To keep your rental property protected and well-maintained, you need to conduct routine inspections. By doing this, you’ll be able to set more competitive rental rates that’ll increase your profits over time.

To make sure that you make the most of your investment, here are the top 5 reasons for conducting regular inspections on your rental properties.

1. Safety

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your rental property adheres to the local safety and building codes. To ensure that you are compliant, it is important for you to conduct regular property inspections.

Regular inspections will help you notice when issues arise such as ceiling cracks, electrical problems, missing wood panels on decks, or overgrowing grass.

Aside from ensuring that your home remains in good condition, regular inspections will help detect signs of criminal activity. Even with a strict tenant screening process, there’s always the possibility of having the wrong tenant rent your property.

Warning signs of criminal activity include:

• Unfamiliar Residents

Always check to see who’s really staying at your property. You could even keep a record of your tenants’ vehicles and license plate numbers.

• Spikes in Utility Usage

If the bills are under your tenant’s name, check the meter for unusually high usage. Manufacturing illegal drugs can cause an unusual surge in utility bills.

• Unusual Odors

If the neighbors or other tenants are complaining about unpleasant odors, check on your property right away. Growing or manufacturing illegal drugs can produce noxious smells.

• Frequent Visitors at all Hours of the Day and Night

Check your property right away if you notice or become aware of unusual frequency and number of visitors regardless of the time of the day.

2. Asset Protection

Regular property inspections will help keep your property in tiptop condition. For instance, inspecting and maintaining your roof could not only save you more money over time but could also ensure that it remains in good shape and leak-free.

According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, you should check your roof at least twice a year. During a roof inspection, make sure that you look for:

  • Tree branches or other large debris
  • Crumbling or missing chimney mortar
  • Loose, cracked, or rusted gutters
  • Shingles that are blistering, cracking, or buckling
  • Damaged or missing chimney cap
  • Worn, peeling, or cracked plastic rubber boots around pipes and other roof projections

3. Landlord-Tenant Relationship

By conducting regular property inspections, you’ll help build a better relationship with your tenant. Tenants appreciate landlords who make repairs on time and take seriously any concerns that they have.

On the other hand, tenants go crazy over landlords who fumble and always seem to be befuddled about what to do when they make a call.

Not addressing repair and maintenance issues on time could also make your tenants withhold their rental payment. This is commonly referred to as “withhold and deduct.” When repair and maintenance issues are not promptly addressed, the tenant’s decision to break the lease early may be justified.

4. Tenant Responsibilities

Regular inspections could also help ensure that the tenants stay on their toes regarding their maintenance responsibilities.

Generally, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to:

  • Keep plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits
  • Dispose of garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner
  • Keep the rental units clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits
  • Properly use facilities such as air-conditioning, ventilation, sanitation, heating, plumbing, and electrical facilities
  • Change air filters replace non-functional light bulbs and change batteries in carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms

As a landlord, you’ll be responsible for large maintenance tasks such as:

  • Serious fire or health hazards
  • Any structural defects that pose a serious threat to your tenant’s physical safety
  • Lead paint hazards that were not properly addressed at the time of lease signing
  • Rodent infestations that cause an inhabitable home
  • Lack of adequate sewage disposal
  • Lack of heat, light, electricity, or water

Regular inspections will help ensure that these facilities are well-taken care of.

5. Lease Compliance

Have there been unapproved alterations to the property? Is there an illegal business? Are there additional roommates that were not included in the application? Do you know if your tenant has a pet in the unit?

Conducting routine inspections will ensure that all lease terms are observed.

Exterior and Interior Preventive Maintenance Tasks for Rentals

When conducting inspections at your rental property, make sure that you:

  • Check the roof for lichen
  • Check water valves (in both the fall and spring)
  • Touch up peeling or damaged paint
  • Inspect the crawl space; look for bugs and water leaks
  • Re-caulk any doors or windows as needed
  • Look for signs of termites or other bugs
  • Check sump pump and make sure that it’s still operational
  • Clean gutters and remove all leaves and junk from inside
  • Check weather stripping on all doors and windows, and repair as needed
  • Check to make sure carbon monoxide detector is installed and working
  • Change furnace filters (probably more than once per year)

By conducting regular inspections, you will quickly detect smaller problems before they become larger issues. This will ensure that your investment lasts a lifetime.