Routine property inspections can accomplish a couple of important things. First, they allow you to check on routine maintenance issues that might need your attention. Second, they give you the opportunity to check in with your tenants and make sure they are comfortable, happy, and following the terms of your lease.
We conduct two annual inspections in addition to move-in and move-out inspections. There are a few specific things you need to look for when you’re evaluating your Denver rental property.
Check Your Property’s Systems and Functions
Interior inspections need to be scheduled with your tenants ahead of time. Don’t just show up and expect to look around. Once you’re inside the property, check the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Look for leaks under sinks and check the caulking around faucets and tubs. Make sure all the outlets are working and take a look at the insulation and appliances. This is an important step in your preventative maintenance routine. Tenants might not notice or report small issues, but you want to take care of those minor and routine repairs before they become more serious and costly.
Check the roof to make sure there aren’t a lot of branches, leaves, or other debris. Look at the furnace and the air conditioning system and inspect the filters to be sure they’re getting changed. The gutters should be cleared of anything that would invite moisture into the home. If you notice maintenance issues during your inspection, schedule those repairs as soon as possible. Ask the tenants if they’ve had any problems or noticed anything else that might need to be repaired or replaced.
Enforcing Your Lease and Checking for Violations
Before you inspect, review your lease so you’re fresh on the rules and expectations. While you’re inside, make sure your tenant is taking good care of the property. Everyone has different standards for cleanliness and tidiness, so don’t make a big deal about dust on the furniture or crumbs on the countertops. Instead, look for major lease violations such as unauthorized pets or additional people who seem to be living at the property. If you have a no-smoking policy, you don’t want to see ashtrays or smell smoke. Any potential lease violations should be discussed with the tenant immediately. Put something in writing that requires them to provide proof that the problem has been corrected.
Conduct Quarterly Drive-By Inspections
In addition to these interior inspections, we also drive by the properties we manage every quarter. This is an informal look at how the property is being maintained and whether there’s anything that should concern us. If we drive over to the home and see some dogs chained up even though the tenant isn’t supposed to have any pets, we’ll schedule an interior inspection and talk to the tenant. Usually, things look good and we do it more to provide our owners with peace of mind. With good tenant communication and positive working relationships, we don’t have to worry about problems or damage to the property.
If you’d like to hear more about how to effectively inspect your rental property, please contact us at Walters & Company Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more.