Updated April 13, 2022
Once you find a great renter and they move in, everything is set in stone, right? Not quite!
A great renter screening program will help you with the first part: finding a renter that is great on paper. There is a second part is ensuring your investment maintains value and continues to be an investment—and doesn't become a burden.
Here's what property owners need to know about routine inspections!
Legal Disclaimer: Folks, this article is NOT a substitute for a great attorney. However, we happen to know a thing or two about managing rentals in the City of Brotherly Love! If you've got questions that need real-time answers, just get in touch with us!
Why Do Inspections Matter?
From keeping good records and performing regular maintenance—a lot goes into maintaining a rental property to make it profitable!
One of the things you can do that is sure to provide rewards well beyond your initial investment is regular rental property inspections. By taking the time to review the investment property both inside and out during a lease term, you can stop problems before they start.
When conducting expectations and avoiding potential maintenance disasters, property owners reduce repair costs and improve returns.
Should YOU Conduct Inspections?
Many property owners are nervous about inspections because there is a lot of misinformation out there about what a property owner can and cannot do, how often they can enter, and more. Plus, it can be a little awkward to see someone living in a property that you used to call home if you didn't purchase it strictly as an investment!
This is when experienced property managers can become your best allies for the inspection process.
A Philadelphia property management partner knows how often to inspect, how to maintain safe distancing with your renters, and, most importantly, they know what to look for to ensure your investment is well maintained. These are just some of the reasons why we inspect rental units so frequently here at Rentwell, to provide the best protection for the investors and renters who choose our services!
If you'd like to learn more about how we can protect your investment with frequent inspections, just drop us a line! Otherwise, here are some quick tips to keep in mind when conducting property inspections in Philadelphia.
1. Drive-By Inspections Are Your Friend!
You don't always have to enter a property to know whether things are on the up and up. Taking the time to do the occasional drive-by inspection is a quick way to ensure that the exterior of the property is being maintained as per the lease. You'll also want to look out for things your renter isn't responsible for, so you can be sure to take care of them quickly (or leave it in the hands of your Philadelphia property management partner!)
- Foundational issues, cracked concrete, or other trip hazards
- Large tree branches that might become a problem soon
- Trees and plants sprouting out of the gutters
- How well the lawn is maintained
- Shingles, siding, windows.
There is a lot you can tell from a drive-by viewing! If the lawn is well maintained and clean, you can probably infer that the interior is as well. If there are five cars in a one-renter driveway, you might want to come by a few times to see if they just had a great party or if there are unauthorized renters there.
2. Use a List!
You don't want to show up for an inspection and miss something because you're distracted: doing so would negate the point of the inspection in the first place! Put together a property inspection checklist and use it to help keep yourself on track.
Our team uses lists (it is a pretty common practice for the super successful). If you don't know what to include on your list, we have checklists that you can download for free to help guide you through the process! Just reach out to us, and we'll be happy to share our extensive resources to get you on the right track!
3. Make a Schedule That Makes Sense
You probably don't want to inspect a property a month after your renter moves in because they'll still be unpacking. Three months after the move-in date is a good time to start inspections, and every six months after that works well as a good minimum.
Why minimum? Even the best renters you've ever had might not know what to look for to maintain a property well per their lease; it isn't that they neglect things on purpose! However, for many people, regular property maintenance is a mystery of sorts (keep in mind that this is partly why people rent).
Check out this video to learn how a property manager handles inspections.
Let a Property Manager Handle Routine Property Inspections
A regular inspection schedule will allow you to teach your residents what they need to handle, like keeping the coils of an air conditioning unit clean or edging around the driveway to prevent overgrowth. Most renters will appreciate the reminder and will take care of things—and if they haven't been handled by the next inspection, you'll know more direct action is needed.
If you need help with Philadelphia rental property inspections, our field team is top-notch and ready to assist. We put eyes on a rental property under our management on average at least once every two weeks—a level of service that is beyond rare in Philadelphia property management! Our frequent inspections allow us to take better care of your rental property than the competition. Get in touch with us to learn more today!