Establishing a Property Inspection Schedule

Posted by Teresa on February 20, 2009 under General, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

If you’re a typical rental property owner, you’ve invested a great deal of money and sweat equity in your property: the initial purchase price, interest and taxes, ongoing repairs and improvements, plus dozens of incidental costs associated with owning any property. Protect your investment with a sound inspection policy and schedule.


The law requires that you properly maintain your property to meet all applicable health and safety codes (check your state and local laws and statutes for specifics).  While it is certainly in your best interest to comply with the law and keep your property in top condition, it benefits your tenants, too.  The good feelings that come with living in a safe, well-maintained home are valuable assets, and go a long way toward retaining high quality tenants. 


Poorly maintained properties lead to higher tenant turnover, operating losses and even potential legal problems and expenses.  Why take the risk?


Consider presenting new tenants with a Property Inspection Schedule, along with the lease, when they move in—or make it part of their Welcome Package.  Either way, expectations are established right up front.  Well-informed tenants could be more likely to keep small issues from becoming major hassles and repairs, too—saving you money in the long run.


What should the schedule include?


  1. A checklist of items that will be inspected, for example: electrical, heating, and plumbing systems, smoke detectors, water heater, door and window locks;
  2. A target date for each quarterly or semi-annual inspection, with a notice that you will contact tenants two weeks prior to arrange a convenient time;
  3. Areas to detail any observed damages or needed repairs to systems, walls, ceilings, floors, roof, and landscaping;
  4. Your contact numbers;
  5. Date, time, and signature lines—to be signed by you and everyone listed on the lease.

Take photos of any damaged areas for your records.  Let your tenants know when you will return to the property to make repairs—and what they can do to prevent the problem in the future.


Remember to keep a positive attitude throughout the inspection—the purpose is to keep everyone in compliance and safe.  It is within your rights, however, to hold the tenant financially responsible for damages caused by negligence or misuse of your property. 


Find landlord resources, including everything you need to know about tenant screening, from

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