Inspections are a key function of property management. Not only do they provide the opportunity to regularly assess property condition and identify the need for maintenance, but they also protect you against serious and costly problems down the road. As with any business process, however, there is a right way and wrong way to carry out inspections. To optimize this process and keep your residents happy, we recommend using the following guideline.
When to Inspect Your Properties
There are a number of different times when a property inspection may be either necessary or recommended. Primarily, you should make a point to schedule an inspection every time a new tenant moves in, as this allows you to document the condition of the property prior to turning over the keys and signing the lease. You should also do a thorough inspection whenever a resident plans on moving out. That way you can identify and document any issues that may need to be addressed.
In addition to this, you should also conduct routine inspections at various intervals throughout a resident’s tenancy. These routine checks allow you to verify the safety, security and cleanliness of the property, as well as identify any issues that may require maintenance or repair. Addressing these issues early can help prevent a worsening problem down the road, and also keep your residents satisfied.
Property Inspection Best Practices
To ensure that your time is spent efficiently and that you don’t inconvenience your tenants, the following best practices should be adhered to:
Always give prior notice. Unless your lease agreement stimulates surprise inspections, and it’s legal to do so in your area, you should give your tenants the courtesy of providing at least 24-48 hours’ notice prior to showing up for an inspection.
Explain your reasoning. You should let your tenants know exactly why you plan on inspecting their property. If you’re there to check specific appliances or the HVAC system, for example, giving them the specifics will put them at ease and show them how your visit will benefit them.
Encourage tenants to be present. It’s always best for both parties to be present during a property inspection. This is especially the case for move-out inspections, as there may be issues that impact the return of a security deposit. Having a resident present during routine inspections can also save you time by providing them the opportunity to ask questions or discuss concerns while you’re there.
Be careful with pictures or videos. When it comes to inspecting a unit that is lived in, it’s important that you avoid capturing any personal items in your photos or videos. For instance, if you want to snap a picture to document a damaged window casing, make sure you’re not also capturing family photos on the wall.
Document any and all issues. It’s absolutely critical that you keep careful documentation of any issues you encounter when performing property inspections. Having records that are dated and in writing will help protect your assets in the event of future legal issues.
How Technology Can Help
Thanks to modern property management software solutions, like Netintegrity, planning, tracking and managing property inspections is easier than ever. With INFO-Tracker, you can save time and money, keep all of your properties in tip-top shape, and ensure maximum resident satisfaction. To see it in action, click here to schedule a free product demo.