Even if you have an exceptional tenant in place and a well-maintained rental property, routine inspections are important to prevent deferred maintenance and other problems down the road. They also demonstrate to your residents that you care about your investment property and have high standards for how it should be maintained.
Your move-in and move-out inspections will be especially critical; they allow you to document the condition of your property before a tenant moved in and after they moved out. You may also want to conduct an inspection during the course of the tenancy, in which case you will have to provide plenty of notice to your tenant. It’s important to be respectful of their privacy.
Here’s what to look for when you’re inspecting your Atlanta rental property.
Four Important Atlanta Rental Property Inspections
Before you know how to inspect, you need to know when to inspect. These are the easiest ways to continually check on your property.
Move-in inspection. This will allow you to document any problems that may need your attention before the tenant takes possession. It also allows you and your tenant to agree on the condition of the property at move-in time
Mid-Lease inspection. Get inside the property halfway through the lease period so you can ensure your property is in good condition and your tenants are following the terms of the lease agreement. Always provide enough notice before you show up, and use this as an opportunity to check in with your tenants and make sure everything is going well for them.
Drive-by inspections. You’re not entering the property so you don’t need to let the tenants know you’re driving by. Do this when you happen to be in the area; it will give you an opportunity to observe how the house looks and whether you need to discuss anything with the tenant about the condition or appeal of the property.
Move-out inspection. After the tenant leaves, inspect the property to determine whether any damage was left behind. If it was, you’ll have to document it so you can lawfully deduct the cost of repairs or cleaning from the security deposit. Remember that you cannot deduct for wear and tear.
Specific Things to Look for When Inspecting Your Atlanta Rental Property
Once you’re inside the property, check for these potential problems and make a list of any work that needs to be done.
Water. Look for dripping sinks, toilets, and tubs. Turn on the faucets and flush the toilets so you can be sure there aren’t any leaks.
Signs of deferred or unreported maintenance. Make sure there aren’t any repairs or replacements needed at the property. Sometimes tenants hesitate before reporting an issue, but the sooner you know about it, the sooner you can make the repair or replacement. This saves you money on emergency and extensive repairs.
Safety 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.
Lease violations. 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.
These are just a few of the things you need to know about rental inspections. For more information or help with protecting your Atlanta investment property, please contact us at Property Services of Atlanta.