Sometimes it’s important to stop, back up, and take a good look at the bigger picture. We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of property inspections, and the many ways that digital property management can save time, money, and legal liability.
Think of this post as more of a big-picture view of the topic. If you’re a property manager, you might know someone you’re trying to convince of the importance of inspections. Still, no matter how much experience you may have with inspections, sometimes it’s simply a good idea to stop and think about the big picture.
Inspections are important for all kinds of reasons. As we will see, they are absolutely fundamental to the relationships between tenants, landowners, and property management companies.
Property Owners Benefit From Inspections
We’ve talked before about how property owners can be held liable for damages if an accident occurs on one of their properties and it can be established that the owner was negligent in some way. Inspections can identify problems that could become sources of legal liability, potentially saving property owners a great deal of time, trouble, and of course legal expenses.
That said, even if we set aside lawsuits property owners still benefit a great deal from inspections. A good inspection can enable a property owner to recover damages from a tenant’s security deposit. This is an enormous potential benefit in and of itself, since some tenants will leave a home in an absolutely disreputable condition upon moving out.
At a fundamental level, inspections enable property owners to know about the state of their properties. In addition to hazards and damages, inspections help owners know how to plan. Will they need to get that roof repaired soon, or is it likely to hold up well for another 5-10 years? Could that basement be vulnerable to termites or mold, or has it been protected?
Property owners should want to know the answers to questions like these, which is why they should demand that the people who manage their properties use the most up-to-date methods for carrying out inspections.
Tenants Benefit From Inspections
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as the saying goes, and that’s definitely true here as well. While it’s true that inspections protect property owners and property managers from unscrupulous tenants, it’s also true that they can protect tenants from unscrupulous (or even sincerely mistaken) owners and managers.
Good tenants do their best to take care of a place, both because it is their home and because they want to get back as much of their deposit as possible. Since mistakes and misunderstandings do happen, good inspection records can help to protect tenants from having to pay for damages that were already there when they moved in. Of course, shrewd tenants will take their own inspections seriously, but tenants can also benefit from inspections carried out by property managers, since these inspections can establish a great deal about the condition of a home before the tenants moved in.
Property Managers Benefit From Inspections
Obviously property managers benefit from inspections because they can reduce the chances that they will be held liable for negligence, but there’s a lot more here. Property managers benefit from the professionalism that they can project by carrying out good inspections and drawing on them at need.
In fact, it can be very beneficial to property managers to be able to reliably settle disputes between landlords and tenants regarding who is liable for particular damages, something that is quite possible if the property manager has taken pains to carry out thorough inspections. Being able to settle such disputes will likely endear you to your clients. After all, even if the disputes are not always settled in their favor, they will know that they have reliable, thorough professionals managing their property.
The ability to conduct inspections competently is fundamental to what it means to be a good property manager. This is why it’s so important for you to use the right tools to help you obtain the best results from your inspections.