We’ve talked a lot about how to get the most out of inspections, and how inspections can save a lot of time, trouble, and danger for everyone involved with a property. That said, sometimes one of the best ways to appreciate why something is necessary is to see what happens when it isn’t done properly.
The city of Canton, MI, recently announced a plan to carry out a wave of property inspections, searching thousands of units in an attempt to find any potential hazards. It probably goes without saying, but property managers will have to make any needed repairs. Here are 3 things this story demonstrates about what happens when homes aren’t properly inspected.
Tenant Safety Is Threatened
One of the specific reasons Canton officials gave in support of the plan is, not surprisingly, tenant safety. Supervisor Phil LaJoy has specifically stated that the idea is to make sure that the units to be inspected are safe for their tenants. The news article mentions “faulty furnaces, damaged roofs and blocked fire exits” as particular concerns.
Would any of this be necessary if enough property owners had hired competent, dedicated property managers to carry out inspections in the first place? Of course not: every dedicated professional in the industry knows that good inspections find hazards so that they can be fixed. Digital property management optimizes inspections, saving up to 75% of the time required for a more conventional method of doing inspections.
Property Values Are Threatened
Another reason Canton officials gave for implementing this wave of inspections is that it will help to protect property values. If you’re in the business of property management, you know that they are absolutely right: inspections do protect property values.
It is a fact of life that things wear out, decay, and break. This is why inspections are so necessary. In the absence of proper inspections, the inevitable problems that develop are less likely to be caught and fixed.
Canton wouldn’t be in the position of having to inspect all of those units if enough landowners had contracted with property managers to take care of their properties. Digital property management, in particular, allows inspections to be carried out thoroughly and efficiently. With industry standard best practice checklists and the ability to make use photos and even videos, a digital property management app offers significant advantages over older clipboard-and-pen-based methods for carrying out inspections.
The Government Has to Get Involved
Finally, what this story unequivocally demonstrates is that if property owners aren’t doing their jobs, the government has to step in and do something about it. After all, it isn’t fair to tenants to allow a unit to deteriorate without fixing it, and is of course a violation of their legal rights.
But the government getting involved involves a great deal of time, trouble, and expense for a great many people. It seems reasonable to conclude that absolutely all of this time, trouble, and expense could have been prevented by the property owners doing their jobs and hiring competent property managers in the first place. In particular, digital property management offers a highly productive and useful way in which to carry out inspections, so that problems can be caught and resolved efficiently.