LOWE Property Inspections Policy
Over the past 5 years, we have built up a dedicated database of professional, socially responsible property guardians who take pride in, and help protect, the buildings in which they live. As part of LOWE’s commitment to ensuring the highest standards of Health & Safety are adhered to and that our guardians continue to look after and maintain the buildings we manage, we carry out monthly property inspections across all our LOWE properties. It is also important that we complete these unannounced monthly property inspections in order to maintain the guardianship status of our buildings (i.e. our guardians are licensees, rather than tenants).
LOWE Property Inspections Process
Step 1: Property Inspection
Our Property Inspector will attend each property on a monthly basis between the hours of 9am and 5pm, the visits are always unannounced. The Property Inspector will go through a thorough checklist of inspection points for each individual room and all communal areas at the property (e.g. fire panel check, items obstructing corridors & fire escapes, cleanliness, condition of doors and walls, evidence of candles in use or smoking, electric heaters, covered smoke detectors, fire doors wedged open) to ensure that the building is being looked after and Health & Safety protocol is being followed. Images of all guardian rooms and communal areas will be recorded during this visit and uploaded to our property inspection software Inventory Hive.
Below are the main areas of focus for Health & Safety checks during our monthly LOWE Property Inspections:
- Security – locks, external doors & staircases, windows, roof access
- Fire safety – fire alarm, clear corridors & fire escapes routes, internal and external fire doors
- Water safety – temperature testing, legionella testing, water tanks
- General cleanliness – guardian cleaning rota, weekly cleaner audit
- Heating & cooling – boiler, thermostat, radiators, ventilation
- Kitchen – white goods, extractor fans, waste disposal, fire blanket
- Bathrooms – sinks, showers & toilets
- Electrical – appliances, fittings & emergency lighting
- General storage – personal items stored in guardians rooms, rather than communally
- Moisture & damp – general checks and monitoring
- Pest control – advice for minimising the opportunity for pests
- Exterior & interior signage – LOWE Guardians signage, fire action plan, community guidelines, emergency contacts, maintenance process, lost keys, general FAQs
Step 2: Inspection Feedback Reports & Action Points
All inspection reports are shared with LOWE’s Property Services & Guardian Services teams following each monthly inspection. We then ensure that any maintenance points are addressed appropriately and Health & Safety feedback actioned. In terms of any guardian related issues, we have a three-step process during which we allow guardians the opportunity to address feedback received as follows to ensure it is addressed quickly:
- Head Guardian informed and given 5 day deadline to address the issues in question (e.g. clearance of combustible items from corridors, improved standards of cleanliness)
- Following the above, if the action is not successfully completed then the entire property is informed and given a further 3 day deadline to complete
- Following this, if that action remains incomplete – LOWE will instruct the clearance to be carried out and costs charged back to guardians (i.e. taken from their security payment). Alternatively we will serve 28 day notice to the guardian in question for individual cases
Step 3: Property Inspection – Follow Up
Following each unannounced monthly visit our Property Inspector will then ensure that once the next inspection takes place any feedback points have been addressed and resolved in the appropriate way. The Head Guardians at each property will also ensure the feedback points are addressed by referencing them in their weekly reports.
Property Inspector & LOWE team – Health & Safety Training
As part of our ongoing commitment to Health & Safety standards, our Property Inspector provides regular training and refresher sessions for our new Head Guardians and Guardian Representatives to ensure that they understand the importance of following Health & Safety guidance provided by LOWE. We also send monthly mailers to our guardian community with information and advice on how all guardians can be involved in ensuring our properties are safe and happy places for everyone to live and why we ask for Health & Safety points to be addressed following our property inspections. We also offer all our LOWE staff members in-house fire safety training, so they are able to communicate with guardians and advise on important fire safety and evacuation protocol on a regular basis.