As a property owner, regular house inspections are a proactive way to protect the overall value of your investment. While it is important to respect your tenants’ right to privacy, inspecting the rental home serves both you and them. In this article, we highlight the importance of rental home inspections and how to go about them professionally.
Repair and maintenance work is an essential part of property ownership. Not only do routine repairs keep your house in habitable condition, but they also save you money on expensive cumulative repairs. For example, fixing a leaking kitchen sink in time can help avoid long-term water damage to the floors and cabinets. Since tenants may not always notice or report these smaller issues, carrying out house inspections ensures you catch the problems on time.
Lease Agreement Enforcement
The landlord tenancy relationship is laid out in the lease agreement, with each party having certain rights and obligations. Inspections help establish whether your tenant is keeping their end of the bargain. For example, if the agreement requires that they carry out landscaping on the property, or that they should not keep pets, inspections will help you assess the same.
Additionally, a house inspection needs to be carried out on the day the client moves in, and the day they move out. A checklist of the property’s condition should be created and signed by both parties at the beginning. When the tenant is moving out, another inspection helps to assess the property damage and determine how much of the security deposit you will refund.
Reducing Tenant Turnover
Keeping your rental property in good condition can earn you loyalty from the tenants and ensure that they stay long term. Tenants do not even need to have complained about the house’s condition. By inspecting the house, you may find areas that could use some renovation to boost the property’s value and appeal.
Maintaining Property Value
A well-maintained home depreciates at a slower rate. Should you choose to sell the house in future, you are guaranteed to attract better offers if the house is in good condition. Also, in a competitive rental market, keeping your house well maintained can get you better rental rates. Inspecting your rental property, therefore, helps you keep up with the repair and maintenance work needed to keep your property value competitive.
Projecting Future Maintenance Needs
Because maintenance and repairs can be expensive, it is important to plan and project them in advance. When you inspect the property, you can anticipate the repairs that will be needed in the future and plan your finances accordingly. Planning ensures that your rental business is profitable and you can meet your other expenses even if huge repairs pop up.
Calculating Tax Returns
Keeping proper records of your repair and maintenance work helps maximize your rental income by deducting these expenses. Regular house inspections ensure that necessary repairs are done in time to file your tax returns in any given year. Additionally, inspections can form the basis for your depreciation projections. Depreciation is tax deductible, so this could also help minimize your taxes.
Avoiding Legal Issues
Despite paying rent on time and keeping your rental house in good condition, some tenants may still endanger your investment by conducting illegal activities in it. A house inspection is the only way to know if your tenant is abiding by the law in relations to your house. Inspections also act as a deterrent for prospective tenants with sinister intentions.
On the other hand, you could be the one on the wrong side of the law. Carrying out tenant evictions for lease violations or withholding security deposits for damages can be messy if you do not have adequate evidence to support your claims. Taking photographs during inspections can form the basis of your claims if the tenant takes legal action against you.
Building Client Relations
As with any other business, maintaining good client relations is part of the job. If you want to keep your tenants happy, your landlord-tenant relationship should stretch beyond rent collection. By carrying out a scheduled house inspection and spending some time with the tenant, you offer them a chance to express their grievances and feel valued. It may be difficult to build friendships with each of your tenants if you have a multi-unit property. However, cordial relationships with yourself or property managers enhance client satisfaction and retention.
Upholding Safety Regulations
Abiding by state health and safety regulations for landlords is important to keep your tenants safe and avoid hefty violation fines. Regular inspection of HVAC filters, smoke alarms, asbestos containing building materials e.t.c. ensures you repair or replace any potential health and safety hazards on your property. You can also avoid lawsuits from tenants and workers getting injured on your property by regularly inspecting and repairing the property.
Property Manager Accountability
If you have hired property managers in Devon, you need to be sure that they are routinely maintaining your property. Have them inspect the property every four months and write you a full report to increase accountability. You could even opt for an independent house inspection to ascertain their report. This audit ensures you get your money’s worth from their services.
A house inspection does not have to inconvenience the tenant. The best way to ensure that they comply is by including mandatory house inspections in the lease agreement. When an inspection is due, notify the tenant in advance and stipulate the exact time and duration they should expect you. Also, if you suspect lease violations, carrying out drive-by inspections can help you support your claims.
If you live far from your rental home or are unable to carry out a regular house inspection, a property management company in Devon can be of use. They can ensure that your property is protected from damage and retains its value through regular repair and maintenance. As a bonus, property managers fees are tax deductible, so you stand to gain a tax deduction.