Updated March 7, 2022
As a full-service Atlanta property management company, we know that investing in an Atlanta rental property is inherently riskier than buying a home.
- Maintaining an investment property demands active care as well as scheduled, routine maintenance to ensure its longevity.
- Rental property inspections help keep track of the property’s overall condition by ensuring that both the interior and exterior of the property are in a reasonable state and that all systems are in good working order.
- They also help you identify and address rental property maintenance issues before they become expensive repairs.
In this post, we discuss the three main types of property inspections investors need to be aware of from the perspective of our experienced team here at Renters Warehouse Atlanta.
Note: This article is not a substitute for legal counsel. Consult an attorney or your property management partner when it comes to the fine print on rental law.
As a full-service real estate investment company, we cannot overstate the importance of your move-in inspections. The primary purpose of a move-in inspection is to ascertain that your future renter understands and accepts the condition of your rental homes before they assume residence.
With this in mind, such inspections are normally carried out in the presence of the potential renter and your preferred property management provider. That said, these inspections can also be conducted separately, with your renter filling out details about the investment property that catches their eye within about three days of move-in that may need resolving.
Experienced and reputable Atlanta property management companies usually document the current condition of their client's rental property by writing notes, taking photos, and recording videos.
After the inspection, both parties need to sign off on the inspection checklist or report.
The report is used at the end of your resident's lease to determine what amount of their deposit should be retained to cater to any above-and-beyond maintenance and repairs expenses.
There's a delicate balance to conducting property inspections:
They need to be often enough to hold your renters accountable for issues.
They also need to happen infrequently enough to avoid violating the privacy of your residents.
Mid-lease inspections are meant to hold your tenants accountable to the lease terms you have set forth.
Most investors (unfortunately) do not bother with mid-lease inspections as they fear this will be too great of an infringement on the rights of their renters. However, the vast majority of rental laws give you the right as property owners to do so with proper notice.
Including a clause in your lease agreement stating that you will perform regular inspections after issuing a written notice will protect your property rights as an investor and help your Atlanta property management partner work more effectively on your behalf.
Successful Mid-Lease Rental Property Inspections
Renters in Georgia have a right to quiet enjoyment of the property they rent. Avoid being held liable for a breach of your lease agreement by observing the following:
Always give appropriate notice: You need to provide your rental properties residents with at least 24 to 48 hours’ written notice. Specify the date and the time range within which you expect to have completed the inspection. Without written notice, you risk legal action such as fines.
Inspections should be within 'reasonable hours': While the law does not clearly define what these ideal operating hours are, it would be a good idea to plan for your rental inspections between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is also advisable to perform such inspections when your renter is available.
Set inspections reasonably apart: The time between your property inspections could range from once every few months to once every year, depending on your preference. The best property management companies have established protocols for this that keep routine maintenance at the forefront for every property they manage.
Do not overstep your boundaries: while you might want to document your mid-lease inspections, respect your renter's privacy. State the purpose of the inspection upon your arrival, and if you are taking any photos or videos, avoid capturing any personal belongings.
If your renter's lease is approaching a finishing point (and they do not wish to renew it), then you'll also need to conduct the move-out inspection. If possible, bring along a copy of the move-in inspection report for comparison purposes.
If you have an Atlanta property management company handling this for you, they'll be comparing their initial report to the new one. The goal is to have a benchmark of understanding you can use to compare the condition of the returned property to its original state. If you don't have a full-service professional managing the process, you'll need to:
Document any damage to the property and support it using photographic or video evidence
Have the renter sign and date the move-out inspection report as a way of acknowledging that the information contained therein is correct
Point out any repairs that could be an opportunity to get back their full security deposit.
Alternatively, make it known within your lease that any cleaning or renter-caused damages will be deducted from their security deposit.
Rental property inspections start before you ever walk in the door—and they should remain detailed to the last room. Make sure you check any appliances, ceilings, floors, lighting, plumbing, walls, as well as the property’s exterior.
Knowing the problem areas to look out for when carrying out rental property inspections is difficult. However, when you work with a full-service real estate investment company like Renters Warehouse Atlanta to take care of all your property management needs, you'll have a partner who can help you reach rental success from property purchase all the way to your next rental property listing.
Learn more about what we look for during our inspections as an Atlanta property management company when you download your free copy of our Makeready Checklist.