A rental property inspection is a good way to track your property’s condition. It involves the property manager or landlord periodically reviewing the property’s exterior and interior to evaluate its condition.
As a Utah landlord, performing regular property inspections is a necessary part of the job. Even with a responsible tenant, regular inspections can help avoid costly issues in the future. In addition, they also set the expectations to the renter. It shows them the condition in which you expect the property to be returned once they vacate the premises.
A good relationship with your tenant involves communication and cooperation, and this particularly relates to handling inspections.
In this article, we are going to explain two things: First, the importance of performing inspections at your property; and second, the different types of inspections you should be doing.
The Importance of Performing Inspections on Your Utah Rental
By conducting property inspections, you:
1. Keep costs low
If you do not address maintenance issues early, they may become costly. In addition to having costly repairs, the problems may also land you in trouble with the Utah authorities.
2. Reduce Tenant Turnover
By conducting routine repairs, you are improving the tenant’s quality of living. This keeps them happy and improves your relationship with them. Happy tenants mean long-term tenancies and maximum rental return.
A low tenant turnover also means you save on costs that you would otherwise have used on marketing and advertisement.
3. Plan Ahead of Time
By identifying issues early, you will be able to maintain the property in a “rent-ready” state at all times.
4. Identify Problems Early
Early detection of issues will help you plan how best to address them.
5. Become Efficient
Routine property inspections will help you cut down on the wait time to get services from service providers. Such providers include electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and landscapers.
6. Meet all state regulations pertaining to maintenance and emergency preparedness
Utah tenants are legally entitled to a rental pro
perty that meets basic standards (structural, health, and safety) and is in good repair.
Under the implied warranty of habitability, you are required to ensure the property is fit for human occupancy. The property should comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes.
If the property does not follow this, the law permits a tenant to:
- Terminate the rental agreement and vacate the premises
- Sue you and recover damages
- Arrange for the services and deduct the costs from the rent
What to Look for in a House Inspection
Your ability to meticulously inspect your Utah rental property will have a direct effect on your bottom line. The following are five things your inspection should cover:
1. Signs of Infestation
Except in the case of gross negligence by the tenant, it is your responsibility to get rid of infestations on your property.
2. Fire and Safety Hazards
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure your renters are safe. If the renter is responsible for the unsafe conditions, you must find a way to correct them one way or another. Evicting them can be an option.
3. Illegal activities
Your tenant must not use your property to take part in any illegal activity. Signs of illegal activities include:
- Syringes left in or around dumpsters
- People bringing in valuable items and leaving without them
- Pipes and other drug paraphernalia lying around
- Inside the unit, you may notice a powdery substance or what looks like old-dried soap
- Excessive late-night activity, especially on weekends
- A large number of people walking into the unit and only staying a short time
4. Damage to Walls
It’s common for tenants to hang up a few pictures on your property. As such, expect some holes in the walls. That being said, be on the lookout for large or excessive number of holes.
5. Damage to Flooring
If your unit has carpets, it’s advisable to have them professionally cleaned regularly, particularly if there are noticeable stains or smells. If your property has hardwood floors, scratches and other damages are common.
Excessive damage could mean a complete replacement of the flooring is necessary. Make sure to look for burns, stains, rips, and scratches on your floor.
6. Neglected Repairs
Check for leaking faucets or toilets. Those conditions degrade quickly and may cause serious damage.
7. Unauthorized Occupants
Checking for unauthorized occupants is important. These people are not qualified to live in the premises, and yet have full access to the property. When dealing with unauthorized tenants, make sure you follow the law, as well the provisions of the lease or rental agreement.
Types of Rental Property Inspections
There are five types of rental property inspections. They are:
· Move-in inspection
Once the screening of tenants has been completed, a move-in inspection should be conducted. For a landlord, the inspection helps to check for property damage once the tenant vacates the premises. For a tenant, the inspection helps document the property’s condition prior to moving in.
· Routine Inspections
This type of inspection is what you should perform to ensure the Utah property is in a safe and clean state. Routine inspections will help you identify common issues such as safety hazards, unauthorized pets, deferred maintenance, unauthorized tenants, and illegal activity.
· Drive-by Inspections
This inspection should be carried out if you want a real-time view of the property. A drive-by inspection, unlike a normal inspection, doesn’t require you to notify the renter. A drive-by inspection helps check for such things as unattended landscaping and structural damage.
· Preventative Inspection
This type of inspection helps prevent small issues from becoming bigger ones.
· Move-out Inspection
This inspection is meant to check for possible property damage caused by the tenant. Any property damage resulting from a tenant’s negligence or carelessness is the tenant’s responsibility.
As a landlord, performing inspections at your Utah rental property is important. Inspections will help you build a good landlord-tenant relationship as well as help you preserve your property’s value.
When conducting these inspections, make sure you don’t violate your tenant’s privacy rights. Consult with a competent Utah attorney to identify such Utah rental laws.