Rental Property Inspections
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As a landlord, performing property inspections is an important part of your job. Even if you have a great tenant, routine inspections can help prevent big problems down the road. They also indicate to a tenant the type of condition you expect the property to be returned in. After all, if you don’t care about the property, why should they?
A good landlord-tenant relationship involves cooperation and communication, and this especially applies to handling a rental property inspections. Here are some tips on when to perform one, how to do so while protecting tenant privacy, and the do's and don'ts you should know when performing a property inspection.
What is a rental property inspection?
According to Zillow, a rental property inspection is a good way to track the condition of your property. It involves the landlord or the property manager periodically reviewing the property inside and out to assess the condition of the property. A rental property inspection is often conducted while the tenant is present so they are informed of any issues or concerns that arise.
A rental property inspection allows for you and your tenant to review the condition of the property before they move in, and sets the expectation of the condition in which it should be returned. It’s also an opportunity for you to fix any previously unnoticed repairs before the tenant moves in, which sets the stage for a positive professional relationship with your tenant.
Why is it important to perform one?
Performing a rental property inspection helps you to maintain the condition of your property. Inspections can help account for any deductions taken from the tenant’s security deposit if they damage the property. So having a clear view of the property’s condition before your tenant moves in and when they move out is important to managing your property.
‘Foresight’ recommends two types of inspections that you should conduct on your property:
- Move-in inspection - This inspection should be conducted by you and the tenant during the move-in process. Some landlords use a move-in checklist, to document any issues with the property, and then ask the tenant to sign and date the form. Some landlords also find it helpful to take photos of any existing damage to keep along with the paperwork.
- Move-out inspection - This inspection helps you determine the condition of the property when the tenant leaves. You’ll want to schedule the walk-through on the day your tenants vacate the premises. If you do it too early, they may cause damage during the last few days on the property or in the process of moving out. For example, hardwood floors can easily be scratched while moving heavy furniture. If you do it too late, the tenants may be able to claim that the damage was not caused by them.
- Houses (3,000 sq. ft. or less (basement or crawl) $400
- Houses (3,000 sq. ft. or less (slab) $350
- Over 3,000 sq. ft. is an additional $50/500 sq. ft.
- Condo (2 bedroom) $315
- Condo (1 bedroom) $275
- Infrared exam/Energy Audit $400
- Radon Exam $200
- Dekalb Low-Flow Inspection $75
- Re-inspection $125