Property Inspections

4 Replies

Hi guys, just wanted to ask a quick question. I had an issue with an ex tenant who trashed one of my properties around 10 months ago and I knew this property management (PM) company was not looking after my tenants so I decided to change to another PM and asked them for periodic inspections with my properties because of this issue. 

Initially they told me over the phone they will be doing this regularly and after 4 months I asked them if they were checking them. They did not reply to this specifically since I had other questions in the same mail. 

I have now been 8 months with them and I have just had another tenant which did not leave the property in its best condition. No bond and a large number of repairs and expenses I am going through once again......when I asked them why they didn't inspect the house if this time they knew one month earlier that the tenant was going to leave (I was notified one month earlier) they said that inspections for routine have an extra charge of $75 per inspection. I think this is unfair even though this is not stated in the contract that is what I would expect from a PM. Also this was one of the reasons why I move to another PM company because I felt that my prior one was not looking after my tenants and they were destroying my place.

Just as a reference the tenant wanted to buy the property from me but I did not want to sell it so she started to request some repairs which we were attending but then she decided to move and let us know one month in advance......I just feel a bit frustrated especially when my current PM said they would do inspections but they are acting reactively once the tenant leaves and now I have to face all these extra expenses to fix the property again!!

What are your thoughts about performing periodic inspections as part of their work? I am overseas and that is what we usually expect from our PM here, and from what I read is exactly the same in America.

Your input will be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks a lot!

Enzo,

You can expect to have inspections but if you aren't specifically discussing the specifics with the PM about time frames, cost, etc. then you will continue to be disappointed. A big secret in management is they all say they "inspect" but few actually do it. 

Most companies consider an inspection when they drive by the property (which they also hardly ever do) or when a maintenance tech is onsite for repairs. If you expect a real inspection then be prepared to pay for it. I can't imagine how thorough of a job they would even do for $75 but I guess that's better than what you've been getting. Inspections should be accompanied by lots of photographs so don't take peoples word that one was completed.

I would be more worried about why there was no security deposit (bond) like you mentioned above? What professional does that?

Lastly, (and I'm not defending the PM) but just as a point of reference; It does sound like the PM wasn't doing their job but that being said lets look at the big picture behind your complaint. The issue is tenant damage. So pretend that they did do the inspections and they were good or bad. How does that prevent the damage that occurred and the associated expense? The reality is that it doesn't. They could have inspected 100 times but you still could have damage at move out. 

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your input. Yes you are right they initially told me they do regular 'inspections' but when this happened they came up with this new charge (something to bear in mind next time).

The deposit thing is my main concern I bought those properties with tenants already in and they were under section 8. This has been my major headache since they literally do not care how do they leave the property when they are moving out. As they do not have any money to claim back they just leave and trash the property and then I go through a major number of repairs, the only advise that the PM is suggesting me is to get the invoice and send this to 'collections' but I never see this money back. There must be another way to report all these bad tenants since nothing else seems to happen to them. To be honest I am not sure if that is the only way I reckon they should not be allowed to rent again under section 8. Anyway as they leave my PM is now screening regular tenants not under section 8 and this seem to be working now. Your input is greatly appreciated!!! Cheers,

I give free air filters to my tenants. This happens 1-2 times a year. It gives me a reason to show up to the house, of course I give  the 48 hours notice by text  as required by state law. Filters are another avenue for someone to inspect the property.  Good luck JP

Filters cost about $18 a case

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