Rental property owners, how do you know your tenants are taking care of your investment? Doing due diligence before accepting a new renter doesn’t mean you can just chill and collect the checks after lease signing. Periodic check-ups can help you ensure everything’s copacetic. It might feel awkward to walk around other people’s stuff, but conducting periodic property walkthroughs helps both you and the tenants. The Realty Medics consider rental property walkthroughs essential to the success of your investment.
Confirm Good Tenant Behaviors
Paying the rent on time is only part of being a good tenant. You want to ensure those living in your rental home are taking good care of it, too.
For example, are they doing required maintenance and keeping the property reasonably clean and in good order? Do they submit maintenance or repair requests as issues happen or has something been left in disrepair? Have neighbors complained about noise, people, or trash problems?
Many common tenant issues can be avoided or curtailed just by informal periodic visits.
You can also track any damage that you’ll need to address and charge the tenants for when they vacate.
Signs of Lease Violation
Walkthroughs also provide a time to check for signs of lease violations. Depending on the severity of violations, owners may need to prepare for the legal processes for eviction.
Some examples include:
- Pets without Permission
Is there evidence the tenants have pets when their lease doesn’t allow for them? Even when an animal may have been removed for the walkthrough, you may find litter boxes, dog toys, or pet stains on the carpet. If the tenant’s lease does not explicitly state that it allows pets, they are in violation of their lease agreement.
- Unauthorized Guests
Does it appear that someone apart from the identified tenants live there? Only people who sign the lease and agree to pay rent have the right to stay in the home for more than a few nights. Owners may need to take action to evict unauthorized guests.
- Legal Situations
Do you notice anything that indicates potential illegal activity happening on your property (i.e., selling drugs, prostitution, etc)? Owners have the right to terminate the lease and evict tenants if so.
Maintenance or Repair Needs
Conducting property walkthroughs also helps identify any indication of repairs or maintenance issues you as the owner need to address. Property owners must follow all local, state, and federal regulations for providing a safe and habitable rental home for their tenants.
Catching issues early can avoid more costly repairs down the line. Stains in ceilings may not catch the attention of the tenant, but can be a warning sign of a leaky roof. Addressing a small leak is far better than massive water damage clean up later.
Walkthroughs also help identify future home upkeep costs as well. Owners can make plans for new carpet, upgraded kitchen appliances, or replacement of aging air conditioning units or water heaters.
Some of these activities may be difficult to do while tenants are currently living in the home. But being prepared for these projects once a tenant moves out can help minimize downtime before a new tenant moves in.
Even if it seems like a hassle, conducting periodic walkthroughs can be the “ounce of prevention” to save a pound of cure later. Property managers at The Realty Medics can do the walkthrough for owners. To learn more about how we can manage your Orlando area rental property, call us at 321-947-7653 or complete our online form.