Having mentioned previously the benefit of inspecting properties here is a quick guide on how to do so. Take the inventory with you that was performed at the start of the tenancy so you can refresh yourself on the condition of the property at that point.
Look out for signs of poor ventilation which can often be a problem in rented properties. Any black mould on the walls is as a result of poor ventilation and condensation. Advise tenants that they have a responsibility to keep the property well ventilated to avoid these issues.
Look for any severe wear and tear that seems out of the ordinary, have the walls been unusually marked, are the floor surfaces stained or worn.
It is important to remember you cannot criticise how a tenant is living, for example if the washing up has not been done! You would hope they would present the house to you in the best light but if not then you can only advise on matters that will affect the property.
Look at the property from the outside also, are the gutters clear, is the roof in good shape. This is your time now to look for any issues that a tenant may not have noticed but could result in additional costs if not actioned promptly. You may wish to take one of your trusted local maintenance contractors with you to assess the property.