It is imperative that you inspect your property at least one time every year. This is important to do even if the tenants are paying rent on time, you’ve had no complaints and you think they are really wonderful people. You have to walk through your rental home and do an inspection annually. Not only do you want to check out the general living conditions, you also want to look for neglected maintenance issues.
A lot of times, great tenants aren’t going to want to bother you with too many repair requests. Or, they’re worried that you’ll raise the rent if they call with maintenance concerns. That’s not a good thing, because as you know, small problems can often lead to big problems that are more expensive to fix. So do your inspections. Check under the kitchen sink to make sure there isn’t anything leaking. Lots of people store their household cleaners there, but they often don’t think about checking the pipes and the floor under the sink. Take a look at the windows and the window sills. Check the HVAC filter as well as the sprinkler systems and sprinkler valves. Turn the faucets on and off, and make sure you don’t have an inefficient toilet.
These are the things that can save you and your tenant a lot of money and also protect your investment. Make sure any neglected maintenance you find doesn’t continue. The inspection is a great opportunity to address any concerns your tenants might have. Let them know you won’t raise the rent due to calls for maintenance and repairs.
We always recommend that you take a lot of pictures to go with your inspection paperwork. This is important because it documents your property. Take pictures of everything, including what looks good. You don’t want to photograph the problem areas only. When you document everything, it will help you in the long run. Maybe the tenant will dispute the disposition of the security deposit, and you’ll need to prove how the home looked during the last inspection. Or, perhaps an insurance issue will arise. You might have a roof leak and maybe the insurance company will try to claim that it looks like an ongoing issue. You’ll have pictures from six or 12 months ago that show there was no leak, and it’s not an ongoing issue.
If you have questions about inspections or how a property manager can help you conduct them, please contact us at Sacramento Delta, and we’d be happy to help you.
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