Rentals: Do Not Skip the Property Inspection

Inspecting your property between tenants is crucial if you don’t want to have to pay for damages you discover later.

Your tenant signs the lease and without hesitation you hand over the keys with the move-in/inspection checklist. “Get this back to me as soon as you can and let me know if anything is wrong,” you say. Sound familiar?

Too many landlords ignore the crucial step of property inspections between tenants. However, the effort to accurately document damages to your property between renters can make recovering repair costs much easier, saving you from having to pay for the damaged item yourself, and protecting you should a dispute turn into litigation. CHBO Create the caption contest

Here are a few tips to ensuring a thorough and proper inspection:

Document the entire property, inside and out: Walk through the rental with your tenant(s) and record any noticeable damages. Your presence will ensure the tenants are not left alone to wander and document defects. Make sure the checklist inspection sheet provides room to make notes for every area of the property. Document: Maintenance Checklist

Take pictures or video: Photos will document the general condition of the unit and expose any areas that the tenants may dispute later. It’s always a good idea to take pictures after each tenant with a time stamp on them. If that’s not always possible, take pictures annually and store in a safe place.

Send a clear message: It is important for both parties to sign the inspection sheet. Without using words, you are sending a clear message to your tenants about their responsibilities to care for your property.

Prevent pet stains: If you do not allow critters on the property, make a clear statement by using a pet urine stick to test the carpets. It’s highly recommended to test for pet urine upon move-in and checkout to ensure your no-pet policy was obeyed.

By properly inspecting your unit with the tenant, you are protecting your valuable investment and making a bold statement to your tenant that it is their responsibility for damage. You will save yourself lot of money and properly prepare to defend yourself should a bitter dispute arise.

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Kimberly Smith is an accomplished entrepreneur and published author with more than 20 years experience as an entrepreneur in the areas of real estate, property management, corporate housing, website development and franchising. In 1999 Kimberly and her husband/ business partner, Eric, launched AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., a multi-million dollar success story. AvenueWest provides real estate property management of furnished residential properties offering full service corporate housing services to upscale executive travelers in need of a monthly lodging solution. A recognized leader in the industry, they were awarded CHPA’s 2010 Provider Company of the Year Award and listed for 3 consecutive years on Inc Magazine’s Inc 5000 list of the countries fastest growing businesses. Inspired to help people find corporate housing and real estate solutions on a national basis, Kimberly and Eric came up with a business idea to create a national resource dedicated to connecting furnished rental properties with executive renters. In 2006 (CHBO) was launched, the first-of-its-kind online portal connecting furnished rentals and the traveling public. In 2013 CHBO was recognized by CHPA as the Associate Company of the Year. In 2009 AvenueWest Global Franchise was launched allowing for the national expansion of the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing product. Current offices are located in Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Collins, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs.

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