Indianapolis Property Management Advice: A Rental Inspection How-To

Dec 6, 2016 | By David Treat
A how-to guide can help inform real estate investors of the best property management tips

There are several different types of inspections that we do. One rental inspection is the onboarding inspection, which we do when we take on a new property. Another inspection is the tenant move-in inspection and the tenant move-out inspection.

Today, we’re going to talk about the mid-year inspection, which we do annually. That’s a property condition inspection. We want to find out if everything is being well maintained and if the tenants are following the terms of the lease.  

Who Conducts the Property Condition Inspection? 

This rental inspection should be conducted by a home inspector, who will create a report like they would for any home inspection. The maintenance supervisor for a company providing property management in Indianapolis can also do this inspection. 

What Does This Inspection Check? 

We want to check the current condition of the property. We will check and see what’s going on with the house, and what needs to be done now, and what we need to start preparing for in a couple of years. Here in Indiana, we have weather. It depends on the season, but we get wind, rain, hail, and snowstorms. We want to see if the trees have filled the gutters with water and leaves. We’ll check to see if the wind has blown shingles from the roof. Tenants wouldn’t necessarily notice these things, so we need to see how the property looks. 

Checking for Tenant Maintenance and Lease Violations 

This inspection is also a great opportunity to make sure the tenant is maintaining the home. We want to know that they’re keeping up with what they agreed to do. The lease may say that they are responsible for lawn maintenance, for example, so we will make sure they’re doing that. We will see if the grass is cut and if the property looks neat.
We also want to make sure that the tenant is following the terms of the lease. If we smell smoke and it’s a nonsmoking property, we’ll address that. We can see if additional and unauthorized people are living there, or pets we didn’t know about. 

Talk to Your Tenants 

This inspection is also a great opportunity to check on the tenants. Talk to them, and find out if there’s anything they noticed that needs to be addressed. They are there day and night, and sometimes they won’t want to report things to you that they think are minor. Recently, a tenant told us the electrical outlets in one room weren’t working. Electrical issues are always a concern, and our electrician found a short that could have caused a fire. We also had tenant tell us during an inspection that the dryer was taking a long time to dry her clothes.
The vent was completely plugged with lint, so we cleaned it out and showed her how to do it properly.
These things make it crucial that we inspect the property annually and talk to our tenants. 
Look for these things and schedule this property condition inspection at least once a year, or every six months. If you have any questions about property management in Indianapolis, please contact us at ES Property Management.

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