Inspections are a very important part of taking care of your rental property, and they can be difficult to manage when you have a tenant living in the property. The purpose of inspecting the property is to ensure the tenants are taking care of it and not violating the lease. You’ll need to give your tenants plenty of notice before you enter the property. Once you’re inside, there are specific things to look for.
Take a look at how clean the house is. You want your tenants to keep the place in good shape, and it’s not a good sign if the floors are sticky and food is crusted to the appliances. Look for signs that housekeeping needs improvement. An inspection is also a good time to look for damage. If you find excessive wear and tear or things that need to be repaired or replaced, take care of them right away. Make sure the air filters are being changed every month so your HVAC system doesn’t suffer, and check for leaks under the sinks so you can catch potentially expensive plumbing problems before it’s too late. Hoses and tanks on your appliances and toilets should be checked and make sure the flapper valve is sealed, especially if you’re responsible for the water bill.
Only the people listed on the lease should be living in the property. At the inspection, check for signs that unauthorized occupants may be staying there. If you’re leasing to one adult and you find three beds during your inspection and several cars in the driveway – that might indicate you don’t know who else is living in your house.
Tenants can work very hard to avoid paying a pet fee or a pet deposit. When your lease prohibits pets and you find dog leashes hanging from hooks during your inspection – that should raise a red flag. If you notice what looks like animal scratches on the baseboards or a strong pet odor, you’ll need to talk to your tenants about what’s going on.
Make good use of your occupied inspection by being thorough. Spend some time at the property and talk to your tenants about how they’re doing. If they have any questions about the house or need help with something, the inspection is a good time to address those concerns. A responsive landlord will keep tenants happy and renting for longer periods.
Contact Hoffman Realty if you have any questions about how to conduct inspections at your property while your tenants are living there.