A walk-through and property inspection is essential to perform with your tenant before a new lease term begins and when that same lease ends.
These are some reasons why landlords should make regular property inspections.
1. Tenant Compliance. Tenant compliance is among the most important reasons to inspect properties regularly – catching problems early may mean correcting bad behavior without having to evict them. And if they still refuse to comply with the lease provisions, at least you can evict them before they do too much damage to your investment.
2. Routine Maintenance. It’s also critical to double check that routine maintenance is being done, whether the tenant or a third party is responsible for it. Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Check the HVAC filter to make sure it’s been replaced within the last three months, and isn’t too dirty. Is the landscaping and grass being maintained properly? Are the floors scratched to shreds, or did the tenant comply with your proviso that all furniture have felt pads on the feet?
3. Weather Wear & Tear. Weather and human activity can wear on the exterior of any property. You can find out if there are any structural or other problems with the home and façade by doing periodic inspections.
4. Difficult Foundations. Foundation inspections are important, if damage goes unrepaired for too long – the repair costs would be substantial. Cracked foundations and holes invite insects, rodents, etc. and cause structural instability. Water damage can also be a problem.
5. Appliances. Appliances in your property should be checked to make sure that they are safe and in correct working order. This can include the stove and oven, refrigerator, washer, dryer and any other appliances supplied by the landlord.
6. Mechanical Systems. There are normal wear and tear, but be sure to periodically check exposed plumbing lines and fixtures for sinks, toilets, tubs and dishwashers, including access panels and under sinks. Also check electrical switches and outlets, making sure that no breakers are being overloaded.
7. Good Tenant Retention. Having trust between the landlord-tenant is important. Periodic inspections give tenants peace of mind that they are in a safe place and know their landlord cares about them and their safety.
Use a Periodic Property Inspection Checklist. Send or post a Notice of Entry in the legally-required timeframe and phone the renters in addition to giving them the notice, to arrange for a time to do the inspection.