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As an investor it's good to understand one of the key aspects to a property manager's job

The right, comprehensive approach to routine inspections is a key consideration for any property manager, particularly when it comes to protecting an investor's asset.

Most professional property managers will conduct a routine inspection at least once every six months; depending on permitted frequency according to the state or territory regulations governing your investment:

While this can seem frequent, the importance of professionally conducted routine inspections cannot be underestimated, as they often prove invaluable when it comes to uncovering little issues that could become bigger problems if left unnoticed or reported.

So what goes into a routine inspection? 

1.The timing

Property managers work extremely hard. As such, covering all the properties in their management portfolio is a time-consuming process.

Once in the first three months to check up on the tenant and then once per state guidelines can be the general ‘go to’ industry standard. This is someone’s home after all and it’s best to allow for their quiet enjoyment without frequent intrusion.

It’s possible number of inspections per year can reduce depending on longevity of the tenancy and history. If a tenant has been in a property for a long time and proven to be reliable, an investor may only require an inspection every 15 months or so.

That being said, conducting quarterly inspections (where permitted) can have its benefits. This can be particularly relevant for brand new properties that are let for the first time, as new constructions can often lend themselves to some teething problems in the first three to six months of habitation.

At Little Real Estate, rental inspections are generally conducted twice a year.

2.The logistics

Obviously, you have to give plenty of warning to a tenant before conducting a routine inspection. If sufficient written notice is not given, you’ll not only find yourself with a very disgruntled tenant but the possibility of ending up in legal trouble.

Again, regulations regarding the amount of notification required can vary slightly depending where your property is.

3.The etiquette

Good property managers will confirm with tenants whether they’ll be present or not prior to the inspection. This can be done in any number of ways.

Most commonly though a property manager will confirm the date via email as well as whether those renting the property will be home. This is good practice as it means the correspondence is in writing.

Another good practice is always knocking loudly and waiting a few moments before the property manager lets themselves in for the routine inspection. Trust us when we say there are some awkward situations a person really doesn't want to walk into!

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4.The checklist

A well-executed inspection can potentially last around 15 minutes. Property managers will generally ask the tenants whether they have any issues they'd like to report. This gives them a chance to get things out in the open and can point to any glaring maintenance issues.

If the tenant is not present then emailing through any issues is how it is generally handled.

Every room should be eyeballed, even if it’s just for a moment. Some things property managers will look out for are:

  • Presentation and upkeep
  • Safety
  • Cleanliness
  • The need for potential repairs
  • Damage to the property.

5.The report

Your property manager will advise you of the inspection outcome with a professionally prepared report outlining:

  • The overall state of repair general condition the tenants are keeping the property in
  • Any urgent and non-urgent maintenance items uncovered
  • Any matters of concern discussed with the tenants.

The point of a routine rental inspection is to provide an investor with the basic information about the condition that their property is in. When conducted by your property manager; inspections are efficient, swift and leave an investor with a sense of relief that their property is being looked after. 

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