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Scheduled Inspections Will Save You More Money

One important part of a property owner’s job is performing rental property inspections. Regularly assessing and tracking the condition of your rental property is critical for long-term success.

When properly done, scheduled rental property inspections can help save you money and help build a strong landlord-tenant relationship.

What items should owners keep in mind when inspecting their rental properties?

Since it’s easy to miss a thing or two, owners need to have a checklist of what they need to look for during rental inspections. When conducting a routine inspection, here are the different aspects you should be inspecting a property for:

Interior:

  • If your rental property is furnished, have the furniture and household items inventoried, inspected and repaired as needed.
  • Ensure that all plumbing shut-off valves are functional. Stains of water below them could mean water leakage.
  • In the bathroom, look for signs of damage, disrepair, mold, stains, leaks, and odor. Also, check the tub surround for caulking, discoloration, and sponginess.
  • Check transition strips, stairs, and flooring. Consider replacing surfaces that are outdated or worn out.
  • Check countertops for cracks, stains, and damage, as well as sponginess around sinks.
  • All windows and doors should properly open and close.
  • Safety equipment, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, should be in place and functional.
  • HVAC systems need regular inspection. When inspecting them, check items such as ductwork, air conditioning, furnace, and so on.
  • All appliances should be clean and functional. Don’t forget to also check appliance switches, clocks and lights to ensure that those are in good working condition.
  • Check the lights and light switches in every room. If there are any lights that are flickering, have it checked out.

Exterior:

  • Landscaping structures and fences should be in place and in good working condition.
  • Check for signs of pests or infestations.
  • Paint and/or stains should be in good condition. If the exterior surfaces have peeled, have the issue promptly addressed.
  • Landscaping should be in good order. Plants shouldn’t impinge on entrances, walkways, buildings or services (septic, gas, electrical, and so on).
  • Ensure that skylights, doors, and windows are not fogged up if double-paned and that these properly open and close.
  • Drains, downspouts, and gutters should be in good order.
  • Check for signs of pooling water, staining, or cracks.

Why are rental property inspections important?

A regular rental property inspection is an invaluable service for your investment. You’ll be able to save money by addressing issues right away. For example, by repairing your downspouts and gutters quickly, you’ll be able to prevent potentially serious foundation problems.

Foundation problems can create several issues throughout the home regardless of the foundation type. If this is ignored for a long time, such problems can cost you an arm and a leg. According to Improvenet.com, the average cost to repair a foundation is $3,097.

When conducting regular rental property inspections, it is important that you also ensure that you adhere to habitability laws. The law imposes certain duties on the property owner to maintain the premises in a habitable condition. Failure on your part to adhere to this law gives your tenant the right to terminate the rental agreement. Tenants may also have a right to withhold rent from you until the issue is resolved.

When should you perform a rental property inspection?

There are four types of rental property inspections that you should be carrying out. These are as follows:

  1. Move-in inspection.

This is the type of property inspection that you need to do prior to a new tenant moving in. For proper documentation, both you and your new tenant should have checklists. Doing so helps minimize confusion in terms of property damage that is in excess of normal wear and tear.

  1. Move-out inspection.

This is similar to the move-in inspection. A move-out inspection allows you to see if your tenant has caused property damage in excess of normal wear and tear. An example of property damage in excess of normal wear and tear is large holes in walls. In such a case, you’ll have a right to deduct an appropriate amount from the tenant’s security deposit amount.

  1. Routine inspections.

This type of inspection allows you to stay on top of maintenance issues. Common issues to look out for include gutters furnace filters, fire detectors, and plumbing. Generally, look for issues that could cause costly damage if left without maintenance.

  1. Drive-by inspections.

This type of inspection is a key way to ensure that tenants aren’t violating certain lease terms. One example would be keeping unauthorized pets or guests.

When conducting rental property inspections, it’s important to adhere to the law. Additionally, it is important for you to be aware of any laws regarding the amount of notice you need to give your tenant prior to an inspection.

Rental property inspections benefit both you and your tenant. This helps ensure that your investment remains profitable, that problems are fixed before it escalates, and that you have a solid relationship with your tenants.