Rental inspections are required when you want to keep your investment home in great condition and be sure that your tenants are following the terms of your lease agreement. We recommend that you inspect your property at least three times in the course of a tenancy; once before the tenant moves in, after a tenant moves out, and one time while the tenant is occupying your home.
Move-In Inspections to Prepare your Denver Rental Home
Before a tenant moves into your Denver rental property, you need to conduct a thorough inspection to ensure it’s ready for your tenant to take possession. Start by looking for general safety and health features. Make sure all the doors and windows lock. Check the smoke detectors and the air filters. Make sure there aren’t any loose handrails or boards and remove anything that may have been left inside the home, such as tools or personal belongings.
Look for light bulbs that need to be changed and window screens that may need to be replaced. Turn on all faucets and run the water in the tubs. Flush the toilets and test the appliances. Look for leaks or anything that might not work. Make sure the home is clean and move-in ready. If you provide a clean and well-maintained home at the beginning of a lease, you can expect the property to remain in good and clean condition.
Document everything. You’ll need the property condition report to be signed by you and your tenant so that all parties agree to the condition of the home at move-in. Take pictures and even videos of everything, including closets and stairs and ceilings. You should have hundreds of photos and detailed descriptions.
Move-Out Inspections and Assessing Damage
After a tenant moves out, you’ll conduct the same inspection you conducted at the beginning of the lease term. Take your inspection report with you and compare the condition of your property now to the way it looked then. You may notice damage that’s due to the tenant’s neglect or abuse. There might be accidental issues that you’ll still want to hold the tenant accountable for.
New pictures will be necessary, especially if you want to demonstrate that something is damaged or not in the same condition that it was. If the refrigerator still has food in it, take a photo. If there are large scrapes on the floors that go beyond wear and tear, take pictures of those as well. You’ll need this documentation when you’re making claims against the security deposit.
Mid-Lease Walk Through Inspections
An inspection during the lease term is a good way to make sure your property is being well-maintained and to see if your tenants are following or violating the lease. Discuss this early; when your tenants are signing the lease. Make sure the inspection is included in the lease. Then, provide your tenants with as much notice as possible before you go to the property to look around.
This doesn’t have to feel invasive to your tenant’s privacy. Offer to have them present, but don’t require it. Take photos of this inspection too, and if the tenant is at home, ask if everything is going well or if there’s anything they need. Look for deferred or unreported maintenance items, and put everything in writing.
There are other opportunities to inspect your property. If a maintenance issue is reported, you can be there when the vendors show up, and this is a good time to take a brief look around. You can also drive by the property from time to time to make sure everything seems to be in order.
We believe you need to balance your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property with your desire to protect your investment. If you have additional questions or need Denver property management help, please contact us at Walters & Company.