Routine property inspections are an essential component of the rental process. These inspections enable you to protect your investment and keep your assets in good working order so they remain safe and rentable for many years to come. Regular inspections also support good tenant communication by providing the opportunity for renters to connect with you about any concerns or issues they may be having. That said, there should be guidelines for when and why inspections occur. Let’s break it down.
Prior to a new tenant taking occupancy, a thorough inspection of the property should be conducted. Most importantly, any issues with the unit should be documented at this time. We strongly recommend taking photos or video footage to document the condition of the property at the time it was turned over to the new tenant. This may come in handy should there be a dispute over the security deposit upon move out.
Before a departing tenant turns over their keys and asks for their security deposit, you should conduct a walk-through of the property together. This will provide the opportunity to note any damages that may have occurred during tenancy. It also gives you the chance to identify any areas where repairs or renovations may be required prior to renting the unit to another tenant. Including details about move-out inspections in the lease can make tenants more accountable and keep them on their best behavior.
When minor issues go unaddressed, they can turn into much bigger and costlier problems. For instance, a leaky pipe may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, but what if that unfixed pipe bursts and causes a flood? This is why maintenance inspections are so important. They give you the opportunity to assess the safety and status of the property, and evaluate things like plumbing and appliances to identify repair needs. We recommend conducting routine inspections at least once a year and including information about this in your lease. Don’t forget to provide plenty of notice to your tenants.
Despite your best efforts to screen tenants, you may occasionally run into a situation in which someone you are renting to may be in violation of the lease agreement. For example, maybe they’ve taken in a pet without permission, or have someone else living there permanently, such as a family member or significant other. If you believe a tenant is not in compliance with your agreement, you have the right to check the situation out for yourself and address it accordingly. Again, be professional and comply with notice requirements.
Inspections are a critical part of managing properties. A quick walkthrough today can save you a lot of money in the long run. Having trouble keeping up with inspections? Property management software can help. Click here to discover how today.