Many tenants expect that the property they rent is effectively theirs for the term of the lease. They expect that the rental property is in good conditions when they move in, and they expect it to be inspected when they move out. However, good property management companies will conduct periodic inspections during the duration of the tenant’s lease. This keeps a line of communication open between the property owner or manager and the tenant, and prevents surprises upon move-out. It also cements the basis of the property management service.
Most property management companies will conduct up to 4 inspections over the course of a year, including the following:
1. Clean and Safety Inspections
As the name implies, these inspections are focused on the cleanliness and the safety compliance of the rental unit. Property owners or managers are responsible for the safety of their property, and tenants may not reliably notify their management company of safety violations that occur or are discovered. This is also a time to look for damage that may have been created by the tenant.
A clean and safety inspection should be done about every three months, which will allow you to ensure that the property is being kept up to code as the seasons change. As they involve entering the apartment, you should schedule a time with the tenant, or at least alert them to the time you plan to conduct this inspection.
2. Drive-By Inspections
Again, the name of this inspection gives an idea as to what it entails. You do not need to notify the tenant when you are performing a drive-by inspection, as you are looking for issues with the property that can be visible from the outside of the property.
If you discover anything that concerns you, you should immediately notify the tenant in writing and schedule a clean and safety inspection where you can look at the inside of the property.
3. Move-In Inspections
When a tenant moves into a property, they should conduct and document any damage to the unit. This inspection should be overseen by the property owner or management company and kept on file. Move-in inspection documents the state of the property at the time of move-in, and any damage that is undocumented or caused after a tenant moves in can be considered the tenant’s responsibility. A move-in inspection can also help you to identify any issues that need to be corrected at the time of move-in.
4. Move-Out Inspections
You also need to conduct an inspection of the property when tenants move out. The best time to do so is with the tenant, at the property, at the time when they hand their keys off. This way, you and the tenant are on the same page about any damage that may have been discovered. You should be sure to inspect both inside the property and outside during a move-out inspection.
Inspections are crucial for property owners to protect their rental investment. By maintaining an eye on the condition of the property, you will be able to safeguard its value and ensure it is in compliance with all laws and safety standards. Additionally, there is less room for error if a tenant is unhappy with your assessment of the property if routine inspections are conducted.