Landlords have specific requirements when it comes to property inspections. While the property is your personal investment, it is the place where another person lives and deserves privacy. Landlords do need to make sure tenants are upholding their end of the lease agreement, which is normally done from a property inspection. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of rental property inspections.
- Do give notice to the tenant of a rental property inspection. A tenant needs to have at least one week’s notice for rental inspection. Set a time and date on the notice and make it clear. If the date and time does not work for the tenant, they need to contact the landlord to arrange for a different time.
- Do make a thorough check on of the property to ensure that all rooms, furniture, and everything is being maintained to the standards set forth in the lease agreement. If you do identify broken items, holes in walls, talk to the tenant about this during the inspection.
- Do not come to an inspection unannounced. You must provide sufficient notice to the renter or it is considered harassment and a tenant could take legal action against you. When a landlord shows up without prior announcement, it often causes tension with tenants and can lead to additional problems.
- Do not let yourself into the home. The Fair Housing Act does allow an agent to enter the home for repair needs, but not for an inspection.
A property management company can provide assistance with problems related to property inspections. Communication is vital when it comes to tenant inspections, and making sure it is fair for both parties.
When Should a Property Inspection Be Performed?
A property inspection can be performed for the following reasons:
- Move-in inspection. A move-in inspection is conducted when a tenant is moving into the property. Use a checklist to help identify the property condition during move-in, so you can refer to this when they move-out. Taking pictures of the property is another way to provide documentation of what the property looks like and ensure you are being fair with the tenant.
- Move-out inspection. A move-out inspection is performed when a tenant leaves the property. Schedule a walk-through when the tenant vacates the property. The move-out needs to be done while they are in the process of moving out so you can identify things like scratches and dents on the walls and floors that are caused from them moving out.
- Routine inspection. A routine inspection is conducted usually every three to six months to make sure the tenant is maintaining the property correctly.
- Drive-by inspection. A drive by can be done any time since you are not entering the property. The drive-by allows you to see how well the tenant is keeping up the outside of the property. If you have allowed the tenant to do yardwork and other things, it helps to drive-by and make sure they are doing a good job.
Keyrenter Property Management in Napa provides assistance and help for landlords. Use our tips on the dos and don’ts of rental property inspections to ensure your property is holding its value and tenants are living up to their end of the agreement.