Part of effective rental property management is regular inspections of the property. Even the best tenants cannot avoid the regular damage and associated repairs that come with regular wear and tear. By performing regular inspections a rental property manager has the opportunity to list maintenance needs, address issues and keep the property well maintained. Regular property inspections can therefore improve tenant relationships as no tenant wants to live in a property where regular upkeep is ignored. Here are the four types of inspections property managers should perform.
The Four Inspections a Rental Property Management Company Should Perform
Move-in inspection: should be performed by a rental property management company when a new tenant is moving – in the presence of the new tenant. During this process, a tenant should fill out a checklist and note any existing issues that the property had before their residency begins. Pictures are also advisable and all information should be signed and dated by both the new tenant and the property manager.
Move-out inspection: should be performed on the last day a tenant will be at a property before vacating. As moving is an involved process property managers must schedule a time that works for the vacating tenant. The move-out inspection should not be performed before a tenant has fully removed their possessions as a clear space enables the rental property manager to fully evaluate any damage a tenant may have caused both as a resident and during the process of moving.
Routine inspection: should be performed every three to six months. This allows a rental property management company to stay aware of any needed repairs they are required to perform and notate any tenant caused issues that need addressing.
External inspection: these are a relatively easy part of rental property management due to the fact that they require no advance notice. This is because the residence is not entered and only the external structure is examined. Regular external inspection can point to possible damage and a basis for a future routine inspection to address any issues.
Appropriate Rental Property Inspection Behavior
Give prior notice: landlords and rental property management are required by law to give advance notice of an inspection before it occurs. The length of time required for such prior notice varies from state to state. Consultation with a legal professional is advisable and strict adherence to prior notice requirements should be followed.
Attempt to perform the inspection with the tenant present: by having the tenant present misunderstandings and possible accusations directed at rental property management are avoided. Also, by having the tenant present documentation can be signed and needed repairs can be explained.
Explain the reasons for the inspection: an inspection can be inconvenient for a tenant and many people are uncomfortable with strangers entering their residence. An explanation informs the tenant of why the inspection is needed and helps put the tenant at ease.
Don’t invade a tenant’s privacy: rental properties are still considered home for the people who live there, so privacy should be respected. When taking pictures for inspection reasons avoid capturing images of house pets, people, identifying information, family photographs, and personal possessions.
Avoid confrontation: during an inspection confrontation should be avoided. The point of an inspection is to notate damage or neglect to the property not to accuse the tenant of causing damage. Any issues found or brought up by the tenant should be handled via writing (not verbally) and proper records kept.
Inspections are a key part of effective rental property management and should be performed regularly. This assures that a property remains in good condition and also, allows needed repairs to be made. This helps prevent minor issues from becoming far more costly major issues when left unchecked.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.