Rental Property Inspections: 5 Kinds and Why They Are Important
Hiring a Property Inspector for Rental Property Inspection
Renting out a property can become a great second income while utilising your property investment at the same time. However, are you doing everything necessary to ensure the stability of your investment? How often do you inspect the property you are leasing? Not often enough?
Inspecting your property regularly is important for keeping your investment well-maintained and possibly retaining the security deposit in the case of damages caused by your tenant. Checking up on small things regularly can prevent bigger problems in future, or at the end of a lease agreement, as well as simply keeping your property in good shape.
1. Move-In Inspection
This type of inspection should be conducted by the tenant when they move in, as the name suggests. Ensure the inspection is documented, signed and dated by both parties. The tenant should list anything that is not up to standard in the property that could get deducted from their security deposit. Things such as a carpet stain or a chip in the paint should be listed and photographed for the record.
It is best to ensure the property is without faults when a new tenant moves in to avoid any problems during the move-in inspection. This type of inspection is important to conduct so that the tenant knows the condition of the property before moving in and cannot cause damages and then argue that it was the condition of the apartment when moving out. It is best that you resolve any of these issues in good time to ensure a clean and safe home for your tenant.
2. Move-out Inspections
This inspection is conducted by you, the property owner. When your tenant moves out you will need to determine the overall condition of the apartment compared to when the tenant moved in. Conduct this inspection when you receive the keys back from your tenant. It is important to do this with the tenant present to ensure that they do not contest any of your findings that may require you to deduct money from their security deposit.
Be sure to photograph any damages to the property for your records. Once again, both parties should sign and date the inspection report. This paperwork, as well as photographic evidence, will prove to be very useful if you need to open a case with a judge.
3. Routine Inspections
Routine inspections conducted by yourself are always a good idea to ensure the property is being well-maintained by your tenant and is clean and safe. It is advised to conduct these inspections once every three to six months in order to keep control over the condition of your property. Remember that this inspection is to identify any issues caused by the tenant or things that are their responsibility to maintain, such as leaking faucets.
You are not looking for pre-existing damages that were outlined in your move-in inspection. Do not forget to document the inspection, signed and dated by both parties, accompanied by any photographs that are necessary. Be sure to take care of any issues that you as the property owner are responsible for in a timeous manner. Schedule a follow-up inspection if there are any issues that the tenant needs to address, to ensure they have been taken care of in good time.
4. Drive-by Inspections
Drive-by inspections are a good idea for you as the owner of the property. There is no need to notify your tenant about the inspection. Simply drive by the property to ensure everything is in order outside the property. Remember that you are not allowed to access the premises without prior permission from your tenant.
This inspection is simply to check if basic upkeep is being done outside the property, no hazardous items are left lying around and there are no unpermitted pets on the property. If anything is out of place, be sure to take photographs for your records and notify your tenant in writing to make them aware of the matter. If you find anything concerning, schedule a routine inspection with your tenant.
5. Property Management Inspections
If you decide to hire a property manager to look after the property for you, you will need to conduct a thorough inspection with them and, once again, document every detail. These inspections are usually more detailed to ensure all parties are legally covered.
Supply the new rental manager with all previous inspection reports and any other necessary paperwork for their records. Most property managers will require an inspection report as part of a pre-agreement policy and may require that any issues be fixed at the owners account before taking management of your property.
Inspections are an incredibly important aspect of owning and renting out your additional property. Keep your investment in good shape, and conduct regular inspections to ensure good maintenance and minimal damage. These regular inspections will prove to be very useful in protecting you from any legal situations or losing any money on your investment.