What Are Property Inspections?
The purpose of a property inspection is to assess the condition of a rental apartment or house. The idea is to check that the rental property is in a reasonable condition and that everything works as it should. Property inspections can help landlords ensure that the tenants are looking after the property as they should be. Inspections are also useful for tenants, as they give landlords the chance to assess maintenance issues. To simplify property inspections, the following tips may come in handy:
1. Inform Tenants Well in Advance
According to NOLO, ‘Many states have laws requiring landlords to give tenants a minimum amount of notice (often 24 hours) before entering an occupied rental unit.’
Though 24 hours is the legal requirement, it can be a good idea to give tenants a slightly longer notice period. Some landlords prefer to provide a notice period of several days or even a week. Informing the tenants well in advance means they’ll have enough time to prepare the property. When drafting the rental agreement it’s important to declare:
- How often property inspections will take place, and for what purpose.
- How much notice you will give the tenants before an inspection.
- How you will inform the tenant, i.e in email, or by letter.
2. Schedule Regular Inspections
As a landlord, there are several types of inspections that you can carry out to protect your assets. The following types of inspections should all be scheduled as appropriate:
It’s vital to inspect the property before a new tenant moves in, you’ll need to assess what condition the property is in at this stage. Document the condition using videos and photos. You should also make notes about the state of the property.
Once the tenancy agreement has begun, it’s important to conduct routine inspections. Schedule these regularly, for instance, each quarter or every six months. During a routine inspection, you should assess the property, to ensure that the tenant is taking care of it. It’s also an opportunity to ensure that you are sticking to your end of the agreement, with appropriate maintenance.
When a tenant moves out, it’s essential to conduct a move-out inspection, covering all areas of the property. Again, take videos and pictures, to document any issues. Check if there are any damages that the tenant is liable for. Remember that a little bit of wear and tear is reasonable.
What Other Circumstances Require A Property Inspection?
As well as the above instances landlords can legally schedule a property inspection under the following circumstances:
- A landlord suspects that the terms of the tenancy agreement have been violated.
- The property has been abandoned by the tenant.
- Emergencies, including burst pipes, gas leaks, or a fire.
3. Carry Out Virtual Property Inspections
To simplify property inspections, especially in times of emergency, it’s helpful to carry out virtual property inspections. These inspections do not require the landlord to visit the property but instead rely on immersive 3D or video calling tech. There are plenty of benefits to virtual property inspections, including:
- Helps businesses to comply with social distancing protocol, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Saves time, because the landlord no longer has to visit the property in person.
- To perform an inspection, the process is as easy as making a video call, to take a look at the rooms.
- Virtual inspections can also be used to show potential tenants a property (using 3D immersive video tours).
How Do 3D Video Tours for Properties Work?
A 3D virtual tour is created using a collection of panoramic images. First, a videographer takes photographs of the rooms, including four photos, at a 90° angle. Next, the photographs are put together, to create a 360° perspective of that room.
The finished product allows the potential tenant to do a ‘virtual walk through’ of the property. Over the last year or so, such tech has become increasingly popular with landlords, rental agencies, and proper manager companies.
4. Use A Property Management Service
The easiest way to simplify property inspections is to hire a property manager service. Such companies can carry out property inspections on your behalf, whether in-person or virtually. A property management company can deal with the associated admin involved, from informing the tenants; to documenting the property condition; and setting up virtual inspections.
A property management company can support you to manage your rental property in many different ways. These services can help you to market your property, perform background checks on tenants, draft rental agreements, and manage maintenance issues. For more information about property management services, contact Amancia.