Whether you are an investor seeking to purchase a rental property or an investor that currently owns rental property, it is essential that you learn the importance of a rental inspection checklist and how to create one.
Conducting periodic inspections of your rental property is essential to ensuring that the property remains in optimal condition and that it positively contributes to your overall financial success.
These inspections will allow you to identify tasks that need to be completed and will protect you on a financial level. To succeed in this endeavor, you need a rental inspection list. Continue reading to learn more.
What is a Rental Property Inspection?
The rental property inspection is an evaluation that is conducted at several points through the rental process. This includes prior to a tenant occupation, during a tenant occupation, and after the occupation of a tenant. It will allow you to determine the current condition of the property, identify items that may need maintenance or repair, and review the overall cleanliness of the property. The inspection of investment properties is often done with a rental property inspection checklist.
What is a Rental Inspection Checklist?
The inspection associated with rental property is performed to evaluate the overall condition of the property, the structure on the property, and any included appliances and other components that are part of the property that is owned by the landlord. It is a detailed walk-through that either a landlord or a representative (such as a property manager) performs. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the rental property is properly maintained and prevent unexpected expenses and keep tenants happy.
During the course of an inspection, a rental inspection checklist is utilized. This checklist is a practical and highly systematic means of monitoring the overall condition of the property. It provides a means of documenting the state of the property at various times, such as, prior to a tenant moving in, while the tenant is residing at the property, and after the tenant moves out. Not only does this help in keeping you – as the owner of the proper – accountable in terms of maintenance and repairs, but it also helps in holding the tenant accountable when issues occur.
What Should be Outlined on a Rental Inspection Checklist?
When creating a rental inspection checklist, there are a number of items that should be outlined. At the minimum, the following should be placed in the document:
- The Condition of Appliances
- Maintenance Requirements of Appliances
- Condition of Walls
- Condition of Floors
- Condition of Ceilings
- Condition of Doors
- Condition of Windows
- Condition of Screens
- Light Fixtures and Bulbs
- HVAC System
- Smoke Detectors
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Fire Extinguishers
- Security System
- Sprinkler System
- Window Treatments
- Garbage Disposal System
- Parking Area
- Included Furniture
- Sliding Glass Doors
- Entry and Exit Doors
- Interior Doors
- Presence of Pests
Ultimately, all rooms within the rental property should be inspected. The initial walk-through should start at the entrance of the unit, go through the home, and end by moving out of the back exterior exit. Additionally, any and all property, outdoor areas, garages, and additional structures on the property should be completely evaluated. While we did outline a few exterior areas in the list above, you will need to add any extra that you have when creating your rental inspection checklist.
Are There Different Types of Rental Inspection Checklists?
Yes, there are different types of rental inspection checklists. The most commonly utilized today include the move-in inspection, move-out inspection, routine inspection, and drive-by inspection. Below, you will find an outline of these inspections with a brief explanation of each:
- The Move-In Inspection Checklist – This protects both you and your tenant from unexpected events and repairs. Once the lease is signed or during the prospecting process, you (or your designated property manager) and the tenant will conduct a thorough tour of the rental property together. Not only does this help in identifying issues that may be rectified prior to move-in, but it a way to start the landlord-tenant relationship in a positive manner.
- The Move-Out Inspection Checklist – This involves touring the unit together once your tenant has completely moved out. This rental property checklist is typically compared to the move-in rental property checklist to identify any and all changes that have occurred. If you wish, you may give the tenant the opportunity to handle any issues. Otherwise, it helps you determine if there is a need to keep the initial security deposit in order to make the necessary repairs.
- The Routine Inspection Checklist – The inspection for this particular checklist will be done while the tenant is residing at the property. It is best to do this type of evaluation once every 3,6,9, or 12 months. This will help you determine what type of maintenance needs to be done and if any repairs are necessary.
- The Drive-By Rental Inspection Checklist – This checklist is used at any point you just want to do a quick exterior inspection of the property. Items that may be in this type of checklist include exterior buildings, the roof, the siding, porches, patio areas, and the lawn.
Remember, when conducting any evaluation of your rental property, it is considerate to let your tenant know when you plan on doing it – date and time. You should also offer them the opportunity to walk-through with you during the inspection. This way, if they have additional information on tasks or repairs that need to be completed, it may be passed on to you and will help you in determining what needs to be done to keep up your property.
Proper Documentation is Key
It does not matter what type of inspection you perform or which rental inspection checklist you elect to utilize, proper documentation is essential. This will help you and your tenant – in the event any type of future complication or dispute arises.
Everything must be recorded. If possible, take pictures of each inspection that you perform. These will serve as proof of what the property looked like at a certain time. Make sure the picture has a date and time stamp. Once you have completed the inspection, review it with your tenant. Then, both of you should date and time the documentation. Immediately thereafter, your tenant should be provided with copies.
Performing inspections of your investment property takes a lot of preparation and time. If you would like to reduce the work and effort in this task, you should consider hiring a property management professional. These professionals offer a wide range of services. If you have an interest, you should consider contacting us here at Pioneer Property Management. Our services include property evaluations, consultations, tours, screening, paperwork preparation and signings, tenant relations, maintenance, repairs, and more!
We currently offer our services at the most competitive of rates. We understand the importance of both your business and your time. We strive to ensure that we assist in both so that you experience the highest level of success without all of the hassle! We will assist you with your business every single step of the way – from locating an investment property to selling! Contact us now for more information