San Diego Property Management Blog

A Guide to Proper Rental Property Inspections

A Guide to Proper Rental Property Inspections

Rental property in San Diego is an expensive investment that needs protecting. One vital way of protecting the property is by performing regular rental property inspections.

It's important to know what needs inspecting and to follow through with repairs and maintenance after the inspection. Do you know how to do a thorough property inspection?

Read on for vital information about performing a property inspection and keeping your rental properties in tip-top shape. 

When to Inspect

As a rental property owner in San Diego, familiarize yourself with California law. Routine inspections are important for both occupied and unoccupied properties. Always take before and after photos of your rental properties when you have tenants. 

Do you have tenants? Avoid excessive inspections but always perform an inspection when the tenant is moving in and moving out. It's also reasonable to inspect six months after having tenants move in. 

Always give prior notice for an inspection of an occupied property. Be courteous and respectful of your tenant's privacy. If you notice damage or neglect, don't confront the tenants but address the problems in writing afterward. 

On move-in, conduct the inspection with the tenant and document any issues. Use an inspection checklist and have the tenant sign and date the form. It's helpful to take photos and keep them with the paperwork. 

California requires you to offer a pre-move-out inspection while the tenant is still occupying the property. The tenant doesn't have to accept but if you don't offer, you'll have trouble taking deductions from the security deposit if you need to. The key here is making sure the tenants leave the property in good condition with only normal wear and tear. 

What to Inspect

Use an inspection checklist and give a copy to the tenant after the inspection. There are a few main areas to cover on the checklist for each room:

  • Floor
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Doors
  • Screens
  • Blinds/shades/curtains
  • Closet
  • Light fixtures
  • Appliances
  • HVAC filters
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Evidence of bugs/pests
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Overall cleanliness and condition of the property

It's a lot to cover but it doesn't take long. Make sure everything is in working order and there's only normal wear and tear. Put in fresh HVAC filters and new batteries in smoke detectors. 

Make a note in writing of any carpet or floor stains and any dings or holes in the walls. 

Normal Wear and Tear

When a tenant moves out, you'll notice some normal wear and tear. You can't take anything out of a security deposit for that. 

Small nail holes and scuffs on the walls are normal. If there are large holes in the walls that need repair beyond routine maintenance, then you can repair that and charge the tenant. Always make sure any charges are well documented for the tenant. 

Do Regular Rental Property Inspections

It's important to perform regular rental property inspections to keep your rental properties in good shape. A well-maintained property is easier to rent and keeps your property values high. 

Are you having a hard time keeping up with inspections and routine maintenance? We can help! Call Penny Realty Inc. Property Management Services today for a free analysis.