Rental property inspection: What is it and why is it important?
A rental property can bring a slew of benefits to its owner, such as passive income, tax benefits, and value appreciation. This particular investment is like a gift that keeps on giving, especially if properly maintained and managed. That’s why it’s crucial for every rental property owner to have regular inspections done to ensure continued profits and happy tenants.
But how exactly does the inspection figure in the entire concept of rental property ownership? Here are your questions on rental property inspection answered below.
IS A RENTAL PROPERTY INSPECTION THE SAME AS A HOME INSPECTION
The rental property inspection is much like a home inspection – both are done in an effort to find out the overall condition of the concerned property. But while the home inspection is done by a third party as part of a real estate transaction, the rental property inspection is done by the property owner or their representative – the property manager.
In the home inspection, a licensed inspector comes in to check on the home for flaws and defects in its structure. Anything of interest that they find, they list down in a report that they submit to the party who contracted them – in most cases, the buyer. This report can be used by the buyer to negotiate for contingencies regarding repairs, bid for a lower price, or walk away from the negotiations altogether.
As for the rental property inspection, its results are a guide for good housekeeping on the side of the property owner. They or their duly designated property manager would thoroughly examine a rental unit that has been, is currently, or will be occupied by a tenant. If a tenant is currently residing in that particular unit, the tenant must be informed of the schedule of the inspection as their presence during the inspection itself is important. That way, concerns or issues discovered in and outside the unit can be discussed by the owner or their representative and the tenant.
WHY ARE RENTAL INSPECTIONS IMPORTANT
For new rental property owners, performing the inspection may feel like an intrusion into their tenants’ privacy. More so, not all tenants welcome the idea. However, remember that a rental property is an asset that requires proper care. Not knowing its condition can be detrimental to both owner and tenant as some issues in the property may be causing an inconvenience or, at most, have the potential to endanger the lives of the tenants. As such, it is important to conduct these routine inspections to protect both the tenants and their investment.
Below is a breakdown of the reasons behind the value of rental property inspections.
To ensure that tenants are compliant with the rules
Before a tenant is given the keys to a unit, both tenant and landlord sign a lease agreement that stipulates rules for the tenant to follow throughout their stay. Thus, a rental property inspection done while the tenant is currently occupying the unit gives the landlord a chance to see if the rules in the lease agreement are being followed, as well as check if the tenant made modifications to the property that are not allowed.
To uncover maintenance concerns
Some tenants tend to ignore or don’t report some maintenance concerns unless the damage has already caused a huge inconvenience to them. Regular property inspections provide a good opportunity to catch these and other maintenance problems and fix them before they become serious and costly.
To meet tenants’ needs
As a landlord, you need to make sure that your rental property is a desirable place to live in. Periodic inspections can show your tenants that you care for the quality and comfort of their
living conditions by addressing the needed improvements. You are also providing a venue for the tenants to openly communicate their concerns and needs while you can reiterate the rules in the lease agreements. Through these routine inspections, you can foster a good relationship with your tenants and, at the same time, ensure that the property they’re living in provides them with the comfort that they deserve.
To validate the home insurance policy
Home insurance policies require landlords to conduct regular property inspections. Failing to do could invalidate it. You can opt to hire a licensed third party to do the inspection – the inspector’s evaluation report is your proof that a property inspection has been conducted on your property.
To maintain property value
Poorly managed rental properties depreciate in value. When tenants vacate the property and maintenance issues have not been addressed, this could affect the vacancy rate and ultimately, the rental income.
Regular inspections prevent maintenance issues from escalating and guarantee that a property is kept in tip-top shape. That said, its value has no other way to go but up.
If you are a landlord with multiple rental properties or living away from your property, hiring a local property management team ensures that your investment is in good hands. For top property management services and referrals, get in touch with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Caliber Realty. Call the team at 979.694.8844 or email them here.