Today we are talking about seven reasons to inspect a rental while occupied. So often a rental property goes uninspected by the landlord because of a lack of time, attention, priority, you name it. We hear of different situations all the time. But they are so important. I’m going to share with you seven reasons why.
Now, who should be inspecting the property? The owner, the landlord, the property manager? Well the owner can be the property manager if they self-manage. The property manager or the landlord, meaning the property manager is the landlord, they should be inspecting the priority. If the owner has hired out a property manager, then that property manager is the landlord. But many owners need to realize that if they are self-managing, they are the landlord, they are the property manager, and should be going into the home on a routine basis. If it’s hired out, this is the property manager’s responsibility.
The first reason is accountability. Tenants will respect what you inspect. When we inspect the property and they know that we’re going to inspect it, something interesting happens. They will take better care of the property simply because they know that at some point the landlord, the property manager, is going to be visiting to check on it. It’s that accountability, that checks and balancing with that tenant, that helps to make it a more successful situation. Really important. Oftentimes when we find, when we do inspections and we give them notice, that they are going to do a deep clean. They’re going to make it look really nice. Sometimes we’ve heard that tenants hired professional cleaners to come in to really take care and make it look great, which is awesome.
Number two, relationship. It’s a way to gain trust and to retain tenants when you can go in there and you can get to know them a little bit more, see how they’re doing. Sometimes they’re not present when you do an inspection, that’s okay, but when they are, make it a relationship-building opportunity. Yes, if they’re not taking care of the property, you may need to set them straight, but still being kind and professional is really important and a great way to understand what their plans are, if they’re planning to renew, if they love the property, if they hate it, what do they not like. Get that rapport and make it a great relationship builder.
We’ve had many tenants leave us positive five-star reviews on social media because of our inspections, which is interesting. You tend to think that tenants wouldn’t like it. They actually really like the way that we do them.
Yard and landscaping. Check the grass. Check the landscaping. Make sure that things are being taken care of. Provide training to the tenant if it’s not and set some expectations. It can be costly to replace landscaping. Although you want to simplify the landscaping, don’t give your tenant too much to take care of, check on what you have there, make sure it’s being watched over and being taken care of.
Exterior condition, beyond the landscaping, checking the roof, downspouts, the gutters, the extensions from the spouts, checking the window wills, the foundation, the fencing, making sure that things are taken care of and that you have don’t have any deferred maintenance that needs to be taken care of with the siding, cracks in the driveway, those sort of things.
Interior condition. Are there leaks under the sinks where you don’t notice, where the tenant doesn’t look? Run those sinks. Are there issues with the toilets, with water lines on the ceiling from maybe a roof leak? Are there other issues with the house, utilities, appliances, HVAC, some of these things that you can visually check for as well as getting a little bit behind the scenes.