As a property owner, you want to know that your tenant is keeping your Christiansburg rental property clean. Because after all, the value of your property depends, in part, on the overall condition. Unhappily, some tenants may not be keeping up with their cleaning and property maintenance. More so, if you never check up on them, you may not even know that cleanliness is turning into an issue until it arises as a much bigger problem.
Regular property inspections are an important part of your overall property management process. But certainly, like any other aspect of owning rental properties, some approaches to property inspections are more useful and effective than others. Knowing why inspections are important, how to create and carry out an inspection schedule, and how to talk with your tenant about cleanliness are all ways that a hardworking and successful property owner has got to have an idea of.
Doing regular property inspections is important for considerable reasons. It can provide valuable insight into how well your tenant is upholding the terms of the lease and help you catch developing problems early on. Various tenants may have different ideas about what cleanliness is or may not see the dirty house or yard as a matter of concern. They may even feel that the cleanliness of the home is none of your business. Although nothing can thus be farther from the truth. A dirty house or yard can quickly result in more serious problems, including structural damage, bad odors, pest infestations, and more. As long as these issues are spotted and managed well and rapidly, you could find yourself trapped with expensive repairs beyond what the security deposit will cover.
Knowing for sure that property inspections are important, it’s important to have an organized approach to completing them. As a property owner, you have different kinds of inspections in your property management toolbox. The move-in inspection can help you establish a baseline for your property’s condition, helpful if you need to assess wear and tear or property damage later on. Then there are drive-by inspections, which will allow you to drive by your rental property and check for visible issues with the property’s exterior.
The most important inspections, however, are regular inspections for safety and cleanliness in the property’s interior. There is no determined number of inspections you could accomplish each year. Some property owners prefer to inspect the property once a year, while others may plan to check the rental house every three or six months. Annual inspections are the most commonly done given that they help property owners to get a clear sense of the property’s condition without causing many problems for their tenants.
It’s relevant not to inspect the property too often, because your constant intrusions may cause discontent in your tenant. But even so, if you have uncovered cleanliness problems in your previous inspections, more frequent visits may be necessary until the time you are sure that your tenant is keeping the property clean. The same can be said if you discover that your tenant has an unauthorized pet or that unauthorized people are living in the house. Heedless of what you uncover at the moment of your inspection, you must document each visit carefully in photos and writing.
Talking to tenants about cleanliness inspections can also become a bit complicated, however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. One excellent way to manage your tenant’s expectations about property inspections is to include an inspection schedule in the lease. It’s further essential to give proper notice before entering the property and ensure that your tenant knows the purpose of your visit. Having good communication with your tenant can make your property inspections much easier for everyone, and help you check the property as needed.
If you do need to urge your tenant to clean up the property, it’s best to do so in writing. By offering clear requests and a detailed list of tasks for your tenant, you leave no doubt concerning what you want from them. You can similarly include the photographs you take to be even more persuasive and to create a strong paper trail, should it be needed.
When used routinely and appropriately, regular property inspections can help you make sure that your tenants are keeping your rental property clean. And, certainly, when your tenants understand you will keep watching over on things, you grant a stronger incentive to your tenant to keep the property tidy.
Need help coming up with a lease, or maybe you’d rather not deal with your tenants at all? Feel free to reach out to Real Property Management Insight and talk to one of our property managers at 540-998-6917 or contact us online.
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