If you want to protect your property from unnecessary damage, you need to perform regular property inspections.
For landlords, there's nothing worse than having a tenant who puts your property at risk of damage. With good tenant screening methods, you can avoid the worst culprits, but you never really know what a tenant will be like until they're living in your rental.
Rental property inspections allow you to keep tabs on your investment and prevent damage that could hurt its value. In today's post, we'll go over some of the main aspects of these inspections and tell you how often you're allowed to do them. Keep reading and learn how to protect your property.
What Are Rental Property Inspections?
There are two main types of rental property inspections. Firstly, you've got your standard move-in/move-out inspection you do when a tenant moves into your property, and again when they move out.
During one of these inspections, you walk around the unit with a property inspection checklist and make note of any existing damage. The goal is to protect both parties; you're protected from the damage the new tenant may cause and they're protected from false accusations of property damage that was already there.
At the end of the tenancy, you'll perform the same inspection. If there's any new damage, you'll pay for the property repairs with some or all of the security deposit.
The other type of property inspection is done regularly throughout the tenancy. You'll perform these inspections when you suspect that your tenant is up to no good. It's important to go about them the right way, which we'll discuss next.
How Often Should You Perform Them?
The most important thing you need to think about when performing rental property inspections is the law. Only under emergency circumstances can you enter your rental property without notice. In Mississippi, you should give at least 24 hours of notice before doing an inspection.
This preserves your tenant's right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of the property that they pay for. Failing to do this could end up with your tenant vacating the property and/or reporting you to the housing authority.
You can perform drive-by inspections to keep tabs on things from afar. You can also enter the property at the tenant's behest to perform property maintenance without giving notice.
What to Look for During Property Inspections
When performing one of these inspections, you'll want to look for obvious signs that the tenant is breaking the lease. Holes in the walls, unauthorized pets or roommates, and tobacco smells are all common things landlords find during inspections.
If you're doing a drive-by inspection, look for new cars in the driveway. You can also talk to neighbors to find out if a tenant has been noisy or performing illegal activities.
How Property Management Can Help
Our best landlord advice is to perform rental property inspections a few times per year. Unless your tenant is giving you a reason to, there's no need to overdo rental inspections. Even still, rental property inspections can be a lot of work.
In these scenarios, it's best to hire property management to help. Not only do property managers offer tenant screening services, but they can maintain your rental and preserve its value. Contact us at PMI Biloxi to learn more.