There are different inspections a property manager conducts in a rental property, and today we’re concentrating on the inspections that are done when a tenant is vacating a property. To start, there are several things you want to do before you go to the property. Familiarize yourself with the terms of the lease so you know who is responsible for what at that property. Next, review your maintenance history to see what kind of work you did at that property prior to the tenant moving in. And then, you want to go ahead and review the move-in condition report and the rental inspection checklist that the tenant filled out after moving into the home. Grab a flashlight and a digital camera with a time and date stamp.
Property Management San Antonio: Inspect the Property from a DistanceStart by parking on the curb of the property so when you exit the vehicle you’re looking at the dwelling from a distance. At this point, I’m going to see if there are any oil stains in the driveway. I look around the roof to see if there are any branches or trees touching the house, and I see if there are any bushes or shrubs that are overgrown. Next, I’ll approach the structure and start with the garage door. If it’s a metal door, I’ll look for dents in the panels because that could be a tenant charge. Next, I’ll walk around the structure and check the landscaping. I’ll look at each window and screen. There are also things I’ll want to check for preventative maintenance purposes, such as whether there is any rotted wood or trim that needs to be painted. I’ll also check for termite tunnels. Before you’re done inspecting the outside of the structure, look at the hose fittings to make sure none of them are leaking.
Property Management San Antonio: Inspecting the InteriorNext, do the interior. As I walk up to the front door, I check to make sure the area is clean. The first thing a new tenant will see is that entrance to the dwelling, and it has to look good. It may or may not be a tenant responsibility, but I always recommend cleaning that area. I’m methodical in the way I work my way through the structure, going from left to right and room to room. When I go into each room, I check every wall and ceiling. I check floors, cupboards, and closets. In the kitchens and bathrooms, I run hot and cold water through the faucets. I check the drains to make sure they are draining adequately and I use my flashlight to go under the sinks and verify there are no leaks. I also check the appliances to make sure they are working and clean.
As I go through the house, I’m checking each and every blind, turning on every light to make sure the bulbs are working, and checking ceilings. People get focused on the carpet and floors and forget to look up. Check around the air conditioning grill and make sure you don’t see dirt marks. If there are dirt marks, there’s a good chance that your tenant has not been changing the filters on a regular basis. Next, I want to go in and check the air conditioner closet and verify there’s a clean filter in there. If you see dirt, you may need to have the grills and evaporator coils cleaned, and that can be a tenant charge.
Property Management San Antonio: Take Photos of the PropertyGo back through with your camera and document everything that may be the tenant’s responsibility. You’ll want to note the deficiencies and use the time and date stamp to document when you performed this inspection. It’s very important that if you have a cold or allergies, you take someone else who is not a smoker and has a good sense of smell. One of the biggest issues that exists with properties that don’t rent quickly is offensive odors. A long vacancy could be due to a lingering odor which might be from a pet or a smoker. So, have someone there who can identify any smells. If you do have a pet or smoke issue, you may charge the tenant for treating the slab for odors or changing the carpet. In the case of a smoker, you may have to clean the air ducts or have an ozone machine run through the property.
These are the basics on how to do a rental inspection the way a property manager would. If you have any questions about these inspections, or anything pertaining to San Antonio property management, please contact me, Greg Briggs, or the amazing team at Terra Realty & Management Group.