When you put your hard-earned money into investment properties, you obviously do so with the expectation that you will get a return on your investment money through rental income and through the eventual sell-off of your properties at a higher value. This will work for you if you do not encounter a lot of problem tenants during those investment years. Maintaining control of tenant behavior can only be done through proper screening of people before they move in and through routine inspections of units while the selected tenants live in your rentals.
Deposit money won’t begin to cover the costs that some tenants will rack up for property owners if there is ineffective property management! Here are some of the benefits that you reap whenever you have periodic inspections conducted on your investment properties while tenants live in them:
The knowledge that there will be routine inspections will cause some would-be problem tenants to tear up their applications, weeding themselves out before you or your property manager goes to the time and cost of doing a background check on them.
Some people will accept having their living quarters inspected, especially if they came from low-income housing. When tenants know their units will be periodically inspected, they will be more inclined to keep them in better condition than they might otherwise do. Their cooperation is valuable to investors.
Some renters will accept the inspections, keep their homes tidy, keep out of criminal activities, and pay their rent on time, but they will fail to report small maintenance issues. They may do this because they don’t like having strangers in their homes when they are at work or because of other reasons. Unpleasant as they may be, inspections allow little things like leaks and cracks to be found and fixed before they do so much damage that they cost property owners thousands of dollars to repair.
Quick Renter Turnover
If repairs are made as maintenance problems come up, rental units can be rented out right away after tenants move out. If maintenance issues are allowed to become big enough problems that they will take weeks to fix them, the landlord is not only out the money for costly repairs, but they are also out rental money they could have received from the next tenant.
Decks can start to miss pieces of wood here and thereafter they are a few years old, presenting a risk of people and pets falling through the gaps. Grass can be allowed to grow so tall that the property does not meet code standards, and tall grass invites snakes, predators, and other dangerous things. Electrical problems inside units can arise. Ceilings can develop cracks and eventually fall in on top of tenants. Hazardous conditions like these can be found during routine inspections and corrected before a tenant gets hurt.
Of course, there is the occasional criminal who had passed the background check because their secret activities had not yet been caught. Evidence of criminal activity can be sometimes be detected during routine inspections, such as when a tenant’s teenager accidentally leaves his marijuana bong out in the open. Upon further inspection, a meth lab could be discovered in the basement or under stairs. These can blow up, hurting tenants and destroying your property if they’re not discovered and done away with.
Enter the Property Manager
Renters often don’t appreciate having their living quarters inspected while they live in them, and many landlords feel uncomfortable conducting inspections or doing other chores that are necessary to protect their properties long-term. Hiring a property manager would allow you to do the “good guy-bad guy routine” where the manager enforces rules while you do little more than collect monthly checks and buy up more property.
A property manager can handle all of the unpleasantries for you. He will screen applicants so that people with financial or criminal problems never become your tenants. He’ll negotiate leases, enforce timely rental payments, terminate leases, and handle evictions and legal issues. Most importantly, he will make sure that those very necessary inspections are routinely made so that you will know that maintenance issues are being looked after, codes are being met, and your properties are safety compliant.
A property management company is a good idea, especially if you have multi-family units. A multi-family property manager and their strict management style can make all the difference in how well maintained your investment properties will be through the years. Strict management is the only way to protect your investment, and routine inspections play the biggest role in letting you achieve your financial goal.