Your rental properties are valuable assets to you and your livelihood. You do your best to make sure that you only get good tenants that you can trust will maintain and value the place they’re calling home. Sometimes the most thorough tenant screening processes let one bad tenant slip through the cracks and your property can become damaged. Inspections allow the tenant to connect with you about any issues they may be having so that you can fix them. This is why routine rental inspections are an essential part of rent process for both you, as an owner, and your tenants. However, they can be quite time-consuming or make you feel uncomfortable which might lead to more costly problems for you in the future. Having a property management company handle inspections can make the process easy for you as an owner and ensure that your property stays in tip-top shape. Including a strict inspection policy in your tenancy agreement or lease has several benefits. These include…
Protecting Your Investment
Routine rental property inspections are the only real way that you can protect your investment when it is occupied by a tenant. When small maintenance problems go unnoticed, they can become much bigger, expensive issues. A small puncture in a water line could lead to severe water damage making a relatively cheap fix cost you thousands of dollars in damage. Conducting inspections helps you ensure that the small issues can be addressed immediately. These also allow you to make sure that your tenants are maintaining the property and if they are not, you can manage the situation before they cause any severe damage. Routine inspections make it clear to tenants that you are looking after your property regularly, which will make them feel more obligated to keep it in good shape.
Keeping It Rentable
If your rental isn’t maintained, you will have to devote more time and money between tenants to make necessary repairs and it is likely that these will come with a pretty price tag. So instead of being able to switch between tenants seamlessly, you will need to fix the property up. And while you’re waiting for the job to be done, you won’t be collecting rent. This could even deter people from wanting to move in. So not only does it cost you money in repairs but it makes you lose money while you wait for new tenants.
Safety is Important
In some instances, failure to maintain the property or repair issues can be hazardous to the tenants who occupy the home. Whether it be a damaged deck or a small leak in a gas pipe, this can pose a huge risk. Routine inspections can help you get ahead of potential issues before they endanger you current or future tenants.
How Often Should Your Property Manager Conduct Inspections?
If inspections are not done regularly, you risk the chance of overlooking serious problems that may have been noticed and handled early on. But conducting inspections too often could feel invasive to tenants which could damage your relationship with them. As a result, they might move out which leaves the property vacant until you find new tenants. Just how often should routine inspections occur? First and foremost, be sure that you include routine inspections and how often they will occur in your lease agreement. Legally, you are able to check in on the property at your leisure but you must remain outside. Tenants have the right to enjoy their homes and privacy. For this reason, you are not able to enter the premises just because you want to check on w tenant. To enter, you must serve your tenants with a 24 hours notice prior to you going inside. Your reason should include your reason for entering and when you plan to come. Review local and state laws to make sure you do not violate your tenants legal rights.
Good Times for Inspections
Despite legitimate reasons and a notice, it is important that you don’t seem like a bother to your tenants. For that reason, it is best to conduct inspections when…
- Tenants Move In – Also referred to as a move-in inspection, these should be done with any new tenant when they take occupancy so that you can document any notable issues with the rental. Some landlords have begun using their smartphones to record the condition of the property by conducting mobile inspections. Mobile inspections allow you to use voice dictation, upload images, and are apart of most property managers software. Using this feature, you can document the condition of the entire property. This makes it easier for you to ensure you haven’t forgotten about any important steps in the move in process.
- Tenants Move Out – Known as a move-out inspection, these are preformed when tenants are moving out of the property. This allows you to examine the condition to make note of any damages before returning the deposit. Move-out inspections also hold the tenant more accountable and make them more likely to take care of your rental.
- Maintenance Checks – It is not uncommon for property managers to to perform regular maintenance checks. This is more than asking the tenants questions at the door to make sure everything is going well. Routine checks can help you avoid property devaluation which can occur if maintenance issues are left untreated. This is also another way to keep tenants satisfied and, in turn, will keep them renting from you longer. During inspections you can assess the safety and security of the current tenants, how well they are taken care of the property, look for mold in the kitchen or bathrooms, make sure everything is functioning, and more. This keeps you in the know and will benefit you when the tenant is preparing to move— you won’t be blind sided by a disaster.
- New Tenants Are Discovered – You check to make sure they aren’t any unauthorized occupants. Tenants that haven’t been approved to live in the residency or are not listed in the lease agreement. This occurs when friends or relatives extend their stay beyond what is stated in the lease. It can also happen if tenants move in new significant others without contacting the landlord or property manager.
Inspections are a vital part of managing your rental properties. A quick inspection can help save you money in the long haul. Using new property management tools, it is easy to monitor the condition of your valuable assets.
Having a property management company handling your rentals will help you to live a more enjoyable life. You’ll have less stress, more free time, and essentially more freedom.
Contact us (866-500-6200) for more information today!
About Real Property Management Midwest
We are local property management experts serving Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, & Louisville. We manage Single-Family Homes, Apartment Buildings, and Condos. With years of experience, Real Property Management is Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Louisville and Northern Kentucky’s #1 Property Management and Leasing Company.