Inspecting Rented Property – Part 1 – Why and When

Authored by - Asha Mathew

“Maintenance work hasn’t been done well.” A constant complaint that property management companies have to deal with very often.  There is only one foolproof antidote to this grievance – meticulous, timely inspection of property.

Why Inspection?

One cannot speak enough about the importance of a timely inspection in the field of managing another’s property.

  • Bigger maintenance issues can be easily avoided with nipping the issues right in the bud with an observant eye that inspects carefully.
  • Helps to build rapport with the residents and increase tenant retention.
  • The residents will also be more careful with property when they know that people inspect regularly.
  • Maintaining the trust of property owners. Regular inspection reports which are genuine give the owners the confidence that their property is in the right hands.
  • Cost effective business in the long run with the proverbial stitch in time saving the need for nine more stitches later.

How often should an inspection be made?

  • Periodic Inspection- Every property, no matter how well it’s being maintained by tenants, needs to be inspected periodically. At least once in a quarter. This should not just be a brief talk with the tenant but a proper walkthrough of the house along with the resident. An inspection like this should also be done with foresight to look out for potential problems that can happen with respect to existing furniture, wardrobes, appliances and overall cleanliness. Issues that need to be dealt with so that they do not become major problems later.
  • Post Any Maintenance Work- A thorough inspection with a pre-written checklist is essential after every round of maintenance work as this is where all the complaints that crop up later can be answered. Supervision when work was being done cannot make up for inspection post work.
  • Prior to Occupancy – A “move-in inspection” of the property before handing over to the tenant is a must. The ideal time to do it is when the keys are handed over and the agreement is signed – prior to the shifting of things into the house. It is very important to do the inspection at this time so that you can account for any damage that happens later during shifting of things and people moving in.
  • Prior to Leaving- A “move-out inspection” to check how the property is being left is just as essential. It will help to let the tenants know beforehand that there will be such an inspection before they leave and before the deposit can be refunded. They tend to take greater care when they know that such an inspection is on the cards.

If the inspection schedules and checklists haven’t yet been prioritized while managing property, this is the time to work on it. As said earlier – a stitch in time, saves nine. Translating to property management jargon – a proper inspection in time saves the company a lot of money, time and energy.

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