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.
3. 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.
4. Exterior Condition
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.
5. 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.
6. Lease Violations
We tell tenants that we do inspections to make sure that the property’s taking care of them, which is what I went over already, and that they’re taking care of the property. We want to make sure there’s no smoking going on if there’s not supposed to be, pets, unauthorized occupants and pets, other issues that are outlined in the lease agreement. We want to document that. We want to make sure that we’re getting that tenant back on track if there is an issue.
7. Routine Maintenance
What a great opportunity for you to go to the house as the landlord, as the property manager, to change filters, change smoke detector batteries, some of those routine things that are just nice to do because you’re already there. It’s a great opportunity.
In Closing: How to Do Inspections
How does Keyrenter do these inspections? This is what we do. First, we provide notice, oftentimes about five days notice of these inspections. But we also make sure we’ve got it in our lease agreement. You’ll want to make sure it’s in your lease agreement that you can do these inspections as well as take photos and video, whatever you want to do there.
We then do a pre-walkthrough check. We have a checklist that we go through. We’re checking these things I already mentioned that we go through. We’re also talking to the tenant to see if there’s anything that they’ve noticed, anything strange or any repairs that need to be addressed. We have a checklist to go through.
Then we do video. We do video because we can actually have an HD wide-angle camera where we can talk on it and explain issues as we see them, or any condition issues that we see, or other recommendations that we have with the property. We can go back, watch it, send it out. They’re live videos and video is wonderful. You can get a much more dimensional picture of the condition of the property. Our clients really appreciate these videos, much more than just receiving a checklist or pictures.
One thing with the videos is we set really good expectations with the tenant so that they know what to expect when we arrive. They know that we’re going to do this, and we set a really good expectation so that it’s a good, happy situation with the tenant.
If the tenant is not present, we leave a notice of entry which basically says, “We were in your house and this is why, and we’re allowed to do that.” We leave a letter, a thank you, and also some tips, maintenance things that we would recommend so that we can help them out as well and give them some direction.
If you have questions with this or you’d like Keyrenter to do inspections for you, to act as your property manager or your landlord, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to help out in any way that we can. Appreciate you watching this video. Thank you.