While living in a rental property, inevitably your landlord or property manager would want to conduct regular inspections. It brings along a host of benefits that most of the potential problems can be addressed before they become serious concerns. However, it also comes as a hassle for the tenant who has to maintain the property for these inspections.
It's important to have an inspection policy and schedule them in advance - you have the right to privacy in your rented home. Even in case of frequent inspections, the landlord must provide at least 12, 24, or 48-hours notice before entering the rental home in most states. HUD inspects properties at least once a year. While 2 inspections a year are acceptable, it can become a nuisance if your landlord wants to inspect the rental home more frequently.
Inspections are best conducted during a mutually convenient time with sufficient advance notice. However, once a 12, 24, or 48-hour notice is provided according to your local regulations, the tenant doesn't have to be present for the inspection. There are very few situations where this notice is not required, such as an emergency caused by a burst pipe.
Where things get messy is when the landlord wants to conduct frequent inspections. We even hear complaints about monthly inspections and one user had 5 inspection visits from the landlord in a month. While the legality of the allowed frequency varies by the location, its best to establish a frequency amicably with the landlord or the property manager. That said, in case of frequent inspections, there is no need to panic. Here are some guidelines on what you should do to easily sail through these frequent inspections.
One of the most common things that the landlord checks during the routine inspection is the overall cleanliness of the house. This helps them to ascertain if you are taking proper care of their property. Keep an eye out on the following things:
- General cleanliness of the house including appliances, floor, bath
- Grease build-up in kitchen
- Don't hoard
- Fittings and electrical equipment should be in the same condition as provided at the time of the tenancy agreement
- Wipe off the stains on the walls
- If anything malfunctions like the locks of doors and windows, inform the landlord for your safety
With these visible items, you can keep your landlord satisfied with the overall state of the cleanliness of the house. If these things are clean, they may ignore a little mess here and there.
The rental home is a significant part of their savings and it is natural to be concerned. Once the two of you establish a rapport that you are taking excellent care of the home, a reasonable landlord will back off from entering your home 5 times in a month. The landlord is usually concerned about potential leaks, appliance breaks, etc.
The landlord will be looking for things like:
- Mold in the kitchen and bathroom
- Functioning of the appliances
- General sanitary conditions of the house
- Leaks under sink in kitchen and bathrooms
- Pest infestation
- Drips in the faucet
- Unauthorized pets
- Loose handrail
Most landlords are not out to get you. They are concerned about the property. As a tenant, you are only responsible for fixing the damage that has been caused by you or any other person inside the house, whether intentionally or otherwise. You should inform your landlord of any normal wear and tear.
Furnished rental apartments or homes##
A furnished home has different inspection aspects than an unfurnished one. In addition to the above, for a furnished home, the landlord usually checks the general condition of the furniture. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that furniture such as sofas, beds, chairs, tables, etc. are not torn or damaged.
- If your pet or your friend's pet or you damaged the furniture, then you are responsible for it. Bring this up with the landlord and take responsibility.
To maintain a good relationship with your landlord, you should take care of his or her home as if it were your own house. Keeping the house tidy and maintaining it well benefits you as well. General sanitation and cleanliness is good for the morale.
Any signs of pests such as German cockroaches are indications of unsanitary conditions and poor cleanliness. These pests usually thrive in unclean places. Therefore, prevent them from happening - don't leave food lying around everywhere. Clean crumbs off the floor regularly.
The rule of thumb##
Inspections are an important aspect of property management; however, if your landlord wants frequent inspections, it can be quite annoying. Being a tenant, you must know your rights; check your local and state laws to check if the landlord is violating your rights as a tenant.
If you keep the house in more or less the same condition as it was provided to you, you will be good to go. Regardless of whether it was furnished or not, the general expectation is that the house is used reasonably, without causing any undue damage. Be sure to inform any malfunctioning of appliances and heating system to your landlord as soon as you notice them.
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