Property inspections are an important part of maintaining your home and protecting it against tenant damage. You should insist on a move-in inspection, a move-out inspection, and at least one inspection during the year while your tenant is in place. Today, we’re helping landlords and owners understand what to look for while inspecting a rental property.
Documenting Condition: The Move-In Inspection
The main purpose of the move-in inspection is to document the condition of your home before your tenant moves in. This will help you determine whether any damage was left behind after the tenant leaves. You’ll have an accurate representation of what the property looks like at the beginning of the tenancy when you do a thorough move-in inspection. This check-in should be done with every detail documented. Make notes and take pictures of everything. You want to be able to prove how the place looked so your tenant cannot claim that things were damaged prior to taking possession. Make sure you have pictures of every door, window, floor, ceiling, and appliance.
Give your tenant the opportunity to walk through the property and make any additional notes. If they notice something that isn’t on your own inspection report, they should be able to add it. Make sure you’re providing a home that’s habitable, functional, and clean. This will show your tenants how you expect the property to be returned at the end of the lease.
Routine Annual Inspections
We conduct inspections of the property three times a year to make sure the tenant is taking care of the home. We schedule a time with the tenant to go inside and have a look at the property. Not only can we check for maintenance issues that may not have been reported by the tenant; we can also verify that the tenant is following all the terms of the lease. This is an important part of protecting your investment property. After an inspection is done, we will put together an inspection report with pictures, and we’ll email it to you. If there are any lease violations or issues of concern, we’ll discuss and resolve those things with the tenant right away.
Move-Out Inspections: Looking for Damage
Once the tenant has moved out and the keys to the property are returned, it’s time to conduct a move-out inspection. This is done to check the property and determine whether any damage has been done during the tenancy. You can use your move-in report and compare the way the home looked at the beginning of the tenancy to the way it looks at the end. If you notice any damage, you can deduct the cost of repairs or replacements from the tenant’s security deposit.
Most landlord and tenant disputes occur at this stage of the lease, when landlords believe that damage was done and tenants believe that it’s simply wear and tear or a preexisting issue. This is why inspections and documentation are so important.
If you have any questions about how to handle property inspections, please contact us at A+ Realty Management. We’d be happy to tell you more.