Regular inspections of your investment properties will help you take care of necessary maintenance, preserve the condition of your asset, and ensure your tenants are following the terms of your lease agreement. You should inspect your rental home a minimum of three times during a tenancy: at move-in, move-out, and while a tenant is in place.
Rental Inspections: Move-In Inspection
First, inspect the property before your tenant takes occupancy. It’s important to walk through the home and make sure everything is safe and functional. Take care of any maintenance needs before the lease is signed and the keys handed over. When tenants move in, ask them to do their own inspection with you and note anything that’s broken or in need of repairs. During this inspection, you want to take pictures. The inspection report will be used again, after a tenant moves out, so you can establish whether any damage was left behind. The move-in inspection gives you the opportunity to document the condition of the home when you turned it over to your tenants.
Landlord Inspections: Move-Out Inspection
The move-out inspection occurs after your tenant leaves the property. It needs to be detailed and well-documented in case you need to charge the security deposit for damages. Compare the condition of the home at move-out to the way it looked before the tenants moved in. Make sure you know the difference between damage and normal wear and tear before you charge the deposit. You don’t want to violate any landlord/tenant laws, and this is easy to do if you’re not educated on what you can and can’t charge from the deposit. This inspection will tell you if the tenants left the home in good condition, and it will also give you an opportunity to document the things that need to be done before a new tenant moves in.
Rental Inspections While Occupied
There is an opportunity to have your property inspected each time a vendor or maintenance person goes into the property to complete a repair. Make sure they are trained to look for lease violations and signs of damage. It’s also a good idea to do a formal inspection at least once a year. Take your licensed contractor with you to look for leaky pipes, broken shingles, and other things that need to be repaired immediately or in the future. Most property management companies will do this for around $250. At National Property Management Group, our contractors charge $99 for a professional inspection.