Rental Property Inspection Checklist for Landlords
If you are a landlord, managing your property may sometimes seem like a complicated task. If you decide to rent out the home you used to live in or are planning on renting out land, you have to be prepared for a lot of inspections and tricky paperwork. To avoid it, some landowners hire professional managers who handle the whole process but will often charge a considerable sum of money for their services. However, it is not that difficult to rent out a house if you know exactly what you have to do to keep your property safe without breaking the law.
How to Do a Rental Property Inspection?
Inspecting your rental property before and after every customer is an integral part of the process. The inspection is usually held before you and your tenant sign a rental agreement. In most cases, you - the landlord - should inspect the home yourself before offering it for rent, and make all the necessary repairs. To make sure you haven’t missed any important part, create a checklist. The rental property inspection checklist for landlords you create must contain the enumeration of all places and items you have checked and their state. It will help you to track down the damages caused to your property during your routine or move out inspections.
As a landlord, you may also want to make several routine inspections to make sure your property is safe and clean. For this purpose, you must send your tenants a proper notification first. The results of this check should be documented on a rental house inspection form, though it is not obligatory. You can find a lot of different home inspection forms online or create your own checklist.
When Can an Inspection Be Carried out on a Rental Property?
There are three routine situations in which an inspection can be carried out:
1. Moving In. Every time a new tenant rents your property, a landlord-tenant inspection checklist comes in handy. It documents the current condition of the house or apartment and allows you to demand compensation from your tenants if they damage anything. It is usually your duty to prepare the move-in inspection forms. However, a rental property inspection checklist for tenants is a common thing as well;
2. During Tenants’ Living on the Property. There are two types of checks you can perform. One is a regular inspection you perform to find out if the property needs any maintenance work you are responsible for and if the tenants stick to the lease agreement. Write down its results on the rental property inspection form and ask your tenants to sign it. The other type is a drive-by check intended to observe if everything looks fine at first sight. If you notice any issues, contact your tenant and schedule an official inspection;
3. Moving Out. Conduct a moving out inspection and fill out a move-out inspection form each time your tenants move from your property. The previously signed checklist will help you to compare the initial and current state of the house or apartment.
Rental Property Inspection Laws
In most cases, rental property inspection is regulated by local laws. Some states require professional inspection of your property necessary to obtain an up-to-date certificate of habitability every time you take new tenants. Local laws may also require a fire inspection to check your carbon monoxide or smoke detectors before you are allowed to rent out your property. If you want to lease your house or apartment to a Section 8 tenant, you need to pass a special check by a Section 8 inspector to ensure your property meets the required health and safety standards.
Your right to inspect your property is regulated by local laws and may differ by state. Usually, you have no right to enter your property if your tenant does not let you in except for emergency situations. Consult a local attorney to specify the inspection requirements, tax deductions for homeowners and landlords, and your rights and duties as a landlord to be sure you are not violating any laws.
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