One important part of the rental process is regular rental inspections. Regularly inspecting your rental property will help ensure that you nip potential problems early before they become costly to repair.
The following are top reasons for conducting regular inspections of your rental properties.
Ceilings can develop cracks and eventually fall in on top of tenants. Electrical problems inside units can arise. Grass may grow too tall that the property doesn’t meet code standards. In addition to this, it can invite dangerous things such as predators and snakes. Decks can start to miss pieces of wood, presenting the danger to people and pets falling through the gaps. With a proper routine inspection, unsafe conditions such as these can be found and corrected on time.There is also the risk of tenants engaging in criminal activities in your rental property. Even with a thorough tenant screening, there is always the risk of renting to a criminal. With routine inspections, you may be able to detect signs of criminal activities on your property.
- Quick Tenant Turnover
Rental units can be rented quickly if repairs are made as maintenance problems come up. If maintenance issues are ignored, they may become serious requiring a prolonged period to fix them. This may lead to a delayed tenant turnover.
- Asset Protection
Tenants will be more inclined to keeping the rental units in tiptop condition if they know their properties will be regularly inspected. As such, make sure to inform tenants of the inspections prior to their moving in.
- Better Landlord-Tenant Relationship
By addressing the concerns your tenants have, you’ll help build a solid relationship with them. On the other hand, if you repeatedly fail to address their maintenance and repair requests, your relationship with the tenant may become strained.At this point, the tenant may also consider withholding rent payments until you fix the problem. They may also have a right to break the lease or rental agreement early.A good landlord-tenant relationship is a two-way street. Tenants desire a good quality of living. You, on the other hand, seek to receive a timely return on your investment.A happy tenant is also more likely to extend their lease or rental agreement to another cycle. With a low tenant turnover, you won’t have to spend money constantly to attract new tenants.
During the rental property inspections, it is best that you do the following:
- Monitor signs of termite damage and rust.
- Check hot water service and cold water supply for leaks, pressure, and temperature.
- Look under or around the house for dampness or wood rot.
- Check the weatherboard, bricks, and tiles for cracks and deterioration.
- Check the air-conditioning and water filters are clean and blockage free.
- Ensure exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchen are operational and free of debris and dust.
- Check for leaking taps and ensure all bathroom and kitchen waste flows freely.
- Ensure all doors and windows open, close and lock freely.
- Check the roof for moss and lichen, missing or damaged chimney, and missing or broken shingles. Fixing a roof can be one of the most expensive property maintenance, so routine inspections can be well worth the investment.
Types of Rental Inspections
There are five main types of rental property inspections.
- Move-in inspection
This is the next step after successfully screening of your tenant. Both you and your tenant should carry out this inspection. It helps document the condition of the rental property prior to the tenant moving in.During the move-in inspection, it’s important that anything that is damaged or missing from the property is noted down on the inspection report. After the inspection process, each party should sign the document.
- Move-out inspection
A move-out inspection is similar to a move-in inspection. In this process, you will assess if there’s property damage caused by the tenant’s carelessness or negligence.Similar to a move-in inspection, the move-out inspection should be conducted by both you and your tenant. This helps minimize disputes concerning who is responsible for any damage that may have occurred during the tenancy. If the tenant caused damages beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord has a right to deduct money from the tenant’s security deposit.
- Routine inspection
Routine inspections ensure that the property is clean and safe. You may be able to identify such things as safety issues, unauthorized pets, deferred maintenance, unauthorized tenants, and illegal activities.
- Preventive inspection
Preventive inspections should be conducted quarterly. Conducting preventive inspection helps prevent minor issues from escalating into more serious ones. You can use this opportunity to look for water leakages, landscaping structures, and safety equipment.
- Drive-by inspection
A drive-by inspection provides landlords with a good opportunity to check for potential lease violations.When conducting these inspections, it’s important to adhere to the local laws. Many states require that you notify your tenant in advance. Typically, this notice should be at least 24 hours prior to the intended inspection. The frequency of the visits should also be reasonable. If too many, you risk being accused of tenant harassment.
Clearly, routine rental property inspections are necessary. If you find the process rather daunting, we recommend that you hire a competent property manager that you can trust.