Rental property inspections are critical to the effective management of your Brentwood investment property. Before we tell you what you should be doing when you’re inspecting property, we want to dispel a couple of the myths that we most often run into when we’re discussing these inspections with landlords and property owners.
Rental Inspections: Two Terrible Myths
We know that some landlords believe that owners and property managers can enter the occupied rental property at any time to conduct an inspection. This is not true.
Some property owners also believe that if rental inspections are mentioned in the lease agreement, they can occur at any time and the owner or property manager can let themselves into the property without any notice to the tenants. That’s not true, either.
Unfortunately, doing either of these things will violate the law in California. Even though you own the property, your tenants are living in it, and they are entitled to their privacy and to the quiet enjoyment of the property. However, you still want to get inside and make sure the property is in good shape and the tenants are following the terms of the lease agreement. So, we have worked closely with our legal counsel to come up with a way around these challenges for property managers.
Maintenance and Rental Inspections
We perform a biannual maintenance check in every rental property we manage. This allows us to do things like change the HVAC filters and the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
While we’re inside the property, we also conduct our biannual inspections. These inspections are not a traditional move-in and move-out inspection. Those are conducted at the beginning and the end of the lease with the purpose of documenting the condition of the property. They take time and we’re very thorough. Our biannual inspections are a little bit more brisk. We are really focusing on the maintenance of the building and not necessarily the nitty gritty of chips in the countertop or flooring.
During these inspections, we’re looking for unreported or deferred maintenance. These things may be new water stains on ceilings or wetness under sinks. We also look for existing water stains that may have grown. We can determine if this has happened by looking at the previous inspection report, grabbing a ruler, and seeing if the spot has grown.
While we’re in the property, we also check for any cracks in the wall, ceiling, or foundation. We will measure these on an ongoing basis to make sure we preserve your biggest investment. All of this is done to protect the condition of your property and to make sure that our tenants are taking good care of the home. If we notice any tenant-caused damage that comes from abuse or neglect or we can see that there are violations to the lease agreement, we talk to the residents about these things and get them resolved immediately.
If you’re not sure how to effectively and legally inspect a Brentwood rental property that’s tenant-occupied, contact us at Parks Property Management. We’d be happy to provide additional information.