As founders Chris Lee and Eli Secor discussed in this video, this Landlord Gurus experience article will cover routine rental inspections. What are they? Why should they be completed? How often should you do inspections?
Chris stated that you should be doing rental inspections at regular intervals. Primarily to get a good feel for the condition of your property. Is your tenant maintaining it and keeping it clean?
In Eli’s experience, he mentioned that rental inspections are also a good time to look for issues that your tenant may not have mentioned to you.
Therefore, one of the ways that you can routinely complete inspections is doing them every time there’s a vacancy. This is the route Chris takes, as many of his tenants stay for about a year. For those who stay longer, however, it’s important to continue scheduling inspections.
This is one of the reasons Eli does his inspections yearly.
“Some people do more, and you may find that depending on either the property or the tenant that you want to do it more often,” Eli said. “If there are issues then you just may want to step it up. But I do it yearly.”
What Should You Look for?
After establishing a schedule, you should also make a list of things to look for.
For Eli, he likes to have a sharp eyeball.
“Some critical things, I think, are plumbing-related. You both want to look at whether or not you have leaks in drains, which often are leaking into the property. Below sinks, people don’t notice leaks often, and then it ends up in the apartment below or rotting out the cabinet. Just as important are leaky fixtures, including toilets, which cost you a lot of money in water,” Eli said.
Additionally, you should also examine leak prevention, such as caulking. If the caulking is worn out, it can lead to water damage. Similarly, discoloration around the tub or shower is common. This can be a sign that you need to re-caulk.
You should also be on the lookout for moisture-related issues. Are there indicators of mildew or mold? Are your tenants using fans for ventilation?
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another thing to keep an eye out for is the condition of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While you should check the batteries when doing your inspection, you should also plan to replace them once a year.
Both Chris and Eli mentioned that it’s important to do so, as beeping detectors can become a pain. They mentioned that it may cause tenants to remove the batteries and not replace them. Therefore creating liability issues.
When doing your inspections, you should also examine the security aspects of the property.
“You want to check the locks, make sure the deadbolts are working. I think, by law, you have to have a working, functioning deadbolt. Check the windows, make sure they open and close properly and make sure they lock properly,” Chris said. “Sometimes people put a stick or whatever in front of the window. Things like that. You just want to make sure that everything is functioning properly so people can get in or out when necessary.”
Appliances are another good thing to check out.
“While I don’t take enough time to go through a full cycle, on a dishwasher, for example, I do open it up and see whether or not there’s water standing in the bottom or kind of discoloration, which can mean either misuse or a bad pump and that type of thing,” Eli said. “Make sure people are cleaning the screens on the dishwasher. Check the elements on the range, that type of thing.”
Lastly, one of the trickiest to put on your checklist: cleanliness.
“It’s no fun to tell people that you don’t like how they’re living. So I generally stay away from that unless I see issues where it’s going to impact the condition of the building. So moisture, you know, if they’re leaving water standing, if they’re putting things down on countertops that are staining them. Sometimes things just get so dirty that they’re damaged. Sometimes you have to tell people that they need to keep things clean,” Eli said.
This is a topic that was covered before. Chris had a situation where he needed to talk to his tenant about cleanliness. In a case like his, this may be a sign that you should increase the frequency of your inspections.
“Yeah, I had left it for a year in his case and that was clearly several months too long,” Chris said.
Routine Rental Inspections: Landlord Gurus Takeaway
At the end of the day, your rental properties are a big investment. Therefore, it’s important to keep it up and running, as well as in good condition. As mentioned in this experience article, this can be done through completing routine rental inspections to ensure that your property is being kept in good shape.
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