Property Inspections can help Property Managers and Tenants Alike
Being a rental property owner or a property manager means making multiple decisions every day with the goal of providing a good home to tenants while turning a profit at the same time. One decision that can impact both tenant relations and profit margins is the frequency of property inspections. To many property inspections and tenant privacy will suffer, making tenant unhappiness and turnover more likely. Too few and property maintenance will suffer, requiring costlier repairs than would otherwise have been necessary.
Professional and experienced property managers like Martin Feinberg are well suited for finding the perfect balance between landlord professionalism, property maintenance, and tenant rights.
Why Rental Inspections
Rental properties should be inspected periodically to protect the property investment and ensure tenant health and safety. Inspections tend to fall into two categories: Customary Inspections and Maintenance and Safety Inspections. Customary inspections generally occur when a tenant moves into or out of a property. Maintenance and safety inspections are routine home inspections meant to check smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, pest control, and general property well-being.
Property managers can also sometimes enter a property for non-inspection reasons, such as for snow removal, emergency repairs (such as a water leak), natural disasters, or extended tenant absence. State and local laws often regulate the amount of notice that a property manager is required to give before requesting admittance.
Giving Notice and Being Professional
Most professional property managers want to be on friendly terms with their tenants. Having a good relationship generally helps everything else go smoothly. However, even close personal friends don’t often appreciate unannounced or multiple visits. Likewise, tenants, no matter how much they like their landlord, will not typically welcome frequent or unexpected property inspections either.
With that in mind, property inspections should be written into the lease so that tenants know what to expect and when to expect it. Property managers should also be sure to follow local and state laws in regards to how much notice they must give before showing up and requested entrance, and the amount of notice should also be stated in the lease as well. Even when a state does not require providing advanced notice, experience property managers will still strive to give advanced notification when possible.
Tenant’s’ Right to Privacy
Generally, tenants understand that property inspections are necessary and will happen. They are living in someone else’s home after all. But that doesn’t mean that they will always welcome inspections when they need to happen. Some tenants will find even a few property inspections a year excessive and good property managers should know how best to proceed under such circumstances. The key is to be aware of the tenants’ rights to peaceful enjoyment of their home and freedom from harassment. In that vein, property managers generally do well to be aware of social decorum as much as they are of the local and state laws that provide them entry.
In the end, most tenants understand the need for occasional property inspections and are happy to comply, when treated with dignity and understanding. When property managers conduct inspections appropriately, professionally, and within regulations, they can benefit everyone involved.