As a property owner, you want to make sure that your tenant is keeping your Anacostia rental property clean. After all the value of your property would depend on its overall condition. Unfortunately, some tenants do not give importance to cleaning and property maintenance. If you don’t check up on your tenants, you may not know that cleanliness is an issue until it becomes a much bigger problem.
Regular property inspections are an important part of your property management process. But just like in many aspects of owning rental properties, there are many approaches to property inspections. Knowing why inspections are important, how to create and carry out an inspection schedule, and how to talk with your tenant about cleanliness are all things that a successful property owner needs to know.
Doing regular property inspections is essential for the following reasons: Valuable insight is gathered by checking if the tenants are honoring the terms of the lease and we can also catch developing problems early on. Tenants are people so it comes as no surprise that they would have different ideas in terms of cleanliness. A dirty house or yard may be a concern for some but may not be for others. For some, the cleanliness of the home is none of the owner’s business. Such is not the case. A dirty house or yard could easily result in serious problems like structural damage, bad odors, pest infestations, and more. Not catching these issues early on can leave you with expensive repairs and draining the security deposit.
Property inspections must be done in an organized manner since this is an important part of property maintenance. As a property owner, you have several different kinds of inspections in your property management toolbox. The move-in inspection can help you establish a baseline for your property’s condition, helpful if you need to assess wear and tear or property damage later on. Then there are drive-by inspections, which as the name suggests, lets you drive by your rental property to see visible issues with the property’s exterior.
But the most important inspections are the regular inspections for safety and cleanliness in the property’s interior. The set number of inspections per year could vary. Some property owners prefer to inspect once a year while others check the rental house every three or six months. Annual inspections are the most common and often the most convenient for both parties. It provides property owners with the correct assessment for the property’s condition as well as not creating undue hardship for the tenants.
A word of advice, do not inspect the property too often because your constant intrusions can frustrate your tenant. But then, if upon inspection, you encounter cleanliness problems, you may have to visit frequently until you will be reasonably sure that your tenant is doing his part to make the property clean. This rule applies if you discover that your tenant has unauthorized pets or unauthorized people living in the house. Every time you inspect, document your findings in photos and writing.
Discussing cleanliness inspections with tenants need not be a difficult process. You can manage a tenant’s expectations on property inspections by adding an inspection schedule in the lease. Before you visit the property, the tenant must have been properly notified of the purpose of your visit. Establishing good communication with your tenant can make your property inspections much easier for everyone, and help you check the property as needed.
It is best to do a written request if you want your tenant to clean up the property. By giving clear requests and a detailed list of tasks, you and your tenant would have clear expectations. You can also include photographs that you have taken to create a paper trail to create strong evidence should the need arises.
Regular property inspections, when done appropriately and routinely, create a system for the tenants to easily follow in keeping your rental property clean. When your tenants know that you are keeping a close watch on things, you provide a stronger incentive for them to keep your property tidy.
Need help coming up with a lease, or maybe you’d rather not deal with your tenants at all? Feel free to reach out to Real Property Management Washington DC and talk to one of our property managers at 202-813-9993 or contact us online.
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