The inspection of a rental property is an essential part of property management services. In order to conduct the inspection, a landlord needs access to the rental unit to assess its internal and external conditions.
If you would like to know how often inspections should be carried out and how to coordinate them with tenants keep reading!
The Elements Involved in the Inspection of Rental Properties
There are certain considerations that need to be kept in mind when a landlord wants to carry out an inspection. These considerations revolve around the reasons behind the inspection and the privacy and comfort of the tenant.
Property Maintenance and Repair
A well-maintained property not only lowers tenant turnover rates but also positively impacts the value of the property in the market. Rental property inspections are necessary for the following reasons:
- To keep track of the condition of the property - Property inspections allow the landlord to take note of any issues that may potentially damage the property or even threaten the tenant’s well-being.
- To help the landlord create a schedule for repairs and maintenance - Maintenance work is necessary to either prevent potential damage to the property or to repair any damage that may have already been caused.
- To determine the cost of repairs - This is also important when deductions are to be made to the tenant’s security deposit upon them moving out of the property.
You should carry out inspections when:
- A tenant is about to move out, or a new tenant is about to move in.
- A routine inspection is specified in the lease agreement
- A mid-term inspection is needed
- You need to assess the habitability of the unit
However, before an inspection is carried out, the landlord needs to provide prior notification to the tenant. It’s also recommended that the inspections be carried out with the tenants present so that they can sign the inspection documents.
During these times, it can be wise for a landlord to discuss any repairs with the tenant and the potential costs.
Privacy and Comfort of the Tenant
The landlord does have a right to access the property to perform necessary inspections, repairs, and maintenance. Even though a tenant may occupy a property, the landlord is still the owner.
That being said, a tenant has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their premises. It’s, therefore, necessary that when a property inspection is due, the landlord should provide proper written notification and respect the tenant’s privacy.
When carrying out an inspection, the landlord should avoid taking pictures of the tenant’s personal items such as family photos and household items, or any identifiable objects that may infringe on their privacy.
The dynamic of the need for the property inspection and the right of quiet enjoyment may be a bit complicated at times. As the landlord be sure to stay informed of landlord entry laws and other rental policies as these can be subject to change.
When carrying out a property inspection, it’s very important for the landlord to conduct themselves in a professional manner. It’s imperative that you treat your tenants with the same respect you expect them to provide you.
Professionalism is necessary from the beginning. It’s recommended for landlords to carry out inspections on a quarterly basis. However, a specific inspection may be carried out if there is an urgent issue that needs to be tended to.
Once the landlord gains access to the property, the inspection activities should be carried out in a timely manner to ensure that you are imposing on the tenant. To ensure this, the landlord should prepare a checklist beforehand.
It’s also important to talk through the process with the tenant so as to build a better rapport. As the landlord, you should also speak with the tenant to find out if there are any other issues that need to be addressed.
Typical Activities Carried Out During an Inspection
A typical rental property inspection would include the following activities:
- Checking the structure of the property for any signs of damage. This includes the walls, windows, and floors.
- Ensuring that the items included with the property when the tenant moved in are in good working condition. This can include kitchen appliances and furniture.
- Making sure that the plumbing and electricity systems are functioning correctly.
- Ensuring that the property is well-maintained and being utilized according to the lease agreement.
- Checking for signs of mold or pests.
Remind your tenants that don’t need to be alarmed if they see you taking notes and pictures within the property.
It’s important for the landlord to keep a current record of the property’s condition as it may help in conducting preventive maintenance or in tracking patterns of deterioration.
Property inspections are necessary to prevent property damage. It can also help catch issues before they become larger and therefore more costly to repair.
As a landlord, you must ensure that when you are planning your inspections that you provide your tenants with proper notice and that you always respect the time and privacy.
If you would like help, reach out to the experts at Gifford Properties & Management Company. Our property management professionals carry out periodic inspections with a focus on preventive maintenance and ensure repairs are done swiftly whenever the need arises.
We believe in maximizing the efficiency and potential of every property under our care. Reach out to us for your property management needs today. You’ll be happy to have us in your corner!