The three biggest challenges facing rental property owners are selecting the right tenant, the dispossession of the security deposit, and determining what will be considered ordinary wear and tear. Selecting the right tenant requires extensive tenant screening, and the security deposit and wear and tear challenges can be managed with a good inspection process, especially during the move in and move out periods.
Move in Inspection
Before your tenant moves in, we suggest you do a detailed move in inspection with pictures. Take it room by room and document exactly how the property looks. That becomes your bible. Once the tenant has moved in, you want to give them two weeks or so to compare your move in inspection with their actual experience. For example, I can do an inspection and flush the toilet, and think that it works. Maybe they flush the toilet five times after moving in, and it only works three times. Fix those things right away and keep the tenant happy.
You need to conduct periodic inspection, even if you’re just driving by the property to get a look at the condition of the home. Do a drive by in the spring and the fall, at least. Then, you can schedule an annual inspection to look at the property’s interior.
Move Out Inspection
When the tenant gives you notice, the law requires that you provide that tenant with a pre-move out inspection 14 days prior to their vacating the property. After the tenant has moved out, do a detailed move out inspection with pictures that document what you find. The tenant will always tell you the house was cleaner when they moved out than it was when they moved in. Documentation is important, especially if you find yourself at court with a security deposit dispute. You’ll be prepared to win.
If you have any questions about how to face these challenges that landlords need to deal with, please contact us at Select 1 Realty.