One of the most important things you can do as a property manager is to conduct an annual preventative maintenance inspection on your rental property. This is for health and safety reasons, so you can make sure the Santa Cruz property is habitable for your tenant, and it also gives you an opportunity to look around for any maintenance issues or minor repairs that need to be taken care of. It’s a good time to check the smoke detectors and make sure everything works.
Before you begin any inspection on your rental property, you want to have a clear understanding of the laws. The law that property owners seem to violate most frequently is the 24-hour notice law. You don’t want to forget to give your tenants at least 24 hours of notice before you enter the inside of the property or even show up on the exterior of the home. That’s something you have to remember. In Santa Cruz, we have a local ordinance under the Santa Cruz rental inspection program. Make sure you know all the local ordinances in whatever area your rental home happens to be located.
If you want to get more than one inspection in on an annual basis, consider opening your home up to tenants who have pets. When you allow pets in your property, you will probably be more likely to find well qualified renters, and you will also have the opportunity to create a pet program. Instead of doing one inspection per year, for example, you could require two inspections per year in order to take a look around and make sure the pet is not doing any damage to your home. While you are checking out the property for pet damage, you will also get the chance to ensure your tenants are taking good care of the home and keeping it well maintained.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, take a lot of good photos and videos when you inspect a property. You also want to complete a detailed checklist. This is especially important when you have tenants moving into the property, and when you are conducting an inspection after they move out. Having this documentation on record will help you when it comes time to return some or all of the security deposit.
If you have any questions about rental property inspections, or there is something specific about your property that you would like to discuss, please contact us at Portola Property Management in Santa Cruz.