Inspecting your rental home serves two important purposes. First, it allows you to look for deferred maintenance that your tenant may not have reported. Second, it allows you to see if your tenant is following the terms of your lease. Every landlord should inspect the property before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. However, you should also inspect at least once during the tenancy.
Move-In Inspection: What to Look For
The purpose of your move-in inspection is to accurately and thoroughly document the condition of your property. You need pictures and notes and if possible, video, to show how your property looked before a tenant moved in. You’re also looking for things that may need to be fixed. Be sure the light bulbs all work and change the air filter. Check the outlets and the faucets. This rental inspection should ensure the property is clean and habitable for your tenants.
Move-Out Inspection: What to Look For
The move-out inspection should be similar to the move-in inspection. In fact, you should use the same checklist so you can compare the condition now to the condition at move-in. You’re looking for evidence of tenant damage. Document the move-out inspection just as thoroughly so you can avoid any security deposit disputes.
Regular Inspection: What to Look For
At some point during the tenancy, you’ll want to schedule an appointment to get inside the property and take a look around. Let your tenants know a few days in advance that you want to conduct an inspection. They can choose to be there, but they don’t have to be present. Check both the inside and outside of the property. Take a look at the landscaping and the roof. Make sure there isn’t any evidence of pests or rodents.
Inside the property, check for small maintenance issues that are easy to miss. Look under sinks for leaks. Check the HVAC system and make sure the tenant has been changing filters. If you notice any issues that need to be fixed, take care of them as soon as possible. If you notice any lease violations, address those things with your tenant right away. The most common lease violation that you may uncover during your inspections is a pet that isn’t authorized. If your tenants moved in saying they didn’t have any pets but you see dog beds or cat bowls around the house, you should follow up and find out if there’s an animal in the property.
These are just a few of the things you should look for when you’re inspecting your rental property. Remember, your tenants are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their property. This might be a piece of real estate that you own, but it’s the home in which they live. Don’t show up every month asking to look around. Once inspection during the leasing period should be sufficient, unless you have reason to believe that there’s a problem inside the property.
We’d be happy to tell you more about how to conduct rental property inspections in Orange County. Contact us at Bell Properties, Inc. with any questions.