As a landlord in San Jose, you want to make sure your tenant is taking good care of your property. The best way to do this is by inspecting your property. At Real Estate Connections, we have 3 good reasons to do property inspections.
Annual inspections. As a rule, we inspect all properties that we manage at least once a year. We want to make sure the property itself is in good shape and that the tenant is maintaining the property in the way we expect. We also look for deferred maintenance issues that might end up becoming larger problems if they are not taken care of immediately. One thing to be prepared for; when you do an inspection, you are often opening the door for a tenant to make a repair request that he or she normally would not have bothered to make if you weren’t planning to come in and take a look around. As a property owner, I am usually happy to take care of any reasonable requests from my tenants because I want to keep my property in good shape. It’s just important to be prepared.
Lease renewals. Any time you are preparing to renew a lease with a tenant, it is a good idea to conduct an inspection. You want to make sure that tenant is keeping your property in good shape. This renewal period gives you the opportunity to take a look around. If you like what you see and you are happy with the way the tenant is keeping your investment and you like your tenant, it makes sense to sign a new lease.
Red flags. We also inspect any time there is a red flag, or we have a concern about a tenant’s activities. If we hear about suspicions from neighbors, or a homeowner’s association that the tenant is difficult, causing problems or violating the terms of the lease, we will always do an inspection. Late rent payments are also red flags. If we have any reason to believe something might be not quite right, we get in there and have a look around.
One thing we try to do is train our maintenance contractors to keep their eyes open for anything odd while performing work at the property. If there is a maintenance issue that we send someone to fix, we ask them to make sure everything looks okay. This does not mean invading privacy or doing anything that is intrusive. It simply means checking to see that there is not some other major issue that needs attention. One story we heard several years ago was about a maintenance worker finding a motorcycle in a tenant’s living room. You probably do not want your renters to keep motorcycles in the living room, so you want your contractors to tell you about it if something like that shows up.
Remember also to document everything. Make sure that you record and report all inspections you conduct so that information is kept with your tenant’s file. If you have any questions about when it is appropriate to inspect your residential rental property, give us a call at Real Estate Connections. You can reach us on our website, or at (408) 873-2100, and we would be happy to answer any of your landlord or tenant questions.