Property Management Inspections

Investing in a rental property comes with more risks than buying your own home. That’s because tenants can cause property damage, often unintentionally, leading to longer vacancy periods and potentially higher turnover. One of the best ways to protect your income property against potentially costly damage is to conduct regular property inspections to help keep your property value growing and your cash flow healthy.

Rental Property Inspections Are Important!

Performing rental property inspections help you verify and maintain your asset in good condition before, during, and after the period it is rented. Just like the way your P&L (profit and loss) and balance sheet help you to monitor the financial condition of your income property, property inspections let you monitor the physical condition. If the property is deteriorating, chances are that before long your cash flow will start going down as well.

Different Types of Rental Property Inspections

Move-In Inspection

A move-in inspection (sometimes known as a “walk-through”) is performed in person with the tenant after they sign the lease but before they move their belongings into the property. Your representative should use a move-in checklist, along with photos and videos, to document the current condition of the property. The checklist is then signed by the tenant and becomes an addendum to the lease. A move-in inspection checklist also helps you separate normal wear and tear from unusual damages that you may be able to deduct from the security deposit when the tenant moves out.

Move-in Orientation Inspection with the Tenant Present
One of the best ways to avoid conflict with your tenants is to perform a move-in orientation inspection with the Tenant present. Dynamite inspections keeps records of everything using video and pictures. While doing this will increases the workload a bit, it will also decrease the chances of a bad tenant trying to dispute a charge or something else with you. So, it is worth the extra time.

The property inspector and tenant can remain on the same accord throughout the inspection while working on a solid relationship with one-on-one communication. The property inspector can clearly educate the tenant on what charges are “cosmetic” and a tenant’s responsibility versus “actual” maintenance repairs that are the Landlord’s responsibility. Even give them tips on how to get a full refund of their deposit! The tenant can then sign their move-in condition agreement during the inspection.
Pro Tip: When inspecting the property, Dynamite Inspections keeps a record of the findings – taking pictures and videos that feature a timestamp. That way, no tenant can dispute necessary security deposit deductions and the property owner is always kept in the loop on a consistent basis.

Quarterly Inspection

Routine rental property inspections are normally done every few months, or more often if you suspect the tenant of violating terms and conditions of the lease such as having an unauthorized roommate or pet.

The tenant has the legal right to “quiet enjoyment” of your property, so it’s important to obey landlord-tenant laws and give the tenant adequate notice before entering for a routine inspection. Some renters may feel like they’re being “accused of doing something wrong” when a routine inspection is scheduled.

You can overcome this objection by explaining to the tenant at the time they move in that the inside and outside of the property is inspected every three or four months to make sure that everything is in good condition. Of course, this also gives the tenant the opportunity to clean and fix damage they may have caused before it shows up on an inspection report.

Make-Ready Inspection

In a perfect world, you won’t have to perform too many move-out inspections, because your tenant will renew the lease year after year. But when the time does come and the tenant moves out, you’ll want to schedule a move-out inspection on the day your tenant vacates the premises. If you wait too long after the tenant has left, they’ll be able to claim that any damage wasn’t there when they left. That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule the move-out inspection with the tenant in advance. Bring a copy of the move-in checklist to help compare the current property condition to when the tenant moved in and take photos and videos to document any damage above and beyond normal wear and tear.

Change in Ownership

One of the many advantages of using Dynamite Inspections & Marketing for your rental property is that the inspections have already been done. This gives you more peace of mind that you’re not going to be faced with major repair requests after you close escrow.

If you hire a brand-new property manager or change management companies during the time you own the property, it’s also a good idea to let the new manager inspect the property inside and out. This way, the new property manager isn’t depending on reports from the old company and will have an up-to-date assessment instead. Conducting a rental property inspection when you change management companies is like the inspection done when you originally purchased the property. It goes into much more detail than a routine inspection does and gives you an idea of the current condition of the property along with any repairs that may need to be done now or in the future.

How Dynamite Inspections & Marketing Performs a Rental Property Inspection

The first step in our rental property inspection process is to review the lease for the terms and conditions to follow when scheduling inspections. The amount of notice needed for a tenant varies, but generally the notice period will be 24 – 48 hours.

Here are some of the things to do (and not do) when you perform a rental property inspection:

• Give at least a 24-hour prior notice to the tenant before entering the property

• Schedule the rental property inspection for a time when the tenant will be home, to give them the opportunity to point out items that may need to be repaired and for you to give them tips on how they can get their entire security deposit returned

• Explain ahead of time why you’re conducting the inspection, gently reminding the tenant if necessary that they were informed about routine inspections when had their move-in walk-through

• Take photos and video of the property condition inside and out, but respect the tenant’s privacy by not taking photos of children, pets, or personal items

• Positioning each rental property inspection as a win-win for both you and the tenant helps to avoid confrontation with the tenant by letting them know your just as concerned with their well being as you are the condition of your investment