Quarterly Rental Property Inspections

10 Replies

I currently have (3) rental properties and was wondering what other landlords do for quarterly inspections- if you do an informal walk around of the outside and inside of the property or if you have formal checklist to standardize the process. I will be having a worker perform the quarterly property inspections. I'm looking to continue to grow my rental portfolio so looking to setup some type of system now.



Hey Chris!  This is a good question and a solid practice to build into your systems.

I'd recommend reading the chapter on "Managing Tenants" in The Book on Managing Rental Properties by @Brandon Turner - specifically the section on periodic inspections around page 180.

I use HVAC filters that need to be changed every 3 months, which gives me a "harmless" opportunity to get inside, and I'll communicate to the tenants "and while I'm there changing that, I'll go ahead and do the quarterly inspection and save you a bit of time and hassle."  This tends to make them aware and feel honored that I'm looking out for their time.

Good luck on the journey!


It is written into all of our Leases that we will be doing quarterly (sometimes monthly) inspections.

Our managers go around with a list to make sure smoke/carbon detectors are working, fire extinguishers are filled and the place is not potentially attracting vermin.

We will also make a note of any damage or take pictures of potential Lease violations (smoking in the house, pets, more beds than occupants allowed, etc). 

I am a late starter on doing inspections, am a newbie with a few years' experience under my belt.  I found two inspection forms that I combined to  suit my property (MF-15 units), and just used it for the first time yesterday.  Both the forms cover pretty much everything - moisture issues, safety, housekeeping, appliances, light bulbs burned out, etc.  Since someone else will be doing the actual inspection for you, a form to follow would be helpful for them, and protect you by being consistent through all tenants.  Since both the forms are extensive, you could whittle them down to a size that suits you.  One Inspection form may have been from a BP forum, do not have links to refer for your access to either form I found.  Would be happy to share the two (one is MS Word, one is Excel), or what I developed from them (MS Word).  

@Chris Lawrence In addition to figuring out how to execute the inspections, make sure to figure out how you will handle the “hey while you’re here” maintenance requests that will be passed along to the worker during the inspections. This will undoubtedly happen. 

You don’t want these inspections done with the intention of saving you money on ignored deferred maintenance turning into little nickel and dime maintenance issues that seriously impact your bottom line. 

@Chris Lawrence

When my wife and I moved from Florida to NY we rented our home out with a provision that our property manager would come to the home on the 1st Monday of every month to replace the air filters in the home free of charge. This also included dropping a tablet into the p-trap of the air handler which just so happened to be on the second floor.

Because we included this the property manager was granted access to each air vent and the air handler upstairs. This was a nice “trick” to get eyes on the inside of the home. We couldn’t see the bedrooms but the majority of the larger/common rooms were clearly visible for a quick eye inspection.

@Chris Lawrence - we use a short checklist for quarterly inspections and a longer one with 120 items for the annual one.

Confirm all dwellings equipped with the proper security devices
Replace all batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors once a year.
Test and reset all ground fault (GFCI) outlets quarterly.
Change AC/furnace filter
Check AC condensate lines.
Pour one gallon of hot/warm water mixed with two cups of white vinegar through the condensate drain.
Inspect water heater and ensure bottom isn’t rusting out
Check caulk in bathroom
Check under sinks for any moisture.Triple check for leaks.
Is all plumbing working as expected - faucets/spigots all turn on fine & drain, don't leak
State of the carpet, especially if they have pets - is it wearing really quickly?
Check garage door/opener for smooth operation
Look for trip/accident hazards around the exterior (shifting concrete, etc.)
Make sure trees don't rub roof/structure.
Fertilize your lawn with the correct seasonal type In the spring summer and fall.
Spray weed control twice a year
Take a look at the roof, check for missing shingles, clogged gutters, other problems

Yes, we do quarterly maintenance. We change Air filter, inspect under all sinks, check smoke detectors, spray exterior of home with suspend SC. We always email at least a week in advance and make sure to put in the email; if there are any known issues to let us know BEFORE maintenance day so that the maintenance person (me) can bring the appropriate tools/supplies. This gives you a leg to stand on when the "oh while you're here" problems come up. 

We put a smoke detector in every room so that gets us into all the rooms.