At Cavalier Estates, we have found that one of the best ways to avoid having to do a lot of needless inspections during a tenancy is to make sure you choose the right tenant. Lots of property owners are anxious about how tenants are treating their homes, and they may want property managers to do constant inspections. However, inspecting homes and managing tenants and their expectations or concerns during those inspections can be time consuming and problematic. While some property managers might do routine and regular property inspections, we find they can be a waste of time. If there is a great tenant living in the property already, we know we don’t have to inspect all the time and we try to only conduct inspections when they are absolutely necessary.
Avoiding inspections means spending a little extra time screening applicants and choosing tenants. Our approach when we are screening tenants is to choose them the same way we would choose someone applying to be a property manager for that particular house. We treat them as job candidates during the screening process, and we examine their backgrounds carefully to find an ideal tenant who will likely take good care of the property, pay rent on time and maintain the place as if it was their own. We expect a lot from our tenants, which is one of the reasons we don’t need to do a lot of inspections. The tenant we select for your property will be someone who keeps the inside and the outside of the property looking good. Your tenant will care about curb appeal and make the basic improvements that are necessary to a maintained home.
We have been pleased by the willingness our tenants have demonstrated when it comes to taking care of the properties we manage. Some of our tenants have laid their own sod in the yard and we’ve had tenants paint the exterior of the house at their own expense. These types of tenants are not easy to find, but at Cavalier Estates we manage to find them, and that’s what makes the difference. We don’t have to inspect every few months because we know that if our tenants care enough to paint the place so it looks fresh and modern, they are probably not going to cause problems inside the home.
Not all tenants are perfect, of course. If you notice that the property is looking rough or being neglected, you should schedule an inspection. Drive by the property once in a while. If you notice the house looking rough, or trash and debris is left all over the yard, you do want to inspect the place. If rent starts coming in late, you might want to get over there to take a look and talk to the tenants. Set up a process for your inspections. For example, if you have a problem tenant, tell him you will be coming out to inspect the place every two weeks. After a month or two, start inspecting every four weeks and then every six weeks until you are satisfied that your tenant is taking good care of the place.
When you do find yourself inside the home, make sure the air conditioning filters are being changed and the smoke alarm batteries are working. Any time you have a handyman, pest control expert or other vendor inside the house making repairs or replacing something, ask him to look around and see if anything else needs to be done or if there are problems.
Please contact us at Cavalier Estates if you have any questions about inspections and how to avoid them.