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Tips for Carrying Out a Rental Property Inspection

Rental property inspections are more than necessary for landlords. When done on a consistent basis, they offer several advantages: 

  • Keeps your property in good condition. There’s no one who can take better care of your rental than you. Inspections help you check areas that require maintenance and repairs before the damage becomes worse.
  • Ensures that lease terms are being followed. Inspections are one way to check whether your tenants have been abiding by the terms you specify in the lease. Areas of concern usually revolve around prohibited activities, bringing of pets, and guests.
  • Maintains positive relationships with tenants. It’s good to check in with your tenants every now and then to see how they’re doing. You can ask questions about the quality of their stay and whether they have concerns they wish to bring up.

As a landlord, it’s important to include in the lease that you will be conducting routine inspections. Some landlords do it once a year while other prefer twice a year or on a quarterly basis.

Entry hours should be reasonable. You and your tenant can set a specific hour that’s convenient. Let your tenant know that he or she should be present during the inspection.

Read More: Lease Clause: Property Inspections/Right to Entry

How Should You Inform a Tenant of the Inspection?

The only time you can enter the rental property without a notice and consent is during an emergency. For non-emergency situations, a reasonable notice is a MUST. Make sure to give out a written notice to enter the unit 24 to 48 hours prior to the inspection.

General Areas of Inspection

Here is a list of the most common areas to check during a rental property inspection:

Safety checks

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their tenants live in safe conditions. Look for signs that could endanger the health and life of tenants such as: 

  • Broken or blackened outlets
  • Uneven floors
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Mold in moist areas (could be a sign of a leak)
  • Malfunctioning smoke detectors

If your tenant opens up such concerns, be sure to note them down.

Health and tidiness of the garden

One of the many aspects that should be included in the lease form is garden maintenance. Do you require that tenants be the ones responsible for the upkeep of the garden? If so, specify this in the rental agreement. See to it that grass, trees, and shrubs are not overgrown and that the ground is free from piles of trash.

Unreported repairs

Before a tenant moves in, you must carry out a walk-through inspection. Retrieve the checklist you used and pictures that you took during that inspection. You’ll need it to identify whether there are areas or objects that sustained damage but are unreported (and these things used to be in a good condition). Remember that a minor issue becomes a huge catastrophe if not given prompt attention.

Signs of criminal activity

Is your tenant dealing drugs? You have a good reason to suspect criminal activity if you notice unusual or unpleasant odors, payments always made in cash (to avoid tracking), and sudden spikes in utility bills. Manufacturing drugs consume more electricity.

Final Thoughts

Rental property inspections aren’t just about noting down problems that should be addressed; overall they ensure a stress-free and profitable landlording business. As always, have an open and direct communication with tenants. That way, you can both work together to resolve issues, stay on top of maintenance, and encourage a longer lease.

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