As a property owner, you want to make sure that your tenant is keeping your Naperville rental property clean. After all the value of your property would depend on its overall condition. Unfortunately, some tenants do not give importance to cleaning and property maintenance. What’s more, if you do not check up on them, you may not know that cleanliness is an issue until it becomes a much bigger problem.
Regular property inspections are an integral part of the property management process. But like many other aspects of owning rental properties, some approaches to property inspections are more effective than others. Knowing why inspections are important, how to create and carry out an inspection schedule, and how to talk with your tenant about cleanliness are all things that a successful property owner needs to know.
Doing regular property inspections is essential for the following reasons: You can gather valuable insight if the tenant upholds the terms of the lease and also catch developing problems early on. Tenants are people so it comes as no surprise that they would have different ideas in terms of cleanliness. A dirty house or yard may be a concern for some but may not be for others. Some tenants would feel that cleanliness in the home is none of your business. This is absolutely false. If you have a “let them be” attitude, a dirty house or yard can lead to serious problems like structural damage, bad odors, pest infestations, and more. It’s best to catch these issues early so you could do away with expensive repairs that the security deposit cannot cover.
Property inspections are an important part of the maintenance process, therefore it needs to be done in an organized manner. As a property owner, you have several different kinds of inspections in your property management toolbox. The move-in inspection can help you establish a baseline for your property’s condition, helpful if you need to assess wear and tear or property damage later on. Then there are the drive-by inspections that allow you to check visible issues with the property’s exterior, as you pass your rental property.
But regular inspections are considered as the most important inspections for safety and cleanliness for a property’s interior. You should set the number of inspections that you should be doing each year. Property owners differ from each other, as they often do not have the same schedule for inspections. Some do it annually while others check on the rental house every three or six months. Annual inspections are the most common and provide the best balance for property owners as they get a clear sense of the property’s condition while not creating undue hardship for tenants.
Remember not to inspect the property too often as your constant intrusions can frustrate your tenant. But frequent visits may be necessary if, upon your previous inspection, you find cleanliness problems. Do this until you are reasonably sure that your tenant is keeping your property clean. This is also necessary especially if you discover your tenant has an unauthorized pet or unauthorized people living in the house. With every inspection, document what you find in photos and writing.
Discussing cleanliness inspections with tenants need not be a difficult process. You can manage a tenant’s expectations on property inspections by adding an inspection schedule in the lease. The tenant must be properly notified before you visit the property and should know the purpose of your visit. Establishing good communication with your tenant can make your property inspections much easier for everyone, and help you check the property as needed.
It is best to do a written request if you want your tenant to clean up the property. By giving clear requests and a detailed list of tasks, you and your tenant would have clear expectations. You can also include photographs that you have taken to create a paper trail to create strong evidence should the need arises.
Regular property inspections, when done appropriately and routinely, help build a pattern for tenants to make your rental property clean. When tenants are aware that you are hands-on on these things, you give them a stronger incentive in keeping your property tidy.
Need help coming up with a lease, or maybe you’d rather not deal with your tenants at all? Feel free to reach out to Real Property Management DuPage Preferred and talk to one of our property managers at 630-427-2200 or contact us online.
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