Although the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ perhaps ‘prevention is better than cure’ is more apt for the work of landlords in the context of property inspections. You may think it is good news not to hear from tenants because it suggests that everything is fine but, in fact, there could be problems that they are not aware of or think are too trivial to bother their landlord or property management company.
Repairs and maintenance works can be costly both in time and financially. Even for landlords who use a property management firm, the responsibility and costs of a lot of repairs along with the wear and tear of household items are down to the property owner. Rather than wait for a small problem to escalate, it makes sense to deal with any issues the minute they arise. One way of doing this is through regular property inspections, for example every three months or so.
If you have software or an app to deal with the paperwork associated with rental properties, then these inspections can be scheduled in as a reminder. The software can also be used to make notes if there are any issues which need following up. By taking care of small maintenance jobs, you can save you money in preventing them from becoming larger and more expensive problems at a later stage.
If tenants are aware that there will be regular inspections, they should appreciate the extra care and attention being given to them. Bad tenants may also steer clear of a landlord who opts for preventative inspections because they know they will not be able to get away with anything – so either way you win.
If the occupiers come up with any jobs that need doing, make sure that these are put in writing straight away so that they can be ticked off the list when they are completed. That way, tenants cannot later say that they asked for something which was not delivered.
Another good tip is to ask to see the utility bills such as water, gas or electricity. If these bills are much higher than usual it could be due to a problem such as a leaking pipe. You could potentially agree to access these bills online so that you do not have to wait for the three-monthly inspection in order to spot if something is wrong.