What’s the Deal With Inspections Anyway?
Rental inspections are an often dreaded part of a landlord’s responsibilities during the tenancy of a lease. Of course, we all wish that every single tenant was a long-term, problem-less tenant who keeps their dogs out of the neighbor's trash and never has any issues with the property; but that is often not the case. Tenants are real people; things break and sometimes people are negligent.
This is the reality of owning a rental property. By maintaining a solid schedule of inspections with clear expectations, you can mitigate just about any issue that may arise during a tenant's stay on your property.
Want peace of mind? It’s time to start implementing properly performed inspections.
Types of Inspections
While there are a million different ways you can go by inspecting your property, we are going to focus on what to look into for the following three kinds of inspections.
- Move-in inspections: Move-in inspections set the base expectation for the lifecycle of a lease. Performed at move-in, the landlord should document the condition of the property with great detail so that they know everything right or wrong with the space at move-in. This leaves no argument for when a tenant says that there were large burnt spots on the floor when they got there, when in fact, no such marks existed during the move-in inspection.
- Move-out Inspection: When a tenant leaves, it is essential to note any changes to the property from the original condition. If they caused damage during their tenancy, you could hold them accountable by not returning their security deposit or asking them to pay for additional repairs depending on your lease agreement. This should be completed the day of move out.
- Mid-Lease Inspection: Mid-lease inspections are as essential to check in on your property as they are to building quality relationships with your tenant – checking in to make sure that the property is in good shape while also doing any preventive maintenance.
What to Look For
Leaks and Water
The water inside is seldom fun and can do damage to a property faster than just about anything else (although fire is up there, too). It is one of those things that, if left unchecked, can cause a host of problems, including mold and mildew. Check for watermarks on the walls and ceilings, as well as under any sinks, faucets, toilets, etc.
Upon moving out, tenants should leave the property as it was at move-in. You should expect the same level of cleanliness after a tenant leaves. Floors and baseboards should be free of debris and dust. Kitchens and bathrooms should be scrubbed down and sparkle.
Any carpet should be vacuumed and deep cleaned. Long story short, your house should look and smell fresh and new. If a property is not cleaned to the standards that you set out in your lease, then you can and should withhold cleaning costs from the security deposit.
As a property owner, you are responsible for providing a safe and habitable space for your tenants, not only for legal reasons but for moral ones. Any inspection should go over key safety measures to ensure that your tenants have a safe place to call home.
Check smoke detectors, fire suppression, and carbon monoxide detectors. Look at the locks on doors and windows to make sure that they are working correctly. Handrails should be secured to the wall. Pool fencing should not have any gaps.
Sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes tenants are negligent and don’t take care of their property. Inspecting your rental unit for physical damage is a no-brainer.
Check for holes in drywall or broken windows. Does your renter have pets? Look out for scratched-up floors or door panels.
Repair and Replacement.
There are a lot of things in homes that need to be checked and replaced often. These things could be lightbulbs, air filters, fuses, etc. These are the “cost of doing business” line item kinds of things. At the end of the lease, everything should be functioning the way that it should.
Line Items from Your Lease
During routine inspections, check-in to see that your tenant is abiding by the terms of your lease. Check for evidence of pets or other tenants that aren't approved to be living there long-term.
See if they have any issues that need to be addressed as well. Leases are a two-way street, and it’s best when both parties are happy.
These are just a few things that you should look for during a rental inspection. Hiring a professional property management company is key to maximizing ROI and ensuring that your properties are well taken care of. Asheville Phoenix Properties is the premier property management company in the Asheville area.
When you partner with Asheville Phoenix Properties, you have decades of professional property management experience on your side.
Asheville Phoenix Properties takes great pride in serving both property owners and tenants by managing single-family and multi-family dwellings throughout Buncombe, Henderson, and Haywood counties. We are happy to answer your questions. Get in touch with Asheville Phoenix Properties right away!