has dislodged and left an opening. As much as the hole was rather large it was not that obvious to spot unless you were actually checking the roof for any problems. Fortunately, that is one of the things we do while carrying out routine inspections and where able to save the landlord a considerable expense of potential water damage (and the repair cost the landlord only £ 30.00).
This was perhaps a happy coincident we were there but then again, if your managing agent is not looking up (literally) and checking on things like roof and external walls then they would not spot it. The chances are the tenant would spot it only once the water would start leaking into their bedrooms – and that is what, as a landlord, you want to avoid by doing essential repairs to the property before they become a problem.