The two most important inspections you’ll conduct on your Bellevue rental property are the move-in inspection and the move-out inspection. These are opportunities to document the condition of your home and hold your tenants accountable for any damage.
You should also conduct at least one inspection during the tenancy, which will allow you to check for unreported or deferred maintenance issues and give you an opportunity to ensure your tenant is taking good care of the home.
We’ve been doing rental property inspections in Bellevue and the surrounding areas for many years, and we have some tips on what you should look for when you’re at your property.
Move-in and Move-out Inspection Process
The first inspections you need to think about are those that occur before a tenant moves into your home and after a tenant moves out. These will document the condition of your property and help you evaluate whether any damage was done during the course of the tenancy.
The move-in inspection is especially important because it allows you to ensure that the property is move-in ready. Check all the systems, functions, and safety issues like door and window locks and smoke detectors. Take a lot of pictures during this inspection so you have a clear and indisputable record of how the property looks before your tenant takes possession. Give your tenant an opportunity to inspect the home as well, and then both of you will sign off on the inspection report.
During the move-out inspection, you’ll want to use the same condition report and take pictures of the same things. You’ll be able to clearly see whether the home was returned to you in the same condition that it was given. The move-in and move-out inspection reports can help solve any potential disputes over damage and the security deposit.
Routine Inspection Checklist Items: Leaks and Water
Water can do more damage to a property than anything else. When you’re inspecting the home, look under every sink. Make sure there isn’t any moisture or leaking. If a slow leak is left undetected, it can become a large plumbing problem. Then, you’ll have rot and possibly mold to contend with. Check each faucet, every sink, and all the tubs and toilets. Turn on the appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines to make sure there isn’t any runaway water.
Check out exterior irrigation as well. Look at the gutters for debris and branches that may be allowing moisture into the home. Trim back any tree limbs and make sure your sprinklers are functional and not leaking.
Test Your Major Systems While Inspecting
You also want to check and test your electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems when you inspect your rental home. Turn on the furnace and the air conditioning. Plug something into every outlet and make sure everything is running the way you expect it to. Change the air filters and look for light bulbs that may have burnt out. Keeping your property functional and well-maintained will demonstrate that you care about your property and your residents.
Look for Lease Violations at Your Bellevue Rental Property
When you’re inspecting the property while a tenant is in place, do a quick check to ensure they’re treating the property the way you expect them to. Tenants don’t want to feel like you’re checking up on them or invading their privacy, so provide plenty of notice in writing. Include the expectation that you’ll conduct an inspection in your lease agreement.
Once inside, be sure they’re taking care of the home and keeping it free of messes, pests, and other hazards. You can also use this as an opportunity to find out if your tenant needs anything to have a better rental experience.
Inspecting your rental property does not have to be stressful, but it does need to be thorough and complete. If you’d like some help with inspections or anything pertaining to Bellevue property management, please contact us at Real Estate Gladiators.