Rental property inspections provide an opportunity for you to check on any preventative maintenance items that might need to be taken care of, and to make sure your tenants are following the terms of their lease. Today, we’re talking about how often you should conduct inspections, and what you should look for while you’re at the property.

Conduct Annual Inspections

Typically, we do inspections annually. If pets are in the property, we inspect every six months. We also work with our vendors to ensure inspections take place even more frequently. They are inside the property routinely throughout the year, and they can report on what they see at the property. Whether it’s the plumber checking a leak or the landscaper who is there monthly, they are trained to share information with us.

Check for Leaks and Water Problems

The first thing you want to do during your inspection is to check for leaks and drips. Typically, tenants will tighten a faucet too tightly, which leads to receding when it would have been a quick washer change. Check under sinks and make sure they aren’t leaking. Those leaks can cause damage to your cabinets. Check for running toilets, which will increase water bills. Whether you’re responsible or your tenant, you don’t want a leaking toilet to cost anyone more money.

Check for moisture build-up in all bathrooms. You might see mildew on the windows or mold on the ceiling. Look for leaking windows. Don’t forget to check the washing machine. Everything should be dry behind your appliances.

Check for Safety Concerns

Next, you want to check for safety issues. Take care of wobbly rails, lifting carpet, cracked tiles, and rotting floorboards. Make sure the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors are present and operating properly.

Check for Adequate Cleaning

You also want to look at how clean the home is. Look at the carpet condition and decide if it should be steam cleaned. Check the oven and appliances. If the oven isn’t cleaned regularly, the enamel could become damaged. Look for calcium build-up in the dishwasher and showers. Check for any excessive wear and tear. You’ll want to make sure the filters are being changed. If there’s a water filtration system in place, make sure it’s updated. Check the furnace filter too, and have the fireplace and chimney cleaned annually.

All of these things that are a tenant’s responsibility should be outlined in the lease. The annual inspection is our opportunity to make sure it is all being done properly.

Check the Landscaping

When you’re done with the interior inspection, check the landscaping and garden care. Make sure that the lawn is mowed and the plants are trimmed. The landscaping has to be kept up or you’ll be left with a pretty expensive repair bill. Check the sprinkler system to make sure it’s working properly. If it’s on a timer, does it turn on and off reliably?

The last thing you should do is engage your tenant. Check in and make sure your tenants are happy. Happy tenants take better care of the property and they stay longer, which ultimately benefits all parties.

For more information on inspections or property management, contact us at 36 North Properties.