The right Baltimore property management company will tell you that for property owners to maintain ROI, they must expect to inspect their rental properties. Sure, you may have considered move-in and move-out inspections, but keeping rental units in excellent condition requires more.
When you are proactive with inspections before a problem occurs, you save money, which helps boost the ROI for a rental property. In addition, you experience fewer maintenance requests from tenants because routine inspections help you catch problems before they become disastrous and drain your profit margins.
Ready to inspect? Follow the guidelines below to make sure property inspections go seamlessly.
Have a Plan
It’s vital to have a plan before beginning tenant property inspections. Armed with knowledge and a schedule of inspections, property owners have a better idea of what to look for when walking through a property.
Create a list of the main items you want to inspect regularly and stay consistent by checking these items for every property. Some important things to inspect may include:
Check the HVAC unit to ensure it’s not showing signs of wear, loss of refrigerant, or obvious signs of corrosion.
Look at the water heater to assess whether it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Check the smoke alarms and be sure they adhere to the updated Maryland smoke alarm laws.
Inspect for signs of pests.
Examine all the appliances to make sure they work properly.
Look for any leaks near the faucets and pipes.
Inspect the home’s exterior for damage to the gutter, siding, roof, or deck.
These are just a few examples. However, if you receive frequent maintenance requests for certain things within a property, it might be worth taking a closer look at the item during each inspection.
Keep Tenants in the Loop
After you have your list of things to inspect, the next part of your plan is to create a timeframe for completing the inspections. It’s a good idea to conduct inspections on a schedule, perhaps quarterly or mid-lease at the six-month point of a tenancy. Additionally, you could decide to do a seasonal inspection (i.e., gutters may need to be inspected in the fall or spring).
After setting the inspection schedule for a rental property, communicate your intentions with the tenant and keep them in the loop from the beginning. Property managers recommend making renters aware of regularly planned inspections when they move in and sign the lease.
Handle Tenant Privacy With Care
Property owners must balance the need to inspect with their tenant’s comfort and privacy rights. Tenants mustn't feel imposed upon, irritated, or offended by the inspections.
Position the inspections as a way to avoid problems so that they have a better living experience. In many cases, renters understand and appreciate routine property inspections as a way to avoid maintenance issues during their tenancy. They’ll know that the property will be well taken care of, which can increase lease renewals later.
As we mentioned, you want to be sure you communicate with your tenants upfront that you will conduct regular inspections during the lease term. In addition, property management companies recommend reminding tenants about inspections close to the dates of the inspections.
When it's time for the next inspection, schedule it at least 24 hours in advance to give residents plenty of notice that you'll be at the property. Showing up unannounced can be a violation of your tenant's privacy (and lead to legal issues).
When scheduling the inspection, allow renters the option to be present during the inspection. This gives you the opportunity to talk with them about the property, address any issues, and listen to any concerns.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Regular Tasks
In addition to inspecting the main parts of the property, as mentioned above, it’s helpful also to schedule a time for maintenance-related property management services. Coordinating an inspection around routine maintenance minimizes the disruption for your renters and maximizes your resources!
Some of these routing property management tasks include:
Cleaning the refrigerator coils
Cleaning the gutters
Flushing the water heater
When renters see how well you care for the property, they're more likely to take good care of the home, too!
Work With Good Contractors
When handling property inspections and preventive maintenance, make sure you work with quality contractors. Having contractors or a property management services company in place will ensure that everything is managed professionally, giving you more time to focus on other important things!
Never Miss An Inspection With a Baltimore Property Management Company
Hiring a Baltimore property management company like Rentwell makes the inspection process seamless and professional. We have an established process and timeline for inspecting all rental properties to help prevent significant maintenance issues and keep an eye on your renters. Get in touch to find out how we can keep your properties in top shape with regular inspections!
Learn more about what you can do to improve ROI! Download our free resource, "10 Things to Increase the ROI for your Rental Property."