Keeping your rental property well-maintained is important in preserving its condition and increasing its value. One of the ways to keep your investment in good shape is through regular inspections.
At Titan Property Management, we recommend you inspect at least three times in the course of a year. You’ll want to do a move-in inspection and a move-out inspection (or a renewal inspection if your tenant decides to stay in place). You’ll also want to do a routine inspection while a tenant is in place so you can be sure there isn’t any deferred maintenance or lease violations to be concerned with. California law is protective of tenant privacy and rights, so you’ll need to have a reason to enter the property. If it’s a maintenance or habitability inspection and you give your tenants enough notice, you will be compliant.
Move-In Rental Property Inspections
The move-in inspection is especially important because it will document the condition of your property before you turn it over to your tenants. This inspection report will be used to determine whether any damage was done at the end of the tenancy, when your residents have moved out and you’re making decisions about the security deposit.
Be as detailed as possible when you’re conducting this inspection. Take pictures of everything, even the floors, the walls, and insides of appliances. Give your new tenants an opportunity to walk through the property and make their own notes on the inspection checklist.
Move-Out Rental Property Inspections
During the move-out inspection, you’ll be looking for damage that’s due to neglect, abuse, or misuse. You cannot charge the tenant’s deposit for normal wear and tear, but you can charge for damage that goes beyond regular wear. Compare the pictures and the notes you take to those you filed after the move-in process. If something doesn’t look right after a tenant leaves your property, you’ll have the evidence to demonstrate that.
Remember that in California, you’re legally required to offer your tenants a pre move-out inspection. Not all tenants will take advantage of this opportunity, but you have to offer it to any resident preparing to move out. You’ll go through the property with your tenant and point out any areas of concern. Then, your tenant can decide whether to make the repair and do the cleaning or absorb the security deposit deduction.
If your tenant is choosing to renew the lease, that’s great news. It means fewer turnover and vacancy costs for you. Schedule a renewal walk-through so you can make sure everything looks good and check for any necessary maintenance issues.
Maintenance Walk-Through Inspection
Schedule your maintenance walk-through inspection between three and six months into the lease period. You can change the air filters, look for leaks under sink, and give the property a thorough check for deferred or unreported maintenance. Since you’re inside the house, you should also take the time to discuss any issues or concerns your tenant might be having. Look for lease violations, too. If you did not approve any pets but you see a huge tub of cat litter in the bathroom, you might want to address it with your tenants.
These are some of the most important things to be concerned with when you’re conducting rental inspections. If you have any questions about how to conduct these, contact us at Titan Property Management.