22 Aug How Often Should You Assess Your Rental Property?
Assessing your rental property is a primary method for checking on its state and ensuring that your renters are complying to the conditions of their lease. To ensure that your tenants are treating your property with care, you should conduct regular property walkthroughs. However, many landlords don’t really know how often they should be doing these checks. If this sounds like you, stay tuned to find out how often you should walk your rental.
Assessment Before Tenant Move-In
The move-in assessment is considered to be the most critical examination. Before you hand the keys over to the renter, you must create a detailed record of the property’s current state. Ensure that you take many photographs, record a video, and document every feature of the inside and outside of the house.
You will also want to make sure that your tenant inspects the property and completes an inventory and condition form prior to moving in. That waay all parties are in agreement to the condition of the property before the new renter makes it home. Both parties will want to conduct garage door troubleshooting, examine all electrical devices, and check for any damage to walls, flooring, windows, etc.
How Often Should You Walk Your Rental After Tenant Move-In?
After you have completed your move-in assessment, what now? The bare minimum is a once-a-year property walkthrough. However, it’s best if you schedule periodic checks to take place either biannually or every three months. Pay a visit to the rental property, speak with the occupant, and take photos of any noticeable damage. Photos are essential so that you avoid any hearsay if a problem evolves. Also, you’ll have rock-solid proof to support what your claims and you won’t have to deal with an angry tenant.
After your visit, you will be able to determine whether or not any preventive maintenance is required to avoid expensive problems in the future. If any tasks are required, be sure to schedule these immediately in order to protect the property and avoid any possible legal issues.
Your tenant must provide you with a notice of renewal or non-renewal prior to the expiration of their lease. If the renter chooses to continue using the space, you should conduct a walkthrough at this stage. Check to ensure the renter has been taking care of the property and has met all lease agreements, and be on the lookout for any wear and tear items that may need repair according to your legal requirements as a landlord.
Look for Neglect
Neglect on the part of tenants is one of the primary motivating factors behind carrying out walkthroughs of occupied rental properties. According to experts at Evolution Moving, maintaining a presence on your site may be an effective way to prevent significant property damage. Also, it’s helpful to identify problems at an earlier, more controllable stage. In addition to this, it demonstrates to your renter that you take care of the property.
During the walkthrough, if you find that the renter has caused severe damage to the property, this may be grounds for eviction. Once again, ensure that you are familiar with the correct way to approach concerns of this kind and manage them appropriately.
In your assessment, you should be very thorough and pay attention to every little detail. The other things you should look for, besides neglect, are:
- Items that fall under the category of deferred maintenance.
- Proof of an unauthorized pet.
- Indicators of law-breaking.
Deferred maintenance may or may not be the responsibility of your tenant. But, routine walkthrough assessments allow you to check the property regularly. That way, you’ll find any maintenance needs you may be responsible for addressing. Deferred maintenance is one of the reasons landlords should avoid leaving valuable furniture in the hands of the tenants. Instead, it’s best to call furniture movers to ensure the property is completely vacant and empty before new residents arrive. Doing so will reduce liability and stress on yourself (the landlord) and the renters.
Proof of Unauthorized Pets
You surely asked your tenant during their application process whether they’ll be living with pets. If the terms of your lease prohibit the ownership of pets or if your tenant has assured you that they will be moving in without any animals, you will want to ensure that your inspection includes a thorough search for evidence of unauthorized pets. If you see pet hair, food dishes, or litter boxes in the home, it’s possible that your renter may have lied on their application or may have recently gotten a pet. Don’t fret about addressing the lease breach per the regulations you previously indicated if you have a no-pets policy at your property.
However, it’s worth noting that you will want to make the decision of allowing pets at your rental property based on the risk vs reward of allowing pets according to your marketplace.
Indicators of Law-Breaking
Even though you did your due diligence of completing a thorough background check, including a criminal history report, of your tenant to ensure that they were not previously involved in illegal activities, you’ll still want to pay attention to any evidence of the possibility. Be sure to investigate your rental property for signs of unlawful behavior. If you find anything incriminating, you may want to take necessary steps that lead to the eviction of your tenant. According to our past observations, evidence of criminal behavior is usually found while assessing basements or garages. So, be especially attentive in those areas.
Final Walkthrough Before Tenant Move-Out
The move-out walkthrough has to have the same level of attention to detail that was given to the first assessment before the tenant moved in. Include both the inside and outside of the home during your property walkthrough. Document in text, video, and photographs of each and every component of the house. When comparing the state of the property, you will use the move-in and move-out assessments as your basis. This will let you know whether the renter is accountable for any damage that has been done to the property.
The Bottom Line
Having regular assessments of your property is extremely important. It’s not something to be taken lightly, no matter how trustworthy your tenant might seem. By taking this action, you’re taking precautions and protecting your property and yourself from any liability that may occur.
Now this is not to say that you should hover over your tenant so much that it makes their living situation uncomfortable. However, performing property walkthroughs are highly recommended and have proven to be a good rule of thumb in any property management strategy. Of course, it’s up to you to decide how often you should assess your rental according to the circumstances and your own instincts or guidance provided.
Watch to Learn:
Choose 1836 Property Management
If you’re investing or plan to invest in the greater Austin, Tx, area, reach out to our team of professional Austin property managers today to assist you with your real estate investing ventures. At 1836 Property Management, your success is our success.
By: Kayla Gonzales, 1836PM Marketing Managere