3 Red Flags to Look for During Rental Property Inspections

3 Red Flags to Look for During Rental Property Inspections

Rental property inspections are essential for protecting your real estate investment.

When you're renting an apartment to a new tenant, you simply never know for sure what the property will look like by the end of the tenancy. Even with proper tenant screening practices, there are still risks that you need to account for. Rental property inspections help you avoid major issues.

Whether you're conducting a move-in/move-out inspection or a routine check on your property, there are things to keep an eye on. Today, we'll tell you 3 of the biggest red flags to look out for during rental inspections. Keep reading and you'll see that a bit of due diligence now can save you big time later.

1. Hidden Pets

One of the things that can take a real toll on your property is pets, which many landlords go to great lengths to avoid. Putting a no-pet clause into your lease contract often isn't enough to deter tenants from bringing their furry friends along after they move in.

The presence of a pet is usually pretty easy to spot. You may even smell them before you actually see anything. If not, look for toys, food and water bowls, litter trays, hair, and ripped-up carpet.

2. Damaged Property

When you do a move-in inspection, you'll walk through the unit with the new tenant to make note of any existing damage. Look for things like cracks in windows, holes in walls, and damage to the flooring. When the tenant moves out, you'll perform the same inspection to see if there's any new damage.

Should you find any new damage, you're entitled to pay for it with some or all of the tenant's damage deposit. You'll need to provide receipts and return the remainder of the deposit to the tenant before the month is up.

A lot can happen over the course of a tenancy, however. It's a good idea to perform routine inspections every few months to ensure the tenant isn't actively creating more damage. Look for the same types of damage, but be thorough and ensure that the tenant isn't trying to hide anything from you.

3. Illegal Subletting

One other common problem you may encounter is illegal subletting and unauthorized tenants. Sometimes tenants will bring other people into the rental in order to lower monthly rent fees. Other times, tenants will choose to sublet the unit if they need to break the rental agreement.

It's important to perform routine inspections to ensure unauthorized people aren't living in your units. However, it may not always be obvious during an inspection, so it's important to listen to complaints from neighbors and drive by the unit on a regular basis to see if there are any signs of other people living in it.

Rental Property Inspections Are a Must

If you want responsible tenants in your rental properties, rental property inspections are a must. These are the biggest red flags you need to keep an eye out for, but paying close attention to your rental units at all times is the best way to make sure your real estate investment is being respected.

One way to protect your investment is by hiring a property management company. Contact PMI US Southwest to learn about our property maintenance and landlord services and how we can help you.