You're taking a big risk if you aren't performing an annual inspection of your rental property. Landlords tend to take a time-out from their duties once the rental is filled and the checks start coming. But if you delay inspecting your property until the current tenants move out, you may be setting yourself up for a long vacancy while you complete a lengthy list of repairs—or worse.
You can avoid plenty of problems if you check up on your property at regular intervals. But rental property inspections aren't just about warding off Murphy's law. And they aren't a passive-aggressive confrontation with your tenants. Instead, annual rental property inspections offer several benefits for both you and your renters.
Ensure your Tenants are Compliant with the Lease.
Sometimes, tenants stretch the terms of the lease. They may park an extra car in the parking lot or get another cat. Sometimes, tenants go beyond bending the rules to outright breaching the terms of the lease. They may move extra people in or get a dog in spite of your no-pet policy.
If you do find small infractions, you may consider your overall relationship with your tenants and their otherwise good qualities. Larger violations, such as unknown people or dogs, open up potential legal trouble for you. An annual rental property inspection can help you prevent harboring people with a criminal past or potentially litigating a dog bite.
Extend the Life of Your Rental Property's HVAC System.
The heating and cooling system is easily one of the costliest items to replace on a rental property. You can significantly extend the life of your furnace and air conditioning unit simply by scheduling an annual inspection. You can arrange to meet a professional at the rental property who can perform preventative maintenance while you inspect the rest of the rental.
Preventative maintenance on your HVAC system does more than extend the life of your furnace and central air unit. As you know, heating and cooling are essential services, and breakdowns don't always occur during business hours. When you schedule preventative maintenance for these items during your annual rental property inspection, you're saving yourself costly repairs in the future.
Reconnect with Your Tenants.
Preventative maintenance isn't just for appliances. If you have great renters, an annual inspection is your chance to encourage them to stay.
Talk to your tenants about how things are going. They may reveal concerns you could help them with, such as issues with a neighbor or security concerns. Offering simple fixes such as security cameras or a new fence may avert an empty rental.
Fix Rental Property Issues Before They Grow
A pipe leaking under the kitchen sink is a fast and inexpensive repair. But if the leak goes unchecked, you may find yourself springing for new cabinets. Spotting leaky faucets or broken roof shingles early will protect your real estate profits.
Don't just survey your property for existing problems. An annual inspection is your chance to perform some routine maintenance. Protect your property's value by completing tasks such as cleaning gutters and trimming trees.
Ensure the Tenants are Taking Reasonable Care of the Property
Blatant disregard for the lease is less common than benign neglect. Sometimes, tenants let garbage pile up or filth set in. When they move out, you discover you need to rent a dumpster or replace smelly carpets and window coverings.
If you find your tenants are negligent, take photos of the issues. Remind your tenants they are liable for cleaning and waste removal costs if they fail to take reasonable care of your property.
Annual Rental Property Inspections Protect Your Business
Two ingredients fuel your real estate profits: steady income and low expenses. An annual rental property inspection protects these two essential elements.
You can avoid an empty rental altogether if you extend some simple customer service to your current tenants. When renters do move on, you'll have less to do before new people can move in. Finally, you'll protect the value of your property and avoid costly repairs when you schedule routine maintenance during the inspection.
Are you having trouble finding the time to complete all the work associated with your rental property? Give us a call. We're happy to help.