One of the toughest rental property inspections to conduct is when a tenant is currently living in the unit or property. Oftentimes, property managers will conduct mid-year or safety digital property inspection to address or repair items. As a property manager, keeping a well-maintained property is essential and is ultimately your responsibility. This makes annual inspections a crucial part of your duties as a property owner or manager.
While renters are sometimes adverse to annual inspections, they benefit renters in the long run. It protects them of potential danger lurking around the corner due to unknown maintenance issues. You can also inspect smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are in working condition. In order to get through a mid-year inspection and put your tenant at ease, take a look at these tips to get you through the process.
1. Give proper notice of a digital property inspection. It is important to notify tenants of scheduled inspections and to let them know what the inspection entails. You can send a letter, email, or make a phone call just to let your tenant know that you’ll enter their unit on a given day and time. Your unit or property is also the dwelling place of your tenant. It is their private space so it is important to respect this fact so that you can build trust with your renter. Most importantly, the law requires that you give notice. Your tenant will appreciate it.
2. Explain the reason for the inspection.In your letter, email, or call, let the tenant know why it’s necessary to enter the unit or property. Are you checking the structural integrity? Are you checking the smoke detectors? This will inform your tenants and most likely they will understand the reason for the visit. It will reduce the chance of problems or arguments associated with your visit.
3. Make sure a tenant is present during the digital property inspection. It is best that at least one tenant is present during the inspection. This will protect you against a tenant’s claim of missing property or any other issue. It’s a safeguard to protect you and your tenant. It also gives your renter a chance to ask questions or inform you of any other repair needs. You can then document it in your property inspection management program right on the spot. If a resident is present during the inspection, you should also note it in your report in case you need to reference it later on.
4. Don’t fuel confrontations. When you conduct your rental property inspection, avoid engaging in confrontations. Even if you notice damage in the rental unit due to a renter’s neglect, don’t address it in-person. Make a detailed note of it, take pictures with your property management inspection program, and then send a report to your renter via email or mail. The last thing you want is a verbal altercation. Keep your communication professional and send a formal report to minimize problems during an annual inspection.