Rental property inspections are important for Coos Bay landlords. They give you the peace of mind you need to know that your investment property is in good condition. It also allows you to confirm that your residents are taking care of the property.
Inspections help you to prevent any deferred and unreported maintenance. They let you know that your residents are following the terms of the lease agreement. Rental property inspections are a good idea before a tenant moves in, after a tenant moves out, and at least once during the lease period, while the home is occupied.
Setting up an inspection schedule is the first step. There are some additional things you need to consider while conducting inspections.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of rental property inspections in Coos Bay investment properties.
Providing Property Notice to Coos Bay Tenants
When you’re planning to inspect your property while a tenant is living there, you need to be mindful of their privacy and their right to quiet enjoyment.
Do: Notify residents in advance
One of the most important things you need to do when conducting a rental property inspection in Coos Bay is to notify your tenants in advance that the inspection needs to be scheduled. According to Oregon’s rental laws, you must give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering a tenant’s rental unit. This notice should be in writing and include the date, time, and reason for the inspection. Be sure to give your tenant enough time to plan for the inspection and make any necessary arrangements.
You can also include this inspection in your lease agreement. When tenants sign the lease, they will understand that you’ll be inspecting once during the tenancy. You can also include the notice requirement in the lease and let tenants know how far in advance they’ll be advised that you plan to inspect.
Don't: Enter the unit without permission
You don’t want to show up unannounced and expect to look around. You especially don’t want to let yourself into the home without getting consent from your tenants. Even if you’ve given your tenant notice of an inspection, you should never enter their home without their permission.
If a tenant isn’t home at the time of the inspection, you should wait until they’re home or reschedule the inspection for a time when they’re available. Or, get their consent in writing before you inspect. Entering a tenant’s rental unit without their permission can be a violation of their privacy rights, and it could lead to legal issues down the road.
This also won’t do much for your relationship. Establishing and maintaining good tenant relationships is important for your retention efforts. Be respectful.
Looking for Maintenance Issues
Possibly the most important reason for your inspections is to look for maintenance that may be needed at your property. You do want to look for anything that may need to be repaired or replaced. This effort will protect the condition and the value of your property. You don’t want to allow deferred maintenance to cause a crisis or a more expensive problem.
Do: Encourage tenants to report repair needs right away
If you discover any maintenance issues during an inspection, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. Make sure to address any issues promptly and thoroughly. Take this opportunity to remind your tenants that you want to know right away if something is broken or in need of attention.
Don’t: Allow deferred maintenance
Shrugging off a minor repair as no big deal can be dangerous and expensive. Take care of anything that’s necessary, even if it seems minor. Ignoring maintenance issues can lead to bigger and costlier problems down the road, and it could also lead to habitability issues. Make sure to address any issues promptly and thoroughly.
Always Keep Detailed Inspection Records and Reports
One of the reasons that you do a move-in and move-out inspection is to document the condition of your property. By inspecting before a tenant moves in, you can demonstrate how the property looked before your residents took possession of the home. Comparing that to the documented condition of your home after those tenants move out will allow you to make decisions about security deposits and help you identify tenant damage.
Detailed records of rental property inspections in Coos Bay are essential. You need inspection reports with accurate notes and you also need photos. This documentation can help protect you from legal issues down the road, and it can also help you identify any recurring problems that need to be addressed.
Remain Respectful of Your Tenant’s Space
While it’s true you own the property you’re inspecting, it’s still someone else’s home.
While conducting an inspection, it’s important to remember that your tenant’s rental unit is their home, and you should be respectful of their space. Don’t move any of their personal belongings or make a mess while conducting the inspection. Be polite and courteous, and try to make the inspection process as smooth as possible for your tenant.
This is actually an excellent time to improve your tenant relationship. Talk with your resident while you’re inspecting in case there are any concerns they might have about the property in general. Try to get an idea about how happy they are, and whether they’re having a good rental experience. This can help you with retaining your tenants, which is always a bonus. Cutting down on vacancy and turnover costs is always a good idea.
You may find evidence of lease violations. If you do, put them in writing and give your tenants a path forward for coming into compliance.
Rental property inspections are an important part of being a landlord in Coos Bay. By following these do’s and don'ts, you can ensure that your inspections are conducted properly and that you’re doing everything you need to do to protect your property and your tenants.
Remember to always notify your tenants in advance, be respectful of their space, and address any maintenance issues promptly. By doing so, you can be a responsible and successful landlord in Coos Bay with excellent tenant relationships in place.
If you’re not sure how to move forward with rental inspections, a Coos Bay property management company can help. Contact us at Oregon Bay Properties.