Inspections play an important role in protecting property and should never be underestimated.
But the main question is, how should a property inspection be carried out, and how frequently should it be done? In this blog post, the experts at Evolve Nevada will highlight circumstances that can lead to a landlord inspecting a tenant's rental unit.
Tenants Quiet Enjoyment
Although it’s critical to inspect rental properties on a regular basis, it’s also vital not to conduct too many inspections. Your tenants have a right to enjoy the rental in peace. Therefore, inspecting the house once a month, for example, could be considered harassment.
In most cases, there is no need to check a property more frequently than once a quarter. You can add inspections if maintenance issues or genuine repairs need to be addressed. And always be sure to provide your tenant with a notice to minimize disruptions.
In addition to regular, quarterly inspections, checking the property about one month before the tenants are due to leave can be beneficial. Highlighting potential concerns before a tenant leaves will enable them to resolve anything they are willing to take responsibility for.
Types of Inspections
There are three major types of inspections that a landlord should conduct in the rental unit. These include:
The move-in inspection in Reno is quite significant. Before you hand over the property to the renter, you must document its exact condition. Make sure to photograph, videotape, and document in writing every aspect of the property both indoor and outdoor.
Inspections at Regular Intervals
You should undertake regular inspections every quarter or six months following your move-in inspection. Visit the property, interview the tenant, and take additional notes about the condition of the unit. Then you can determine whether any preventive maintenance is required to avoid costly repairs in the future.
Make sure you consider how well the tenant has taken care of the property and whether you want the tenant to stay for another year. The tenant must provide you with a renewal notice or non-renewal before the lease expires. If the tenant decides to stay, inspect the property at that time.
This inspection gives landlords an idea of how the renters are treating the home and whether any unexpected maintenance issues need to be addressed or if any recommendations should be made to the renters.
Minor maintenance works, such as replacing light switches or door handles, can also be completed at this stage to avoid larger repair jobs.
Inspection Before Exit
The move-out inspection should be just as thorough as the one you performed before the renter moved in. Cover each and every aspect of the property, both inside and out. Take pictures, video, and write down every detail of the house. Remember to take into account normal wear and tear.
You'll use the move-in and move-out inspections to compare property conditions. This will inform you if the tenant is responsible for any damage. If there is any damage, you have the right to make deductions from the resident's security deposit.
Other reasons for performing move out inspections include:
- Determining Repair Costs: During the exit inspection, a landlord can ascertain which repairs are required and the approximate cost of these repairs.
- Preventing Disputes: Making the tenant aware of the possible deductions from their security deposit can aid in the resolution of disputes. The tenant will be prepared and will not be surprised if they don’t receive a full refund of the deposit.
- Allowing Tenants to Repair Damages: Undertaking an inspection before a tenant moves out gives the leaseholder the chance to repair any damages so that deductions from their deposit are not made.
Investigating Unauthorized Tenants
The landlord may suspect that unauthorized tenants are residing in the rental unit at times. This can occur when a tenant begins living with a partner, when a friend wants a new place to live, or when a family member overstays their visit to your property.
Sadly, these situations can quickly escalate into a roommate situation, which, unless authorized by you, constitutes a violation of the lease agreement.
You and your property manager should have written the lease agreement to outline the rules for roommates. Among these rules are the following:
- Any housemate who wishes to stay at your property must be screened and approved by you and your property manager.
- The new renter (roommate) must agree to sign a new lease agreement guaranteeing that they will pay a portion of the rent.
- A joint and liability clause should be included in the new lease agreement to protect you and your rental units.
- The repercussions of housing unauthorized tenants, including eviction, should be outlined so that tenants understand what can occur if they violate the terms of the agreement.
This is presuming you allow roommates, which you might not. In any case, if you suspect that unauthorized tenants have moved, you should conduct a quick inspection of the property to see if any additional rooms are being used, the equipment has been added to the property, or if extra guests are overstaying their visit.
You should always be informed by your landlord, usually via email, that a visit will take place. The goal is to provide as much notice as possible before entering the tenant's space.
However, the only moment a landlord or property manager does not need permission to enter a property is an emergency. These occurrences are uncommon and usually occur when the tenant's lives are in danger, such as during a fire, a gas leak, or flooding. In such situations, the property owner can access the rental unit.
In conclusion, unless it's an emergency, the landlord must provide the renter with at least 24-hour notice before entering the rental unit.
You can also only enter the house during regular business hours unless the tenant has agreed to other times. What’s more, you do not want to schedule too many inspections in a year as this could be considered harassment.
If you are looking for a property manager in Reno, Nevada to help you with property inspections and other property management tasks, you needn't look any further! Evolve Nevada is the ideal property management company to handle your investment property.
We are the top pick in the industry for experienced professionals of single-family apartments, multi-family residences, and commercial properties.