Inspecting Rental Homes

Friends -

I have rental homes in my community that I think I need to start inspecting regularly - probably monthly, perhaps every other month.

What are the logistics of doing this?

  • I’m thinking of just making inspection day the last Saturday of every month, but do others actually schedule a ‘more convenient time’ for each of their tenants?

  • And do you photograph the home each time? Or just photograph any damage? Or just point at the damage and say to the tenant ‘that’ll cost you $125 this month to repair…’

  • Does your manager do the inspection (mine would be only semi-comptent to find/assess damage) or do you send in a repairman (who might be biased towards seeing damage everywhere for him to fix…)

  • Do you then expect the damages to be paid for by the tenant within a day, or week, or just by the time the next month’s rent is due?



Jefferson, standardize this process with a list. Pictures would probably be useful for you, but I believe more so with respect to keeping your inspector diligent. You need to make a big deal out of the inspections and ask the inspectors questions each time, or else they will let up and you will be incurring the costs but not the benefits of the inspections.

Also, you should consider having the inspector to replace air filters with each visit, this step will GREATLY reduce the HVAC repair/maintenance costs for your rentals.

I try not to interrupt my tenants lives… I don’t like inspections and have lived under the once a month inspection program which turned into a 2-4 week inspection program as the manager had more and more repairs from ticked off tenants as time progressed.

I don’t let my tenants run amuck without supervision however.

Over time I’ve noticed the same trends with the people that cause damages to my units. The following are the main traits that I’m looking for that will trigger an “inspection”. Listed in order of importance from my observations.

Miniblinds broken. s self.

Loose trash / drink cans outside the home in the yard.

Underpinning removed or crooked. (storing stuff under the home)

Trash bags piled up outside the back door.

A trash can outside filled with empty beer cans.

Tenant cracks the door like they are trying to contain a dog when they don

I would be way more inclined to use Ryan’s “inspection trigger” list than to go through the major headache of monthly inspections. MH renters by nature are an I’ll pay the rent and you stay out of my life type of folk. And that is exactly what we intend to do unless there is a significant problem. I think a rigid inspection system would only really pi$$ most of them off, and cause more problems/vacancies than it solves. Of the 2-3% problems you find. That person has chosen to live with that damage, so how many times are you going to patch up a home for the same idiot and not get paid for it because lets face it they do not have an extra 50-200 a month to pay the “HOA” cops. A judge may not rule in your favor if you are trying to kick someone out and get a judgement for doing repairs that you, not them felt necessary during their tennacy.