As a property manager, one of the tasks you must tackle at least once a year is conducting inspections of your properties. These inspections serve several purposes, from providing you with a glimpse into whether your tenants are taking proper care of the property and are abiding by the rules set forth in their lease to identifying potential issues and addressing them before they have a chance to develop into a more serious problem. The more organized and prepared you are ahead of time, the smoother your rental property inspections will go. Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right path.
Provide Adequate Notice
Different areas have different laws and regulations regarding the amount of notice you are required to provide to your tenants prior to entering the property for an inspection. Know what these regulations are so that you don’t inadvertently break any rules. Regardless of what the law says, you should provide your tenants as much notice as possible. They’ll appreciate it.
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Explain Why You’re There
Even if your tenants have nothing to hide, they may feel uncomfortable with you entering their home if they don’t know exactly why you’re there. Chances are, you’re just conducting a routine check of the property, which will benefit them if you find areas where repairs or updates should be made. Let them know – transparency goes a long way.
Allow Tenants to Be Present
Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea to allow your tenants to be present during your inspection. This will make them feel more secure about what you’re doing in their place of residence and protect you from any potential accusations down the road. It also provides the opportunity to ask questions and get the feedback you need real-time.
Be Careful With Photos
During your inspection, you may encounter areas that require repair, replacement or some other type of attention and taking pictures can help you remember what needs to be taken care of. Just be careful not to accidently capture personal and/or identifiable items, like family photos of your tenants. It could come back to bite you.
Don’t Get Involved in Confrontations
If the reason for your visit isn’t a routine inspection and there is some type of hostility between you and the tenant, resist the urge to engage in conversation, debates or arguments with them. If necessary, it may be best to have someone from law enforcement present to ensure that nothing gets out of hand and you’re both protected.
Whatever the reason, at some point during your property management tenure, you will need to inspect the properties you’re in charge of. By sticking to the guidelines above, the process will go much more smoothly, peacefully and without incident.
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