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Rental property inspections are more than necessary for landlords. When done on a consistent basis, they offer several advantages:
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.
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.
Here is a list of the most common areas to check during a rental property inspection:
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:
If your tenant opens up such concerns, be sure to note them down.
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.
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.
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.
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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