Regular Rental Inspections

9 Replies

Curious to see if homeowners/property managers perform regular (quarterly, semi-annually, etc.) property inspections.  We used to in the past but decided it may be a little invasive to tenants so have refrained.  However, we recently had to evict a tenant and found the house in horrible condition.  Could this have been remedied sooner had we visited the property? 

Is this normal business practice for anyone?

Thanks!

As long as your lease addresses this, and you aren't intrusive or overly nosey when you're in the property, you should perform regular, scheduled inspections. Call them maintenance for less pushback from the tenants.

I have a friend who rents his property, and he is in it every month to change the furnace filter. This way, he knows it's getting done. People don't change them regularly in the homes they own - they certainly aren't going to take care of it in a rental.

Change the batteries in the smoke detectors twice a year when the clocks change - another thing that renters typically won't remember to do. 

When you add in things like this, it doesn't seem intrusive. Schedule the "routine maintenance" at their convenience, and it's even less so.

We recently took over a property and sent out a letter which stated we would be doing routine inspections. I had a tenant call our office outrage that we would inspect her apartment. We explained to her it was for her benefit to insure that we keep the property up to the proper standards. She was thrilled that a landlord would be concerned about her well being. 

@Mindy Jensen

Thanks, good advice! I'm starting to think it may not be a bad idea.

Now, to take it a step further...we are managing properties for investor owners.  Do we charge for this service?  Offer it as an election in their management agreement, they can choose to have regular inspections performed if they want?  

This method may not be applicable to most but I know a landlord that works as exterminator.   He has property manager so tenants don't know him but he schedules pest inspections on regular basis and uses that as cover that check up on property.   Brilliant!

We do inspections twice a year.  When clocks are set back and forward.   On the notice we tell tenants we are inspecting for mold/mildew, to check smoke and carbon monoxide batteries and ac/heater filter change.  Landlords/owners should definitely conduct inspections as it allows you to look for leaks, pets (if not allowed), roommates not on the lease and general condition of apartment and a host of other things. 

So as to not seem invasive, you are just observing as you change filters and look for mold.  If something is found (cat) we don't say anything on the spot (avoids conflict).  We simply follow up with a letter saying :"During our recent inspection it was found....."

I could write some interesting posts about things we've found.

Not only are you maintaining the property by inspecting, I think it helps set standards as tenants know management monitors the property and will often take better care of things. 

On my MFU, the city fire marshal did an annual inspection and I swapped smoke alarm batteries and fire extinguishers at that time.  Keeping both eyes open during the visit was all that was necessary.