Owners often ask how often should they perform a rental property walk through. My answer is always – as often as needed. The more practical answer is – at least three times a year. I encourage owners to visit their properties as often as needed. This is an investment, and you want to see it. Use lease renewals, maintenance request, after storms, or any reasons that you feel necessary to view your investment.
During a walk through, we always look for three things.
Immediate Maintenance Needs
Take your rental inspection checklist and look for obvious signs of needed maintenance. These are things needing to be addressed right now. It might be water on the ceiling, water under sinks, and water on hardwood floors. You want to look at air conditioning grills and make sure your tenant is replacing the filters on a regular basis. Check the exterior lights and locks, and look at the siding after a storm. You also want to inspect the gutters and make sure they aren’t full or pulling away from the home.
Long Term Maintenance Issues
During a walk through, you should also be looking for long term issues. These are things that need to be addressed months down the road. Look for cracked driveways, peeling paint, and the age of the water heater. You want to know what big ticket items may need to be repaired or replaced in the future.
Finally, look for lease violations. This is an opportunity to look for pets in the property that are not authorized on the lease, or extra family members who are not listed on the lease.
Being proactive in your maintenance and lease enforcement will result in happier tenants. They will stay longer and communicate better. One way to manage your property effectively is through regular walk throughs at your property.