When it comes to regular inspections of properties, and the way in which you record this, one of the fatal mistakes to make is to simply apply any old generic approach and tick boxes for the sake of it. In realty this is a real property that will have certain things to check that another property even along similar lines may not do.
Ideally then, work alongside any other relevant documents like a Health & Safety or Fire Risk Assessment and drill-down into what the basic issues are. Some things may be already covered to some degree by on-site staff or contractors, and the way a building is being used now may demand additional checks.
An Example Inspection Summary For Larger Multi-let Commercial Properties
You can immediately download an example one-page Inspection form we were involved with for helping to shape an office block being used for multiple office occupiers. In particular there are 7 key areas this covers:
1. Timing of Inspections
This one covers the two main frequencies of weekly and monthly checks, all in one form for ease. So the top weekly part will always be completed, and once a month the bottom part as well.
Of course you'll have to consider other ones as well, for example annual with more thorough checks, and even daily in a busy building with communal areas although ideally this being picked up by any regulation site staff.
2. Fire Prevention Measures
This can include a whole range of issues often driven by a Fire Risk Assessment, some of these checks actual systems for example weekly fire alarm bell testing, and ensuring fire extinguishers are still okay.
There will also be more general issues as well though, for example checking that all fire-escape routes are clear and fire doors operating okay, and even simple checks that fire marshal jackets and any additional access information is easy to hand.
Plus, you may need to ensure checks are made within individual occupied areas, particularly if they provide a communal fire escape route for everyone else.
3. Water Checks
The two main ones are weekly tap tests, and then monthly temperature tests - all dictated from the Water Risk Assessment and audit.
Additional ones may involve regular audit and sanitisation, and other additional tasks such as de-scaling any shower heads every three months.
4. Security Issues
This involves checking that all unauthorised areas are safely locked, and making sure there are no signs of any break-ins and damage.
This can also include logging any general disrepairs around the property which may not always be from property damage or break-ins, for example water ingress or things just breaking down.
5. Electrical Supplies
The main one is often the monthly emergency light flick-test, which can coincide with just general checks of light bulbs being okay as well.
On a weekly basis though it's good to check basic housekeeping issues, particularly portable appliances like electric heaters and that they are correctly stored, unplugged, and any additional extension cables are safe and sound.
For those with a passenger lift, it may be prudent to check this every week, particularly for those where the emergency button inside does not connect to any call-out service by simply sounding a bell at the property for people to hear. Checking that this still works every week is therefore important.
7. External Areas
So as you look at outside issues, check car parks and access ways, and that areas like the refuse bin stores are always being correctly used, and also, for example, that fire assembly point signs still in existence.
Also for seasonal times, make sure grit bins are full and always ready for use.
An Example Inspection Summary for Commercial Properties With Communal Areas
To download this sample property inspection form, click here to find out how to immediately access alongside our Property Management Pack.
Ideally this needs tweaking for each individual property, to accommodate all the unique factors, so don't assume this will automatically cover everything. However it does help to note the basics, and with some input from others you can always adapt this or at least use the general comments section for more information.
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