Whether you own one rental property or a dozen, it’s important that you make time to inspect them routinely. Working with a Lancaster property management company can help; most professional managers will have a process in place for inspecting your home at various times during a lease period.
We recommend you inspect at least three times a year. You’ll want to do a move-in inspection and a move-out inspection (or a renewal inspection if your tenant decides to renew). You’ll also want to do a routine inspection while a tenant is in place so you can be sure there isn’t any unreported maintenance or lease violations to be concerned with.
If you’ve never conducted an inspection before, we recommend you put together a rental inspection checklist to keep yourself organized and to document everything you find.
Move-In Rental Property Inspections
The move-in inspection is especially important because it will document the condition of your property before you turn it over to your tenants. This inspection report will be used to determine whether any damage was done at the end of the tenancy, when your residents have moved out and you’re making decisions about the security deposit.
Be as detailed as possible when you’re conducting this inspection. Take pictures of everything, even the floors, the walls, and insides of appliances. Give your new tenants an opportunity to walk through the property and make their own notes on the inspection checklist. Lancaster property managers are thorough and detailed when it comes to these inspections. We take pictures and we document everything from floors to doors to walls and ceilings.
Move-Out Rental Property Inspections
During the move-out inspection, you’ll be looking for damage that’s due to neglect, abuse, or misuse. You cannot charge the tenant’s deposit for normal wear and tear, but you can charge for damage that goes beyond regular wear. Compare the pictures and the notes you take to those you filed after the move-in process. If something doesn’t look right after a tenant leaves your property, you’ll have the evidence to demonstrate that.
If your tenant is choosing to renew the lease, you should make sure they’re prepared to have you come and inspect the home before you sign the new lease agreement. Make sure they’re taking care of the home and look for any maintenance issues that may need to be addressed. Once you’re satisfied with how the tenant is performing and the property is looking, you can offer a new lease.
Rental Property Inspections During Occupancy
Schedule your walk-through inspection with your tenant halfway through the lease period. This is a good opportunity to make sure the air filters are being changed. You can also look for leaks under sinks, and give the property a thorough check for deferred or unreported maintenance. Since you’re inside the house, you should also take the time to discuss any issues or concerns your tenant might be having. Look for lease violations, too. If you did not approve any pets but you see a huge tub of cat litter in the bathroom or dog crates on the balcony, you might want to address it with your tenants.
If you need help with rental property inspections or you have any questions related to Lancaster property management, please contact us at Fetch Home Management. We’d be happy to assist you.