Inspections can be a complicated business. The topic came up in an owner meeting the other day, and it’s important that we’re transparent with landlords and owners about inspections and how often you should be willing to conduct them.
How Often Should I Inspect My Rental Property?
Our property management team in Orlando does regular inspections, but not too regularly!
Making the List and Taking the Trip
The puzzled owner asked what I was talking about. I explained that every single time we do these inspections, without fail, every single time, the same thing tends to happen. The result is a list of things that need to be done and supplies that need to be bought at the hardware store. Whether you like it or not, every time we go to a property and do an inspection and the tenant is there, a list of repairs will come out of it, and we have to start contacting vendors for quotes. It might be a list including blinds, bulbs, tiles, fans, and maybe something in the yard or a broken latch on the door. Everything costs money. So when owners tell me they want inspections, they expect that the inspections will be free because we don’t charge for them and thus there is no implications for them. However, there are still significant costs. As a landlord, you need to think about the hidden costs of a property inspection.
Property Inspection Costs
Potential costs to making the list and taking the trip include supplies and hardware. You’ll need to hire vendors to do repairs. What if you don’t do the requested maintenance? If a landlord says no, hidden costs will show up later. The tenant could withhold rent after becoming frustrated that repairs have been reported but not completed. The first thing tenants always feel they should do is withhold rent to register their objection. This might put them in breach of their lease, but they don’t care. They’re making a point, and you aren’t getting your money. There are also costs like having to serve notices for late rent, making phone calls to chase the rent, or filing for an eviction.