For Santa Rosa property management, property inspections are important not only at the beginning and end of a lease term, but also during the time that a tenant is in residence. If you have a long-term renter living in your property, you are presumed to know how the property looks over time -, for example, you can’t justifiably claim to be suddenly surprised that the bathroom floor has collapsed. Such a significant deterioration of the property does not happen overnight; early indicators are evident for the diligent and responsible landlord. Here are 5 things to consider when you are conducting property inspections.

  1. Give your tenant written notice. When you inspect a property, make sure you let your tenant know when you plan to visit. You do want to give your tenant time to clean and prepare the residence for your inspection and you do not want to surprise them by just stopping by. Let your renters know the purpose of your visit, and explain that the tenant is permitted to be there and participate while you inspect the property. Inform your tenant in advance that you plan to take photos or videos while you inspect. This can document the condition of the property.

  1. Get full access to the property. When you visit the residence, make sure you see and inspect everything. Open closets, look under sinks to make sure the plumbing is intact and there aren’t any leaks or mold. Open the garage and check out any out detached buildings such as storage sheds. You want to make sure your inspection gives you a complete picture and a full overview of the condition of the property.

  1. Review the present condition with the tenant. Discuss how well your tenant is taking care of the unit. Talk about the standards of cleanliness and maintenance you expect, and if you have some issues or questions, be up front about them. Talking about problems with your tenant is the best first step to resolving them.

  1. Check for periodic maintenance issues. As we said earlier, make sure the plumbing is working and that leaks are not apparent. Run the sink faucets to make sure the drains work, check the caulking around the windows and the tubs. Test the smoke and CO detectors, and make sure your tenant is changing the batteries in those alarms, as well as the filters in the heating and air conditioning units.

  1. Note any long term maintenance items. Most appliances and fixtures in your property will show normal wear and tear over the years. Make sure systems and structural details are in good working order when you conduct your inspection. Look at the condition of decks, check the home’s foundation, and note the exterior paint as well as the roof. Take a look at the gutters and make sure the windows are functional. They should open, close and lock.

The most important purpose of your routine inspections is to make sure your property is habitable, and to make sure your tenant is doing a good job at keeping your house in appropriate condition. If the house is well maintained and problems are resolved promptly, it will likely stay in good shape for a very long time.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.