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Rental Property Inspections: What to Look Out For

Home River Group - Spokane - Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Property Management Blog

As a landlord, your rental property is likely your largest investment. You have to do everything in your power to protect it. One way to protect your rental property (and, in some cases, your tenants) is to conduct rental property inspections.

When you do yearly inspections, you need to know what to look for. We're here to help with a brief rental property inspections guide.

Read on to learn how to inspect a rental property and what to look for.

Obvious Damage

This is the easiest problem to spot when you're doing a routine inspection. You're going to look for any obvious damage. This is going to be any surface-level damage that you can see without moving any furniture or decorations. 

Keep in mind that it's common for tenants to hide obvious damage because they intend to fix it later. This is outside of your control.

Look for things that aren't just "normal wear and tear." Point them out to your tenant, so they have the opportunity to fix them and avoid getting their security deposit taken away. 

You're looking for things like:

  • Wall damage
  • Floor damage
  • Broken windows or mirrors
  • Intentional damage to any appliances

Plumbing Problems

Not all tenants will report minor plumbing issues. Whether it's due to their busy schedules, forgetfulness, or being unaware of the issues at all, they may not notify you until the problem gets serious.

When you perform a routine rental inspection, look at all of the plumbing. Check for leaks, signs of water damage, and any fixable damage (such as a sink stopper that needs to be replaced. 

Signs of Pests

Again, not all tenants will report pests. Some may not notice pests at all if they're not obvious. Others may intend on taking care of the problem on their own.

Some pests aren't the tenant's responsibility, such as termites. Others, like fruit flies, may be the responsibility of the tenant if the tenant left the property dirty. 

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

In your lease, it's likely that you have something in writing about the tenant maintaining the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their rental home. That said, it's part of your responsibility to make sure that they're doing so so that the building remains safe.

Some tenants may not realize that they have a dying or faulty detector, or they may not know how to fix it. Some carbon monoxide detectors, especially older models, make loud noises when you replace the batteries, and the tenant may worry about disturbing their neighbors. 

When you check the apartment, bring a set of batteries with you just in case. 

Rental Property Inspections: Is It Time to Inspect?

Rental property inspections can protect you and your tenant alike. Don't just inspect the unit when the tenant is moving out. Look for problems during routine inspections so you can keep your property in good condition.

Are you looking for professional property managers in Spokane, Washington? We want to meet you! Contact HomeRiver Group so we can start working together today.