Rental inspections are important for Portland property owners because they help you notice and address maintenance issues. An inspection during a tenancy can also help you understand whether your tenants are taking good care of the home and following the terms of their lease agreement.
We conduct thorough and detailed inspections at Performance Properties, and we always keep a checklist and take numerous photos.
The inspection checklist should mirror your reasons for the inspection. When you’re performing a move-in inspection, you’re documenting the condition of the home and ensuring it’s ready to be occupied. During the move-out inspection, you’re making decisions about the security deposit.
A few important items belong on every rental inspection checklist, and we want to share those things with you today.
Check for Water Leaks and Potential Plumbing Problems
Water can damage a property faster than any other problem. You need to know about leaks and drips right away. When you’re inspecting, look for leaks under sinks and around toilets and tubs. A simple dripping faucet can turn into a major leak under the sink that causes rot and mold.
Outside, look for areas where water might be getting inside the house. Spots on walls and ceilings may indicate that a pipe is leaking somewhere. Check the floors and shelves under the bathroom and kitchen sinks, check tubs and toilets, and make sure you don’t have any water coming in where it shouldn’t. Inspect your gutters as well as your irrigation or sprinkler systems in the yard.
Move-In Inspection Checklists: Potential Repairs and Functionality
The rental inspections you conduct before a tenant moves in are meant to ensure the property is ready for occupancy. Everything must be functioning the way it should. Check each electrical outlet, turn on all the lights, and run the appliances. Make sure the doors and windows are locking and check light bulbs, air filters, and smoke detectors.
Habitability and Safety Inspections
A good rental inspection checklist will include looking for safety and habitability issues. The doors and windows must lock properly. Check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and any security systems that are installed. Look for sufficient exterior lighting and handrails on stairs or outside.
If you have a pool, check the fence. When you’re inspecting a multi-family building, spend some time looking for potential issues in elevators or common areas. Your parking lot, driveway, and walkways need to be free of debris and trip hazards.
Inspect for Cleanliness and Upkeep
Every owner and every tenant has a different standard of cleanliness. Don’t expect your tenant to be as clean as you might be. However, you should expect that things are in order and there are no safety issues or pest issues due to dirt, food, and other messes.
When you’re doing a move-in inspection, you need to make sure everything is perfectly clean. Baseboards and ceiling fans should be free of dust, kitchens and bathrooms should sparkle, and the home should look and smell beautiful. When you’re doing a move-out inspection, you expect the same level of cleanliness after a tenant leaves. If the property clearly has not been cleaned, make notes and take pictures so you can withhold cleaning costs from the security deposit.
Inspections While a Tenant is In Place
During routine maintenance inspections, make sure your tenant is following the lease. This is a good time to look for unauthorized pets and to make sure there aren’t extra people who aren’t on the lease living in the home. Check for evidence of smoking or illegal activity.
Inspections are also a good time to talk to your tenants. You don’t necessarily need a checklist for this, but you do want to make sure expectations are being met, and you also want to make sure those residents are happy and have everything they need.
These are just a few of the things you should include on your rental property inspection checklist whenever you’re inside your investment property. If you have any questions about conducting an effective rental property inspection, please contact us at Performance Properties. We’d be happy to serve as your Portland property management resource.