While owning a rental property may seem a surefire bet, it comes with its own challenges that make it a full-time endeavor. Out of the total number of homeowners, at least 34% were first-time homeowners (2021.) If this is your first time becoming a landlord, the entire process of taking up inspections can seem daunting, but it is finally worth the peace of mind that comes with it. If you prepare for the responsibilities and are aware of the benefits (consult a rental management company,) you will sail smoothly through the process and save time and money in the long run.
Whether you have a separate property only for rentals or are renting a part of your current home, periodic inspections when a tenant is renting your place are necessary. It involves a thorough inspection to identify the property’s condition and ensure that it adheres by the state laws and meets the statutory requirements for a ‘habitable’ state before and during a rental period.
Homeowners should be able to identify any potential damages, check if the rental property’s overall condition is adhering to your guidelines, and note other relevant details at an interval of every six months or less. Hence, knowing what to look for is crucial before carrying out these checks. If this is your first time offering rentals, here’s a look at some essentials you must consider for inspections on your rental property.
Go-to-Guide for Rental Inspections to Prepare First-Time Homeowners
1. Why Are Rental Inspections Necessary?
As a landlord, renting your property means keeping your renters and the property secure. It entails tasks such as managing routine maintenance and repairs, preserving a record of the property’s interiors and exteriors for any potential damages, and verifying the property’s overall condition. Homeowners must discover these damages before signing the lease for a new tenant, during their rental cycle, and before it ends.
Rental inspections help you reduce the vulnerabilities and risks that may arise when a new tenant rents your property. These inspections at regular intervals will allow you to ensure that the guidelines you have in place for tenants are being followed the way you would like and that the renters are paying attention to how to maintain your property. It also helps you ensure the health of your property by identifying areas that require professional maintenance services to rectify an issue.
2. How Often Should You Conduct a Rental Inspection?
Rental inspections can occur anywhere between every 4-6 months to maintain the overall quality and prevent potential issues such as pest infestation, molding, and excessive damage to the walls, floors, electrical wiring, etc. There is no fixed timeline on how often a landlord should carry out an inspection. It may depend on the property they are renting or the duration of a tenant’s stay. Also, homeowners property management services can help guide you through the process, and give a proper walkthrough of the condition and safety of your property.
Landlords can even carry out seasonal visits if they feel that the property is prone to suffering damages from the natural changes that occur every season. The frequency of rental inspections can depend on various factors that the landlord deems essential for their property.
3. How to Schedule Inspections?
Before conducting a rental inspection, it is necessary to let your tenant know that you will be doing one.
- Homeowners can mention regular inspections (every 4-6 months) in the lease documents to keep the tenants informed before signing. However, they must be notified about the upcoming examination 24 hours before.
- Irrespective of the property, a landlord cannot walk in at any time to conduct an inspection. So unless there is an emergency, homeowners must give the tenants written notice before entering the premises.
- A tenant can further reschedule the date if they’re unavailable on the first one but cannot deny an inspection as per the law.
- All rental inspections have to be carried out in a manner that will respect the landlord’s needs and the tenant’s rights.
Did You Know?
A total of 6,099,280 home inspections took place in 2021, with an average cost of $340.
4. Essential Requirements for a Rental Property Inspection
- Checking for Property Condition
During an inspection, it is necessary to analyze the property for how your tenant keeps it. Are they maintaining cleanliness? Are they making changes without notifying you? These are factors you must consider when conducting your first rental inspection on your property.
- Check for Damages
It is necessary to check for potential damages inflicted by the tenant on your property. It could include checking walls, floorboards, and appliances if these were something you provided, etc.
- Check Amenities
It is necessary to analyze electrical cables, plumbing, drainage pipelines, and more during your inspection to ensure everything is running smoothly. It will help you identify potential areas that have deteriorated and need professional maintenance to look after them.
Did You Know?
86% of home inspections result in identifying at least one issue that needs to be fixed. The most common issues that come to the surface are related roofing problems (19.7%,) home’s electrical system (18.7%,) and damaged windows (18.4%).
Rental inspections are essential requirements for all landlords to carry out periodically to ensure that their property is in good condition. It helps them identify potential damages, areas for maintenance, shortcomings, and more. The inspection also allows the landlord to determine if the tenant respects their property according to guidelines.
If you’re a first-time homeowner looking to rent out your property or a part of it, you need to be aware of the regulations and the steps you must take before a rental inspection. It will help you avoid any vulnerabilities and ensure that your property stays in good condition, helping you maintain your permanent assets for the future.