5 Reasons Landlords Should Inspect Properties

Posted by Teresa on April 30, 2010 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

man-asleep-on-couch1-244x300Let’s say you’re a hands-off landlord, who keeps an eye on things outside your rental units; but generally, you don’t go inside until and unless you’re called upon to repair or replace something.

If you’ve ever been surprised by the condition of your rental unit after a tenant moves out, perhaps you should consider inspecting your rental properties more often. Your lease probably stipulates that you are to be given access to the property with proper notice—so before barging in on your tenants, check your local and state laws.

Here are five reasons to inspect rental properties on a regular basis:

1. To see how many people actually live there. If you’re not around to check, who’s going to prevent unscreened tenants from living in your property? You might not ever know that your tenant, the sole lessee who pays the rent every month, actually has 3 friends living in your 1-bedroom apartment. Friends staying over are one thing, but you have the last word on who is allowed to live in your rental unit.

2. To check for undisclosed pets. The Internet is full of posts by tenants who aren’t supposed to have pets and hide them when the landlord stops by; or tenants who are approved for one cat, but have four. What about the 15-pound dog you approved that’sbeen replaced with a 75-pounder?

3. To check for illegal use of your property. Your tenants could be running a business from your rental property—from day care centers to illegal meth labs—and you need to know what’s going on. After all, you are liable for your tenants conduct and activity. Don’t find out when it’s too late that illegal commerce is taking place on your property.

4. To verify proper use of plumbing and electrical systems. Again, you don’t want a fire to be your tip-off that tenants have overloaded electrical outlets. And that small drip under the sink? If nobody tells you about it, you might soon be replacing the kitchen subflooring.

5. To replace smoke alarm and CO2 alarm batteries. Smart landlords keep spare batteries in their toolkits. Replacing worn out batteries can save lives.

From plumbing leaks to illegal drug activity—you truly never know what you’ll discover when inspecting your rental units. Preventing property damage and even loss of life is worth the time and effort involved, so call your tenants and schedule an inspection today!