ASHLAND -- Rental property inspections can help you, as a landlord, understand whether a tenant is adhering to the policies outlined in your lease agreement.
However, that’s only a small part of what a property inspection can do for you. Conducting consistent inspections helps pinpoint repair or maintenance issues before they have a chance to become bigger problems. If you want to make your life as a landlord easier and improve your tenants’ quality of life, let’s review how to conduct a comprehensive rental property inspection.
Review your state and local laws
Your state or city may have varying laws regarding how to conduct a rental inspection, what you’re allowed to do, and how much notice of entry you must give.
Most laws require you to give at least a 24-hour notice before entry, while others require notification 72 hours beforehand.
Additionally, some states may allow you to inspect certain exterior portions of the property without notice if it’s not considered a rented part of the property. These areas might include land surrounding the property or the sidewalk. Be aware that if you don’t check your area’s laws beforehand, you may infringe on a tenant’s right to privacy, which can become a legal issue.
Schedule an appropriate time with your tenants Even if you own multiple investment properties, you should make it a point to contact your tenants individually or through an application to schedule an inspection. This makes it easier to work around everyone’s schedule and inform them of your arrival, approximately how long it will take, and why you’re conducting an inspection.
This can also help ensure that a tenant is there during the inspection, so there’s no question of actions or intentions later. Making your tenant an active participant in the inspection process helps them remember when and why you’re coming and mitigates the risk of future arguments.
Give an inspection notice
You may be wondering why you should send an inspection notice to your tenants if you’ve already met with them. The answer is simple: both you and the tenant should have physical documentation of everything you reviewed when you scheduled the inspection date.
Depending on your state and local laws, you should send his notice at least 24–72 hours before the scheduled date. In doing so, you remind your tenants of when you’ll be there and have documented evidence that you adhered to the law.
Have a checklist ready
You should make a checklist of everything that needs inspection. Have a space for your tenant to sign the checklist after it’s been conducted, so everyone is on the same page about the state of the property.
Your checklist should include the plumbing, appliances, parking area, backyard, light fixtures, HVAC systems, doors, windows, and more. This helps you or your home inspector keep track of everything that needs review and provides documentation to protect you and your property.
Now you know how to conduct a rental property inspection.
However, if this process sounds like a lot, you’re not alone. You can hire a home inspector for your rental property who will take care of the process for you. All you need to do is learn how to choose a home inspector and provide them with the information they need to conduct a thorough and accurate inspection.