TORC Top Tips for Tenants: Annual Property Inspections

Each year, TORC will carry out an annual property inspection to our 465 homes around Ireland. Peter, our Housing Services Co-ordinator (HSCO) explains why we need to carry out an annual inspection and how you can help us on the day of your home inspection.

At TORC Sustainable Housing, we want to ensure that we provide safe, efficient, durable, comfortable and sustainable homes for our tenants. By carrying out annual inspections we meet our statutory obligations to our stakeholders, investors and local authorities, as well as updating and improving standards to ensure the quality of accommodation for our tenants.

How often will my home be inspected? 

TORC carries out one property inspection per calendar year e.g., January to December. However, you may feel you have just had an inspection. This may be due to inspection schedules, for example an inspection may take place in May 2022 and the following year the inspection could be in February 2023. Before a house inspection takes place the HSCO will give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice by letter to let you know the date and time of your inspection. We will also send a reminder text at least 48 hours before.

What is the HSCO inspecting?

Housing Services Co-ordinators welcome and understand your home is where you live, we do not expect to walk into showrooms. We often find on inspection day some residents panic and apologise for their home, there is no need to do this. You are treating the property as your home, and this means it is lived in and there will be some wear and tear. Sometimes the washing is piled up and this is the day-to-day reality of running a household. These are not things that your HSCO is going to be overly concerned about.

The HSCO visits properties to complete checks that ensure your home complies with minimum regulatory standards. We can reference back to the previous year’s inspection and see if a repair was noted and fixed. Minor repairs that residents often do not report can become a major repair in the long run e.g., small leaks, storage heaters not working, a faulty smoke detector, fire door closer removed or not operating correctly. Doing these inspections allows us to maintain and provide a high standard of housing and allows you full enjoyment of your home.

What will the HSCO do on the day of my inspection?

During the inspection, your HSCO will take pictures, these are used as a visual record of the condition of the property over the life cycle of your home. Photographs are also used to assist with logging any repairs. They are a visual record to show that the HSCO carried out the annual inspection, pictures are not taken to be intrusive or a means of recording any personal information.

We may sometimes use images of your home to reference tenant welfare. Housing Services Co-ordinators get to know their residents over many years, circumstances and needs can change for a resident, this can sometimes be spotted by an HSCO. If they notice a change in how a household is being maintained and looked after, this can enable us to link you if needed to additional community supports and advice.

Why did a different TORC team member carry out my inspection?

Due to the number of properties to be inspected, there may be more than one HSCO who will carry out inspections on the same day. This often happens on days where there is in excess of 50 properties to be inspected by TORC staff. Our HSCOs identify themselves and will ask you for a proof ID, proof of refuse collection service to ensure bin services have been set up and proof of any content’s insurance. All Housing Services Co-ordinators will be able to assist you with queries on inspection days and all queries will be communicated back to your scheme HSCO.

How can you help us on the day of your Inspection?

If you are not going to be home or need a specific time for an appointment, please let us know before the day of your inspection. On inspection day HSCOs often have limited access to telephone messages or emails regarding appointments so it is best to let us know if you can in advance. If you are not going to be home or someone else is going to be there on your behalf let us know. Where a person is under 18 and is at home alone, we cannot complete an inspection without your previous permission/consent.

How can you provide feedback?

After Housing inspections have taken place, TORC will email a short feedback survey so that residents can let us know about their experience. By completing the feedback survey, you are helping TORC improve our services.