A consistent rental inspection routine in San Diego will keep your investment home in great condition. It will also help you enforce your lease agreement because it provides an opportunity to ensure your residents are following the terms of your lease agreement. It’s important to balance your need to inspect with a tenant’s right to privacy and quiet enjoyment, however.
We recommend that you inspect your property at least three times in the course of a tenancy; once before the tenant moves in, after a tenant moves out, and at least one time annually while the tenant is occupying your home. This needs to be done professionally, with proper notifications so you’re not inconveniencing your residents.
San Diego Rental Inspections at Move-In
Before a tenant moves into your San Diego rental property, conduct a thorough inspection to ensure the home is ready for possession. Look for general safety and habitability issues such as locking mechanisms on doors and windows. Check the smoke detectors as well as air filters and carbon monoxide detectors. We recommend you inspect for loose handrails or boards, and make sure the light bulbs and the electrical outlets work.
This inspection is intended to ensure the home is clean, all systems are “to code” and that the residence is move-in ready.
It’s also intended to document the condition of the property before tenants take possession.
Create a property condition report to be signed by you and your resident so that all parties agree to the condition of the home at move-in. Take pictures and even videos of everything, including closets and stairs and ceilings.
San Diego Rental Inspections at Move-Out
After a tenant moves out, it is important to conduct the same inspection you conducted at the beginning of the lease term. Take your inspection report with you and compare the condition of your property to the way it looked before the tenancy. You may notice damage due to the tenant’s neglect or abuse.
New pictures will be necessary, especially if you want to demonstrate that something is damaged. If the refrigerator still has food in it, take a photo. If there are large scrapes on the floors that go beyond wear and tear, take pictures of those as well. You’ll need this documentation when you’re making claims against the security deposit.
Conduct a Maintenance Walk-Through During the Lease Period
An inspection during the lease term is a good way to make sure your property is being well-maintained and to see if your tenants are following or violating the lease. Discuss this early; when your tenants are signing the lease. Make sure the inspection is included in the lease. Then, provide your tenants with as much written notice as possible before you go to the property to look around.
Give your residents the option to be present when you’re walking through the home. Take photos of this inspection too, and if the tenant is at home, ask if everything is going well or if there’s anything they need. Look for deferred or unreported maintenance items, and put everything in writing. This is normally a great time to re-establish the relationship with the tenant as well as to determining the overall care the tenant has for the property.
Inspections should be routine but not invasive. It’s about protecting your investment and ensuring your residents are having a pleasant rental experience. We’d be happy to help with this. Contact us at San Diego Residential Property Management.