It does not matter if you are thinking of hiring a professional or you are going to conduct the rental inspections yourself; it is very important to perform regular rental property inspections, as it will allow you to keep track of the condition of your property. Not just that, the inspection reports could also serve as your legal documents in case issues arise.
4 Types of Rental Property Inspections and Why You Need Them
1. Inspections During Move In
Always included in the rental agreement, property inspections performed during move in are known as “walk-through” inspections. During this inspection, the landlord and the tenant go through the rental property to see if there are any damages or illegal alterations. The landlord must pay close attention to the damage caused by normal wear and tear, as well as changes that were not agreed upon. Then, he would compare the condition of the property to the condition when the tenant moves in.
This type of rental inspection is essential because it allows the property owner to document the current condition of the property. This also allows the landlord to determine if the damage done to the unit must be fixed– this would be deducted from their security deposit of the new tenant.
In such a case that the inspection has been conducted before the tenant’s move out, the landlord could show the list of the deductions that have been taken from their security deposit. This would allow the tenant to conduct the repairs before moving out. Additionally, this inspection can also help the landlord determine what must be fixed before a new tenant moves in.
2. Scheduled Routine Inspections
Routine inspections are important because it ensures that the property has been well maintained, and this would help the property owner to discover if there has been any maintenance or safety hazards in the place.
Do note that a routine inspection is different from a housework inspection; the person who would perform the inspection should understand that there are inhabitants. Despite that, it’s required that the tenant would ensure that the property is in good condition before the inspection.
Scheduled routine inspections can be performed more than once every three months or depending on what has been agreed upon in the rental agreement. Likewise, the landlord should give 7 days’ notice before the inspection.
3. Drive-by Inspections
Unlike with the first 2 types of rental inspections, there is no need to notify the renter during drive-by inspections. Just make sure that you would not be setting foot on the premises. Drive-by inspections are essential because it allows you to determine if your renters or property management company are performing upkeep to maintain the condition of the property.
During this type of inspection, you will usually look at your property from across the street and see if there are any maintenance issues that need to be repaired. You also have to pay attention to other things, such as garbage bins, and the yard. Is it tidy, or unkempt? Always bring your camera with you, and make sure that your photos are dated and stamped for future reference.
4. Inspections During Move Out
Move out inspections give the landlords the opportunity to assess the overall condition of the property when the tenant vacates the place. The property inspection should be performed right when your renters surrender their keys.
As much as possible, have your renters hand the key personally to you, because if they just leave it at the office or put them in the mail, then they will have the privilege of being able to deny issues later on. Simply because you were not there to see it when they last locked up. That means that they can blame all the issues on you, and you will not be able to deduct these from their security deposits.
If possible, have your renters sign the inspection findings. You should also be aware that there are tenants who would deny this, so that they will not be held responsible. Just like with drive-by inspections, your camera can be your best friend during move out inspections, because they can capture the proof.
As a property owner and landlord, inspections are one of the most critical tasks that you should not skip doing. This would help you ensure that the property is well maintained, and if there are any problems, you will be able to solve it right away and prevent the issues from getting worse.