Routine rental inspections are required when you’re a Grand Rapids landlord who wants to keep your property well-maintained and in good condition. Move-in and move-out inspections are pretty standard, and you should be prepared to document the condition of the home during those walk through inspections. Check on the property at least once during the tenancy as well. This gives you an opportunity to see how it’s being cared for and to talk to tenants about any concerns they may have.
You need to know what to look for in order to make the inspection an effective one. Here’s what we recommend.
Look for Plumbing Problems and Leaks
Water intrusion is a problem you don’t want to have at your rental property, so it’s important to look for leaks. The sooner you catch the issue – the more luck you’ll have in resolving it quickly and affordably. A toilet that’s not flushing properly may not seem like an urgently needed repair, but before you know it, that toilet could be backed up or leaking all over the bathroom floor. A simple dripping faucet can turn into a major leak under the sink that causes rot and mold.
During your inspection, look for areas where water might be getting inside the house from the outside. Spots on walls and ceilings may indicate that a pipe is leaking somewhere. Check the floors and shelves under bathroom and kitchen sinks, check tubs and toilets, and make sure you don’t have any water coming in where it shouldn’t. Make sure there isn’t a lot of debris or tree branches on the roof that can trap moisture.
Inspect for Signs of Deferred or Unreported Maintenance
Rental inspections help you avoid deferred maintenance problems, so take this opportunity to ensure there aren’t any repairs or replacements needed at the property. When you’re conducting a move-in inspection, make sure the home is ready for occupancy.
Everything must be functioning the way it is meant to. Check each electrical outlet, turn on all the lights, and run the appliances. Make sure the doors and windows are locking and check light bulbs, air filters, and smoke detectors.
Sometimes, tenants hesitate to report maintenance issues right away. They don’t want to bother you or they think they’ll get blamed for the problem. Encourage them to report repair needs right away. You aren’t going to save any money when maintenance is deferred.
Check Your Grand Rapids Rental Home for Safety Issues
A good rental inspection checklist will include looking for safety and habitability issues. Make sure the doors and windows lock properly. Check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and any security systems that are installed. Look for sufficient exterior lighting and handrails on stairs or outside. If you have a pool, check the fence. Your parking lot, driveway, and walkways are free of debris and trip hazards.
Use Inspections to Enforce Your Lease Agreement
During routine maintenance inspections, make sure your tenant is following the lease. This is a good time to look for unauthorized pets and people. Check for evidence of smoking or illegal activity. Inspections are a good time to make sure everyone is doing what’s required of them, and it’s also a good opportunity to check in with your tenants. Make sure they’re happy, and find out if there’s anything you can do to make their rental experience better.
You can also conduct regular drive-by inspections of your rental property to ensure everything looks good from the outside.
The important thing about inspections is balancing the protection of your property with the protection of your tenant’s privacy. Don’t show up every month asking to look around.
We can help you conduct effective and efficient inspections. We can also help with other Grand Rapids property management details. Please contact us at Short South Realty Group.