The rental property inspection: keeping an eye on your properties has never been easier.
The rental property inspection is a specific type of inspection primarily for investors and homeowners who use all or part of their properties as rentals. This is not a one-time inspection but rather a thorough inspection program. It is important to protect your investment, and to hold tenants responsible for lease violations and damages. Consequently, you save your precious time and have an advocate ensure your investment is working for you.
As a specialized program the rental property inspection initially follows a standard process. However, upon request the inspection program is customizable to suit an investor’s needs. Below is a typical process of the rental property inspection and further explanation of each optional inspection type.
First, an initial inspection occurs at a tenant “move-in” time. Second, I complete follow up condition inspections, typically at the end of each season. Periodic condition inspections for properties currently in your portfolio ensure the identification of maintenance issues, identification of hidden issues, such as grow ops, tenant alterations, pet damage, etc. Identifying such problems early on is the key to maintaining a profitable ownership. Finally, when the rental period expires, a move-out inspection occurs. This report can be compared to the move-in inspection report. Use this information to make any required adjustments concerning the security deposit.
Rental property inspection: four types
Investors can tailor a program or order individual inspections of each inspection based on their needs.
1.) Move – In:
Here the inspector acts on your behalf to conduct the move in walk through inspection with your new tenant. The inspector documents the condition of the suite with the tenant. You will also receive many photos to accompany the move in document. The tenant then signs and dates the document.
Benefits: The obvious pro of having the move in inspection is to protect you from legal disputes. Additionally, it also sets expectations of how the tenant should treat the suite/property.
2.) Periodic Condition Inspection: (requires tenant notification)
This inspection takes place several times throughout the lease process. Often investors choose to have it done quarterly. This inspection evaluates the suite/property for routine maintenance/repairs and identify safety issues. You receive an inspection report and follow up photos to help ensure the property is in good working order.
Benefits: Reduce the risk for unexpected extensive damage, lease violations or dangerous conditions that if left unchecked can greatly contribute to lost profits.
3.) Drive – By Inspection: (does not require tenant notification)
This optional add-on inspection provides you with a quick exterior snap shot of the property. The inspector will simply drive by and observe the property checking for issues such as evidence of disallowed pets, poor upkeep or general damage. This inspection is an inexpensive option for absentee owners, property managers or investors that are too busy to see every property regularly. If the inspector finds problems, the investor can add a further investigation by adding a conditional inspection.
Benefits: Confirm tenant violations such as disallowed pets, poor upkeep or general exterior damage. Make sure property managers are performing their duties. Lower risk of disputes during move out period.
4.) Move – Out Inspection:
This final inspection helps you determine the overall condition of the property. Therefore, it takes place once the lease term is about the end. During this inspection, the inspector does a final walk through with the tenant. The inspector will again document the current condition of the suite. Then the tenant should sign and date this document. In addition to the final tenant document, the inspector will provide an additional general maintenance report on any major system associated with the rental suite.
Benefits: Use this report as a comparison to move-in report to help eliminate security deposit disputes, thus preventing litigation. Also, receive information about possible needed maintenance repairs to major systems. Finally, help to ease the move in process for new tenants.
Watching over the property and ensuring it is in proper condition is an important and daunting task for many landlords/investors or property managers. Hire Shelter West for a rental property inspection to ensure the property is being maintained and any problems are resolved before they escalate. This will maximize your rental investment profitability for years to come.