As a home inspector covering Suffolk and Nassau Counties in New York State, our clients often ask us if owners should invest in home inspections for their rental properties. Our answer is usually a yes. There are four inspections owners of rental properties should perform.
Four Rental Inspections
- Move-in – Unless a rental is offered “as-is”, landlords should encourage their new tenants to perform and carefully document a move-in inspection. A tenant should document any issues they uncover with the property that could be held against their security deposit when they move out. Be certain that a tenant signs and dates their move-in inspection document. You might want to be present while they conduct the review of the property. Keep in mind that this inspection is not a list of things the tenant wants addressed with the property.
- Routine Occupancy Inspections – Landlords should conduct a regular inspection of the property while a tenant is living in it to ensure that the property is being well-maintained. We recommend waiting no more than six months in between inspections. This inspection also should be documented, pictures can be a good idea. Both the tenant and landlord should sign the final copy. A follow-up inspection may be conducted several weeks later to ensure the resident has addressed any concerns or issues uncovered in the inspection.
- Exterior Drive-by Inspections – It’s always a good idea to drive-by your property for an exterior visual inspection. If there are any issues or concerns on the part of the landlord, you should notify your tenant in writing. You might consider also doing an occupancy inspection if exterior issues are uncovered to ensure the interior is being maintained well.
- Move-out Inspections – During a move-out inspection, the property is inspected to determine the overall condition of the property when the tenant moves out. It’s a good idea to conduct the inspection when the tenant hands over the keys to the property – at the property, ideally! The move-out inspection should be performed with the tenant present when you receive the keys so that there is no question about the condition of the property upon their moving out. Document everything, including that there were no issues, take pictures if necessary, and insist everyone signs off on the report.
These type of rental inspections help protect you as the landlord and your rental property. In addition to these, it is always a good idea to have your property inspected every couple of years by a home inspector with experience in rental or commercial properties. A home inspection by an expert eye can help you maintain your property and address minor issues prior to them becoming larger, more expensive issues.
We have experience in a variety of services including rental and commercial inspections across Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Please contact us to discuss your property.