After inspecting thousands of properties in more than thirty years, I can categorically say that regular inspections of rental properties are vital.
Inspections may seem like an arduous task, but they can really pay off in the long run. Here are some reasons why routine inspections are critical to proper property management:
- It is a preventative way to mitigate serious issues, such as roof leaks, busted pipes, or poor housekeeping from getting out of hand.
- They verify any potential safety hazards that could endanger your residents and increase liability claims, such as trip, slip and fall hazards, non-functioning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms or any building code infraction.
- At the end of the day, inspections will either improve tenant satisfaction or a starting point in the eviction process should the findings be adverse.
- They also ensure that lease terms are being followed, keep units in good condition, and take care of any required maintenance tasks.
- In some cases, inspections help improve the overall value of the property.
We encourage resident presence during the inspection
There should be at least one primary leaseholder present during the inspection. This will prevent any accusations of theft or mischief down the line, and it will also provide the opportunity to ask the resident about any potential problems with appliances, systems, or concerns about the unit.
We make sure residents understand why we’re doing the inspection
Kitchen faucet leaking. HVAC system in need of service? Structural integrity, appliance, and systems checks are key to good property management. We make sure to let residents know the reason for our visit by explaining how it benefits everyone.
We do not take photographs of interior personal items
Unlike a vacant unit, occupied rental property inspections have certain rules, and taking photos of identifiable personal items like pictures, valuables, pets, or people is not advisable.
We document all our findings and consult with the owner
It’s important to visually and physically document issues, but it’s equally essential to address such problems with both the owner and the tenant in writing. To that end, we keep our notifications formal and in writing if problems surface during the property inspection.