Being a property manager requires you to liaise with a diverse pool of people. From tenants, owners, HOA and contractors, to co-workers and employers, there’s no shortage of people that need your time and attention.
Because of this, it’s crucial to have a solid base of processes that you can rely on.
Today we cover four types of rental property inspections that you should conduct on each of the properties you manage. These inspections enable you to keep your property protected, well maintained and up to date so that you can continue to collect competitive rental rates.
Why Inspections are needed
A large number of DIY landlords and new property managers only carry out rental property inspections at the time of a tenant move out. While that’s a great place to start, it doesn’t protect your property and allows your tenants to get away with a lot more than they should.
Whether you carry out the inspections yourself or hire a professional, It’s vital to inspect the condition of your rental property routinely. Inspections are the most important task a property manager faces. This is because they ensure the home is being maintained to the lease standard, uncover issues before they escalate and allow you to build positive relationships with your tenants and homeowners.
In addition to this, inspection reports can also serve as legal documents in the court of law. In the unfortunate situation of a tenant dispute, inspection reports can often have the final say as they provide dated photographic proof of what you conflict over.
Rental Inspection Tips
Now that you understand why rental property inspections are so necessary, you should learn about some of the things you should be on the lookout for while inspecting your properties. As time goes on and you develop as a property manager, you will gain a natural understanding of what to look for when inspecting. However, when you are beginning it can be overwhelming trying to remember everything you should be monitoring. Here are a few things to start you off.
- Pets (unapproved)
- Evidence of drug usage
- Signs of unauthorized occupants
- Working smoke alarms
- Signs of smoking
- Working water and heat
If your rental property inspection checklist already has all of these points listed on it, Congratulations! However, the above list is the tip of the ice burg stuff if you were to do a proper inspection.
Remember, if you want to protect yourself in court legally, you need time and date stamps supplemented with photographs. A pen and paper list with a simple yes or no answer section is not going to protect you or your company in the court of law, the more detail you provide, the better.
Before your tenants moving into your property, you need to conduct a move-in inspection.
Move-in inspections are crucial for recording the condition of your property at the time your tenants move-in and inhabit your property.
The move-in inspection means you have proof of what condition the property was in before the tenants moved in. The move-in inspection sets the standard for the entire tenancy, and also allows you to determine if a tenant is responsible for any damage or not.
When you conduct your move-in inspection its essential that you check through every room, area, and space. Leave nothing to chance; this is your one time to fully asses your property and document the condition it is in before your tenants move in.
A move-out inspection should be conducted before a tenant collects their bond. The purpose of doing a move-out inspection is to determine the overall condition of the property after the tenant has been living in it.
Rember, it’s essential that you conduct the move-out inspection before your tenant’s hands in their keys. Any damage you say was caused by them will be denied because you have no proof that they created the damage as you were not there to inspect before they moved out.
SnapInspect recommends having the tenants walk the inspection and sign off on the inspection findings with you to protect yourself against false claims.
It’s as straightforward as it sounds- routine inspections allow you to check the property is safe, clean, and is maintained to the agreed standard. SnapInspect advises that you conduct routine inspections every 3-6 months depending on your property. If you fail to do routine rental property inspections on your property, you risk losing control of the overall condition of your property.
We suggest embracing technology and using property inspection software to help you carry out inspections. Property management is already a hard gig which demands you use multiple skill sets. Enlisting the help of property inspection software allows you to keep your tenants accountable while maintaining a professional standard.
Property inspection software like SnapInspect also enables you to keep a record of every inspection, dispute and maintenance work that has been carried out on a particular asset. Empowering you with data, photographs, videos and signatures that you can use to settle disputes, evict tenants, protect yourself and overall improve your level of business.