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How Often Should I Inspect My Property?

How Often Should I Inspect My Property?

ONCE PER YEAR???

I was floored a few months back when I sat at the table with a large property manager, and they said their goal was to only be in a property once per year. I understand the reasoning from this company’s standpoint, but this philosophy cuts against the grain of our inspection strategy.

Profit maximizing property managers are not the only ones with this strategy. I also recently sat down with a new investor, and he had similar thoughts about how often his property should be inspected.

What about Leaves and Furnace Filters?

Some obvious exceptions to a once a year strategy include both exterior and interior components. For example, the fall season after the leaves have fallen is a good time to inspect the gutter systems. In addition, furnace filters should be checked frequently. This is true even when it is the tenant’s responsibility to change the filter; however, not everyone is as conscientious as we would like.

Profit maximizing property managers are not the only ones with this strategy. I also recently sat down with a new investor, and he had similar thoughts about how often his property should be inspected.

What about Leaves and Furnace Filters?

Some obvious exceptions to a once a year strategy include both exterior and interior components. For example, the fall season after the leaves have fallen is a good time to inspect the gutter systems. In addition, furnace filters should be checked frequently. This is true even when it is the tenant’s responsibility to change the filter; however, not everyone is as conscientious as we would like.

Water Leaks are the Enemy

Less obvious reasons for additional inspections include checking smoke detector operation, mechanical operation, forming of any small leaks, and other preventative maintenance measures. As often holds true an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Proactive Communication

And, to be frank, certain tenant’s do not take care of a property as well as an owner would prefer. A quarterly inspection allows an owner to correct certain negative behaviors earlier rather than relying singularly on the security deposit to recover damages. For instance, carpets are a big potential expense when tenants do not take proper care to clean them. When our quarterly inspection results in observations that the carpets are excessively dirty, we will require the tenants to have them cleaned professionally. And, we require they foot the bill for that expense. We also explain the consequences that will result in significant expenses including potential small claims actions if behaviors to not change. Fortunately, most of our tenants really to want to be good responsible tenants. Consequently, effective communication usually preempts the need to take a tone that approaches being threatening in nature. Even when the communication does not lead to the desired result, our aim is to communicate simply in a cause and effect nature that logically explains the consequences for certain behaviors.

My personal, and our company philosophy, is that we need to have our eyes on every property, approved by those owners, once per quarter.

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