March 20, 2018
Rental Property Inspection Checklist: Common Problems to Look For
When it comes to reducing costs in the property management industry, remember this: Prevention is always better than cure.
Regular maintenance and periodic rental property inspections are essential to running a cost-effective operation – not to mention keeping renters happy with their living conditions. By catching minor concerns early, before they become bigger problems, you can cut back on time-consuming renovations and hefty repair bills later on.
Common Problems to Look for During a Rental Property Inspection
If your property isn’t up to code, it can cost you a lot. From poor word of mouth all the way to lawsuits, the expenses and lost revenue quickly add up. Take the time to make sure your units are properly equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as functional fire extinguishers. And keep an eye out for things that commonly cause injuries, such as blocked access to windows or doors, open electrical components, overloaded electrical outlets, shifty railings on stairs or balconies, and loose extension cords. You should also regularly inspect the overall property to make sure that outdoor lighting is operational and landscaping hasn’t been neglected. And be sure to address any tenant concerns about safety in your buildings.
Fixing a dripping tap or running toilet today can save you thousands later on, in water damages or structural damages. It also provides the opportunity to inspect fixtures and appliances, so you can take proactive measures to perform routine maintenance and upgrades that will prevent future issues.
Long-term tenants tend to grow attached to their rental homes. Sometimes, that leads them to make significant upgrades to their units without asking permission. If you don’t check in on your units, you won’t know whether such renovations are happening – or whether they’re safe, up to code, or welcome on your property. Stay in control by performing routine inspections. And be transparent with your residents. Let them know your expectations, but be clear that if they want to redecorate, they have options. For example, repainting, hanging artwork and buying new carpets, curtains or linens can go a long way toward personalizing a place without infringing on the property owner’s rights.
Even with dream tenants, your rental units will eventually need a bit of upkeep. Over time, walls get dinged and floors get scratched. By monitoring the state of all units, you’ll be able to keep your property in great shape. You’ll also be able to consolidate repairs. For example, if several of your units need new paint, you can hire a crew to do all the jobs at once, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.
Mold, Mildew or Dampness
Mold can cause serious health concerns. And it’s often hard to detect, which is all the more reason to keep a close eye on your rental units. During inspections, look for the following signs: musty smells; dark spots on surfaces that are exposed to moisture, like bathroom walls and ceilings; and otherwise healthy residents who showcase allergy-like symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or asthma flare-ups. Pay particular attention to units that have had water damage or ongoing leaks. If you suspect mold but don’t find signs within the unit, inspect the building’s ductwork.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista’s rental property inspection tool enables you to quickly and conveniently assess units on any mobile device. With our app, you can conduct fully customized inspections for preventative maintenance, fire, safety, maintenance requests and due diligence. Get automatic reminders, and submit work orders on the spot, without the hassle of paperwork and manual follow-up.
If you’re interested in saving time and money while protecting your property for the long term, we can help. Learn more about our suite of property management software!