It can be a great investment to purchase a rental property, and receive regular income from it. However if you really want to get the most out of it, you should get into the habit right away of carrying out rental property inspections, so you can be sure that your investment is being protected. There are four major important rental property inspections which you should definitely carry out, because it will be in your own best interest to ensure that the property is being maintained, and your investment is being safeguarded.
Prior to the move-in date of any new tenant, you should carry out a thorough inspection to make sure everything is in good order. To make sure you don’t overlook anything, it would be a good idea to prepare a checklist, and document anything that requires attention before the new tenant moves in. The more detailed you can be on these inspections, the better idea you’ll have about the general condition of your rental property, and the better informed you’ll be about what requires maintenance or repair.
Drive-by inspections can be very handy for a property manager who has several apartment buildings to manage and monitor. Whenever you’re in the neighborhood of one of your properties, you should eyeball it to see how everything looks from the curb. This is a great way of at least checking up on the external condition of the home, and spotting anything obvious which might require repair or general maintenance. It might be a good idea to get into the habit of doing daily or weekly drive-bys, so you can determine how your property is being used, and whether or not repairs are needed. Obviously, if you plan on stopping in for an interior inspection, you should notify the tenants before doing so.
Your rental property is very likely to be impacted by the changing of the seasons, and by whatever weather happens to be prevalent during that season. For instance, you’ll want to keep an eye out for snow-covered sidewalks, blocked drains, clogged gutter pipes, and icy driveways. It’s important to address all these issues quickly so they don’t develop into serious problems. In order to keep your property in the best possible condition, you should make a point of conducting the seasonal inspections in tandem with the actual changing of seasons.
This may be the single most important inspection you carry out, because this is when you’ll see when any damage has been done to your rental property, and you’ll also know exactly what state it’s in after having been lived in by the tenant. If you find any damage that was not there prior to the tenant’s move-in date, you’ll know that this tenant was the culprit.
If the unit was a furnished one, make sure that all appliances, furniture, and everything else provided in the apartment is still in the same condition it was prior to move-in. If the apartment was not a furnished one, make sure that the tenant’s belongings have all been cleared out. Any damage which has been done to the unit should be subtracted out of the tenant’s security deposit.
If necessary, take photos of the condition of the apartment so you can compare it to its prior condition, and so you can be sure that any damage was caused by the current tenant. This is the best way to make sure that a tenant has left the rental unit in the same condition it was in when they originally moved in.