As a property owner, you are paying a property management company to be your eyes and ears. For this reason, it is extremely important that they are strict about scheduling regular inspections. Many owners don’t understand how much damage a bad tenant can cause in a short period of time. There is a natural tendency to assume that if the rent is being paid on time and there are no complaints everything is going well.
Don’t make assumptions or take anything for granted. Not only will regularly scheduled inspections allow you to catch problems quickly, it is also very effective at deterring undesirable tenant behavior.
Some Key Questions to Ask Your Property Management Company:
What kind of move-in inspection does the company perform?
Our Property Managers at ACCL perform detailed walk-through inspections, which includes digital photos. Wherever possible, the tenant will accompany our manager during the walk-through process and the tenant will sign off on the inspection report. This kind of documentation is critical to resolve disputes over what damage took place during the tenants stay.
How often does the company inspect the interior of the property? Are tenants notified before inside inspections?
We inspect our rental units either quarterly or semi-annually depending on the homeowner’s request. In most cases, it is usually spelled out in the lease. The person doing the inspection will have a checklist that they go over which includes things like checking all appliances, locks, A/C (filters), furnace, water heater, smoke detector, electrical, plumbing and looking for lease violations. Of course, tenants must be given notice before the inspection takes place (minimum 24 hrs).
TIP: It is best practice not to sign a contract with a management company only performing inspections in between vacancies. Tenancies can last years and there is no excuse for not inspecting the unit during that time.
How often does the company inspect the exterior of the property?
The exterior of the property would be inspected at the same time with the interior so either quarterly or semi-annually. In some cases, managers may do what is called drive-by inspections where the person doing the inspecting does not get out of their car. While this may be acceptable for more frequent visits, a full-scale exterior inspection is more ideal.
How often are inspection reports sent to you?
At ACCL, inspection reports are sent to the homeowner each time an inspection is conducted. A homeowner may request to see a report at any time.