Rental inspections serve several purposes for investors who own real estate in Cleveland. The move-in and move-out inspections are absolutely critical, and it’s also a good idea to conduct an annual inspection when your tenants are in place.
Today, we want to share some best practices with you when it comes to your rental inspections, and we’ll also take this opportunity to explain how we manage the inspection process when we’re managing a rental home.
The most important property inspections you will do are before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. Once a lease is signed and a tenant is preparing to take residence, you need to thoroughly document the condition of your home. Go through it in great detail. Take notes and pictures. You’ll want to photograph everything; each appliance, all the floors, the counters, the doors, the windows, and even the ceilings. The idea is to document what the property looks like at the time the tenants move in.
After your tenants move out, you’ll do the same thorough inspection with the same checklist and photos. This will allow you to compare the condition of the property after the tenants have moved out. You’ll be able to clearly see if there’s any damage for which you can hold those tenants responsible. When you’re using your inspection reports to make decisions about the security deposit, remember that you cannot charge for normal wear and tear. However, tenant damage going beyond normal wear and tear should be evident and supported by your inspection checklists and photographs.
We like to do an annual inspection during the course of the lease term for two reasons. First, it allows us to look for unreported maintenance issues. Sometimes, tenants are slow to let us know when there’s a problem that they perceive to be minor. We check the property for leaks under sinks, safety and health issues, and any potential problems like tree branches falling onto the roof or problems with systems like the heating and cooling unit or the appliances. If there are any repairs that need to be made, we make a note of it and schedule the work right away.
This inspection also gives us the opportunity to make sure your tenants are following the terms of the lease agreement. We can look for unauthorized pets or people, we can make sure the home is clean and the air filters are being changed regularly. We can look for any signs that the tenants may be neglecting or misusing the home. This inspection is for your protection and the protection of your investment home.
Landlords and investors always want to know what they can expect when they begin working with us. We will inspect every vacant home to make recommendations for improvements and we’ll take a lot of pictures. This helps us come up with a leasing and management plan that will best serve you and your investment goals.