Annual rental inspections are an important part of protecting your investment property. Whether you want to inspect halfway through the leasing period or right before the lease is scheduled to renew, make sure you get into your property at least one time during the tenancy to make sure there aren’t any deferred or unreported maintenance issues lurking, and to check in with your tenants and make sure they’re following the lease requirements and enjoying where they live.
A local property management company can help you manage this process if you’re unsure about how to conduct it, live out of town or state, or if you lack the time and the systems to effectively inspect your rental units. As an experienced team of Champaign-Urbana property managers, we have the inspection process down to a science, and today we’re sharing some of our checklist items with you.
Inspect with Preventative Maintenance In Mind
One of the reasons that a professional property management company will conduct inspections annually is to follow a program of preventative maintenance. Most rental homes have a lot of small issues that are easy to miss and potentially unnoticed by residents. When you’re conducting annual inspections, make sure you’re checking:
- Faucets and sinks for potential leaks
- Roofs and outdoor spaces for tree branches and debris
- HVAC systems, especially heaters, furnaces, and air conditioning units
- Water heaters for rust and deterioration
It’s a good time to look for evidence of pests or water intrusion. Tenants who do not complain frequently may think they’re being considerate when they don’t report every minor issue. But, you don’t want to let small repairs turn into larger and expensive repairs. Use this annual inspection to get an idea of what your property needs. Preventative maintenance is always more cost effective.
Champaign – Urbana Property Management and Lease Enforcement
Another item for your annual inspection checklist is lease enforcement. When your tenants sign their lease agreement, they’re promising to follow the rules and meet your expectations. Most residents do this, but some will get away with whatever they can. Use the annual inspection to look for:
- Unauthorized pets
- Unauthorized people
- Lack of cleanliness or upkeep
- Criminal activity
If something needs to be addressed, talk to the tenant about it and then put in writing what needs to be done in order to come into lease compliance. It’s also a good time to talk to your tenants about how they like their unit, and whether there’s anything that would make their experience better. This will help with tenant retention.
Provide Plenty of Notice Before Inspecting
You must keep in mind that you cannot simply go to the property without notice in order to perform an inspection. You shouldn’t stop by just for the sake of looking around. You have to have a specific reason, and you have to respect the tenants’ rights when it comes to entering their home. So, be sure you are checking for something specific. Your lease agreement could mention your annual inspection so tenants aren’t surprised.
Annual inspections protect your property and ensure your tenants are performing the way you expect them to. Make sure you get them done on a regular basis.
If you need a local property management company to help, please contact us at Ramshaw Real Estate. We’d love to be your resource for Urbana and Champaign property management.