Rental inspections are a critical way for San Diego landlords to check on maintenance issues that are needed and to ensure their tenants are following the terms of the lease agreement. When you’re inspecting your property, make sure you’re thorough and detailed.
The things you look for will depend on the type of inspection you’re conducting. A move-in and move-out inspection will have you documenting the condition of the property and making a list of any repairs that are required.
There are a few items that belong on any rental inspection checklist. We’re covering those today.
Always Look for Leaks and Water
Water can do damage to a property faster than any other problem. You want to take care of leaks immediately, no matter how minor they seem. A simple dripping faucet can turn into a major leak under the sink that causes rot and mold. 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.
Check for Repair and Replacement Needs
The rental inspections you conduct before a tenant moves in are meant to ensure the property is ready for occupancy. Everything must be functioning the way it should. 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.
Check 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.
Cleaning Requirements and Lease Agreements
When you’re doing a move-in inspection, you need to make sure everything is perfectly clean. Baseboards and ceiling fans should be free of dust, kitchens and bathrooms should sparkle, and the home should look and smell beautiful. When you’re doing a move-out inspection, you expect the same level of cleanliness after a tenant leaves. If the property clearly has not been cleaned, make notes and take pictures so you can withhold cleaning costs from the security deposit.
When you’re inspecting during a tenancy, it’s important to remember that everyone has different standards of cleanliness. Your tenant may not keep things as tidy and spotless as you do. But, you do want to make sure that it’s not unclean to the point that the property could be damaged. You don’t want to see piles of trash or evidence of pests and rodents.
Enforcing Your Lease
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.
These are just a few of the things you should include on your rental property inspection checklist whenever you’re inside your San Diego rental property. If you’d like to hear more or you need help with your own inspections, please contact us at Walters Home Management.