Rental property inspections or property surveys while tenants are in place are necessary and important, but it’s not always a good idea to have them done by property managers. I always advise people to be wary of any property manager who claims to personally be at the property more than once a year. I don’t want to say anyone’s lying to you, but property managers have a lot of things they need to be doing. Physically being at a property that doesn’t have any current red flags is not a priority. A home inspection is important and necessary, but often a lower priority when emergencies are going on.
Reasons to Conduct Property Inspections
Over the years, we have stopped promising that we will be at the property for regular inspections. It’s not productive, and the property manager should be dedicating that time elsewhere. That doesn’t mean homes shouldn’t be inspected – they should be. If your tenant is performing well and paying rent on time and renewing year after year, there might be things happening that your tenant doesn’t notice or care about. Peeling paint or minor maintenance issues like leaks under the kitchen cabinet could be happening, and without an inspection, you won’t know it. If the tenant doesn’t notice an obvious leak and doesn’t report it, that leak can become a big problem.
Inspections should be for preventative maintenance and to check on tenants. When your tenant knows there will be regular inspections, there will be a subconscious extra level of care. This also gives your tenants a sense of confidence that the landlord is interested in the property condition and addressing issues. You also need inspections so you can check on safety devices like locks and smoke alarms.
Third Party Rental House Inspection Companies
The property manager shouldn’t do these, so we have a company called Property Reports Onsite Pros do them for us. They work with property managers and landlords to conduct surveys. They are not licensed inspectors, and you pay a fraction of the cost. They are third party agents, and tenant are more willing to work with them. The landlord or property manager can seem like a sheriff when they show up wanting to look at the home. There’s no bias with third party companies. Maybe the property manager doesn’t want to give the landlord bad news or doesn’t want to alienate the tenant. To avoid such concerns, we need a subjective report. We can look at pictures and flagged items. Then, we review the report with the owners and immediately resolve any big issues or safety issues. Then we talk about how to move forward. We’ll get some quotes for additional work that needs to be done or talk to tenants about concerns that need their attention.