A property inspection can happen a number of times. Maybe the tenants are moving in or out, maybe you’re just due for the annual inspection. When it comes to yearly inspections, a notice is required so your tenants have the time to prepare everything. Also, inspections can happen if the tenants are suspecting there is something not right with the property. These inspections are usually conducted by a property manager, a landlord or the tenant. In further text, we will discuss what is included in a typical rental inspections and also what are the responsibilities of both tenant and the landlord.
A thorough inspection by the landlord or tenant should cover all aspects of the rental property from top to bottom.
- Electrical – Electrical switches should be checked as should any fans within the unit. It is also a good idea to do a quick test of the outlets using a small lamp or your phone charger.
- Plumbing – Check all faucets for good water pressure. Flush the toilets to make sure they drain properly and don’t run after being flushed. This is also a good time to look for mold and mildew around the faucets and pipes.
- Structural – Check the walls for cracks, holes, and chipped paint. Make sure there are no water stains on the ceiling or signs of mold anywhere thought the property.
- Smoke Detectors – All smoke detectors need to be checked and in good working order. One should be located in any common areas, in the kitchen, and in each bedroom. At the very minimum, one should be located on each floor of the home. You should check your detectors every 6 months. Many people make it a point to do this when the time changes each year.
- Kitchen – In the kitchen, look for damaged countertops, floor tiles, and porcelain. Make sure the stove top, oven, and refrigerator are all in working order.
- Bathroom – Look for chipped tiles, scratched mirrors, and damages to any of the fixtures. Make sure the sinks work and drain properly.
- Doors – Make sure all doors open and close easily without sticking. All exterior doors need to be lockable.
- Windows – Windows should also open and close easily, and be lockable from the inside. You’ll want to make sure both the doors and windows are properly sealed.
- Closets – Check all the closets throughout the house. Make sure doors are properly hung and that shelving and the closet bar is properly hung.
- Heating and Cooling – Be sure to check the heat to make sure it is coming through all vents. If there is also air conditioning in the home, make sure it blows cool air from all vents and that the filters are clean.
- Pests – Check in cupboards, on shelving, it the attic, the garage, and out of the way places for any signs of an infestation. You wouldn’t want to move into your home and find out you aren’t the only one living there.
Things That Can’t Be Seen
Depending on the type of inspection, but also the state of the property itself, a professional may be called. Some problems can’t be seen just like that and someone who specializes in the field has to take a look at everything. This is most often the case if you notice any signs of pests, such as termites, or if there is something wrong with the sewer pipes and the septic tank. There are also specialty inspections to test the geology of the property. This way, the ground is tested for contamination, but it’s also checked whether or not the property is at risk of landslides or floodings.
The Landlords Responsibility
The landlord has to provide a safe and well-maintained home for their tenant. They have to do regular maintenance of the property and to make repairs when they have to be done. Just like the homeowner can break the lease if the tenants were to violate it, the same can be done to the landlord.
The Tenants Responsibility
Often times when a tenant moves into a new home, they will be given a checklist and asked to write down any possible problems they see. When the checklist is completed, the owner or property manager will review the reported issues and see that everything is prepared in the due time. This is especially important if the tenant wants to reclaim their security deposit! If you don’t list an existing problem as soon as you move in, you may be the one responsible for it when you want to move out.