Which Appliances Does a Property Inspector Need to Test?

Taking Pictures by CellphoneIt’s important during a property inspection to make sure that the important appliances are ready to be tested, but how do you know which appliances are “important”?  It’s reasonable to expect that the property inspector will test the oven but leave your hair dryer alone, but many household appliances do fall into a grey area where it can be hard to tell whether or not an inspector will need to test them.  It’s important not to cause yourself stress by worrying about every single appliance, and there are some simple ways to figure out whether you need to have something ready for testing on the day of the inspection.

If it stays with the property, it needs to be tested

As a very general rule, anything that stays with the property when you sell or rent it is something that the inspector will have to test.  This includes any built-in kitchen appliances, like ovens and dishwashers; it typically includes washing machines and dryers; and, depending on the property, it may encompass other appliances as well.  Light fixtures always need to be tested, but portable or desk lamps probably do not, unless you’re leaving them for a future tenant.  If you’re undecided, the size of the appliance can be a useful guideline: large appliances with a considerable footprint should be tested, since if they have problems it could affect how safe the property is.  Small appliances that can be easily moved from place to place are probably outside a property inspector’s requirements.

You can always ask the inspector

If you’re unsure about where an appliance fits on that scale, you can always call or e-mail your inspector to ask.  Whether or not an electric toothbrush needs to be inspected is pretty obvious, but medium appliances like microwaves can be harder to asses: while a microwave is portable and easy to replace, a damaged one could pose hazards to a future resident’s health.  A professional property inspector should be happy to confirm to you which appliances he will need to test during his inspection, giving you plenty of time to make sure that the important ones are clean and accessible on the day of the inspection.

Keep extra appliances around to test outlets

Even appliances that don’t need to be tested as part of an inspector’s report can be very useful during an inspection.  It’s important for a property inspector to make sure that all of the outlets are working, and for outlets that are in hard to reach places, it can actually be very helpful to have something already plugged in.  With all the nooks and crannies to check, a property inspector could be very grateful to be able to test an outlet by switching on a desk lamp rather than by crawling under the desk itself.  Just be sure that appliances you keep around to help test outlets actually work, or you multiply a property inspector’s job instead of making it easier.

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