What Landlords Should Know About Property Inspections
Being a landlord is a rewarding, yet challenging job! From building maintenance to tenant placement, there’s a lot to do to keep a building running smoothly. One part of a landlord’s job that he/she must keep up with is property inspections.
Before they move into a unit, you want to make all tenants aware that you perform regular inspections and that you have certain expectations of the condition of the property. Tenants must understand that if the property is left damaged, destroyed, or trashed that there will be consequences and fines.
As a property management company in Jacksonville, we work with buildings and landlords regularly. We wanted to share with you some basic things you should know about property inspections and when to perform them.
Property Inspections in Jacksonville 101
A property inspection is the landlord’s opportunity to go through the property and take note of its condition – the tenants should be included in the process. Why? Well, you want to communicate with each other that you are all on the same page about the state of the property and what your expectations are upfront. If you keep up with these regular inspections, you can avoid bigger problems from occurring.
A property inspection should be performed when a tenant moves in and when he/she moves out.
During a move-in inspection, you will both (you and the tenant) see the current condition of the property and agree that it needs to look like this on the tenant’s move-out date. With this official walkthrough inspection, you can get the tenant’s signature on paper of the property’s condition so your liability will be lessened in the future.
During a move-out inspection, you’re basically checking in to see if the property looks the same as the move-in inspection day (minus some agreed upon wear and tear like holes from nails in the wall or scuff marks). You should schedule this inspection on the day the tenant is moving out. You don’t want to do the inspection too early before or after move-in day, because the tenant could potentially get away with or deny damages you find.
During an inspection, you will be able to determine if there is minor damage (to be expected) or major damage like cigarette burns, giant holes in the wall, stained and ripped carpet, broken doors, etc.
You can also perform a rental inspection during a tenant’s lease term. Although less common, this can help a landlord better protect a rental property. With more frequent inspections, there will be less surprises on move-out day. A mid-lease inspection could help a landlord spot damage, illegal animals, unknown people living in the space, blocked exits, fire hazards, etc. Dangerous living conditions could turn into a loss for a landlord, so it’s better to do more inspections to keep up property.
Landlord-tenant law is different in every state and city. Talk to our team at Quest Real Estate, LLC about what limitations a landlord may face in the city of Jacksonville. As a landlord, you don’t want to breach the lease or perform an illegal inspection. For the most part, the landlord will need to give the tenant at least a 24-hour notice about the visit/inspection. The inspection should also be scheduled at a decent time of the day and that the duration and purpose of the visit are reasonable.
Whatever schedule you come up with (and that is legal in your city), remember that this needs to be the inspection schedule created and performed for all tenants in the property.
Make sure your inspection checklist incorporates your area’s landlord-tenant law. Also, allow your tenants to participate in the inspections so they go more smoothly.
And remember, always praise tenants who care for and keep up your property.
Work with a Jacksonville Property Management Company
Performing an inspection can be time consuming and stressful, especially if you are unable to keep up with your local landlord-tenant laws. If you want your property to stay in good condition, we strongly suggest you perform regular inspections, but if you don’t have the time, call our Jacksonville property management company, Quest Real Estate, to handle the inspections and all the property management work for you including tenant screening, maintenance, collecting rent, etc.
Since 1985, Quest Real Estate has been offering property management services in the Jacksonville, Florida area. As a Jacksonville property management company, we are effective, knowledgeable, and experienced at managing a building, finding and keeping tenants, and handling tenant disputes and evictions.
Here are other benefits of working with a property management company besides property inspections for you to consider.
Contact our team at Quest Real Estate, LLC, by submitting our contact form. If you’d like more information on Jacksonville, or information on homes for sale or rent here in Jacksonville, Fl, call us at 904-373-9171.