Inspecting your Danville rental property gives you the opportunity to document its condition, identify repair needs, and ensure your tenants are meeting the requirements and responsibilities listed in the lease agreement. You’ll want to inspect the property before a tenant moves in, after a tenant moves out, and at least once during the leasing period.
There are specific things you should look for when you’re inside the property.
Move-In Rental Property Inspections
The purpose of an inspection at move-in is to make sure there aren’t any last minute repairs that are needed before your tenants take possession of the home. Ensuring that everything is clean and working properly before they move in will save you from responding to maintenance requests within days of them settling in. Give them a functional property that’s in good condition, and let them know that you expect to have the property returned in the same clean and excellent condition.
Be detailed, and document everything as you complete your move-in inspection. Take pictures of floors, ceilings, closets, appliances, and walls. You want to have a benchmark for when the tenants move out and you’re comparing the condition at the beginning of the lease to how the property looks after those tenants have left.
Move-Out Rental Property Inspections
When the tenants move out, you’re looking for evidence of damage. Take the move-in inspection report with you so you can easily note any changes in the way the home looks. You cannot hold the tenants responsible for general wear and tear, but you can charge their security for any repairs that are due to their abuse, neglect, or misuse. So, a child’s drawings in crayon on the wall are considered damage, a pet’s destruction of your landscaping is damage, and a broken door or window is also considered damage. Document this inspection as carefully as you documented the move-in inspection, since you’ll need to demonstrate the damage that was done.
Inspecting Properties During the Lease Period
You’ll need to give your tenants notice before you show up at the property for a walk-through inspection during the lease term. Let them know when they’re signing the lease agreement that you’ll schedule this about halfway through the lease term. Then, they won’t be surprised that you want to get inside the home. Once you’re there, take a look for any unreported or deferred maintenance. Some tenants will report every minor repair issue, but others will not bother to tell you about dripping sinks or slow drains. This is your opportunity to look for anything that needs maintenance.
Check under sinks for signs of leaks, look at the roof to see if any branches or debris are causing problems, and make sure there aren’t any safety or security issues to be concerned with; for example, are the windows locking properly and are the handrails on stairs tightened? You should also look for potential lease violations. If you don’t allow pets in your property and you notice a litter box in the bathroom, you’ll want to address this with your tenants.
Regular inspections are part of rental property maintenance. If you have any questions about how to handle them, please contact us at Stowers Real Estate. We’d be happy to tell you more about what we do when we’re inspecting the properties we manage.