One of the biggest hits a rental property owner takes occurs at turnover – when the tenant leaves. Anyone can move a tenant into a property. But the trick is finding the tenant who won’t leave you holding the bucket when they leave! Anyone who has been a landlord or manager for any length of time has experienced the deadbeat who moves out and leaves behind enough trash to fill a dumpster or three. Behind the clean-up are the thousands of dollars of repair work.
This situation is repeated over and over each month. It is often exacerbated because no one has taken the time to keep tabs on what is going on inside the unit.
A good inspection cannot guarantee relief from a trashed house, but it is a darn good insurance policy! By getting inside early a manager can begin the discussion regarding what is expected. It can sometimes be a fine line between being someone’s mother (and telling them to pick up their clothes!) and being someone’s landlord (and telling them they need to clean up the place for hygiene and preservation of the home).
A messy home can increase the risk of sickness, accidents, or injury. It can also accelerate the deterioration of building components and systems. So it is important to keep tabs on what is going on inside. An inspection can also alert and/or prevent the growing or cookingof illegal drugs in the home.
We inspect our properties once a year – as much to see how the tenants are taking care of the unit as to prevent a leaky toilet from ruining the bathroom floor. Preventative maintenance and management are keys to reducing costs at turnover.
We charge the owner $100 to do the annual inspection and deliver a report (with photos). The inspections provide a small, additional revenue stream to our company. But more importantly, the inspection builds confidence with us and the owner in knowing the condition of the property and the attitude of the tenant. It also sends a message to the tenant that we care about their home. Since we have our own maintenance division, the inspection program feeds work into that division as well.
Inspections are a win-win. The owner wins with confidence and security knowing how the property is being cared for. The manager wins with similar confidence knowing in advance what kind of tenant he/she is dealing with. The tenant wins having a unit that is being maintained and a manager who cares.