Naturally, as a Denver landlord, your rental property is your business. That being the case, it is only reasonable to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
In Denver, many landlords understand the importance of conducting both the move-in and move-out inspections. Nevertheless, the best way to protect your rental property is by doing routine inspections for the entire life of the lease.
Why? You risk cumulative damage by not doing it.
We have all heard stories about tenants from hell. From a raft of excuses for nonpayment of rent to illegal drug manufacturing.
Reasons to Perform Inspections at Your Denver Property
- Routine inspections will ensure your tenants are not violating any lease terms. Common lease violations include illegal drug manufacturing or hoarding, keeping unauthorized tenants and/or pets, and excessive property damage.
- You will be able to identify maintenance issues that need to be fixed before they become costly issues. Left unattended, a maintenance issue can become unnecessarily expensive. For example, failure to maintain your roof might end up costing you a full replacement. A full replacement might range from $2,000 to $12,000.
- Your Denver rental property will be able to adhere to health, safety, and building codes. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the building is habitable. If you don’t, not only can the renter break the lease, but you also risk significant penalties.
- You will be able to plan ahead of time. Planning is key in any business. In the rental business, you’ll be able to plan for repairs and maintenance issues early.
- Routine inspections will help you reduce tenant turnover. Tenant turnover is the process of getting the rental property ready for a new tenant after an old one leaves. As every Denver landlord knows, it’s one of the biggest profit killers.
- Last but not the least; you will be able to cut down on wait time to get services from service providers like electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and landscapers.
Types of Inspections for Your Denver Rental Property
There are four main types of rental inspections that should be conducted at your rental property. They are as follows:
This is perhaps the most obvious one. This is the type of inspection to do once the tenant has signed the lease agreement. Its purpose is to document the condition of the property. This is important, as it will act as a reference when the time comes for the renter to leave.
During the inspection, make sure to document everything big and small. From thumbtack holes to faucets to light fixtures.
This will help you inspect for any damage, condition, cleanliness, or illegal alterations to the unit. If the damage is in excess of normal wear and tear, you will have the right to deduct the appropriate amounts from the tenant’s security deposit.
|Examples of normal wear and tear||Examples of excessive property damage|
|Carpet faded or worn thin from walking.||Holes, stains, or burns in carpet.|
|Slightly torn or faded wallpaper.||Unapproved wallpaper, drawings, or crayon markings on walls.|
|Faded paint.||Water damage on the wall from hanging plants or constant rubbing of furniture.|
|A few small nail holes, smudges or cracks in the walls.||Gaping holes in walls from abuse, accidents, or neglect.|
A drive-by inspection can be useful in revealing whether a follow-up inspection is necessary or not. It is very convenient, as you don’t have to check in with the tenant. A drive-by inspection can help reveal lease violations such as long-term guests or unauthorized tenants or pets.
Each season – spring, summer, winter, and fall – brings its own unique maintenance challenges.
In spring, for instance, you can check your concrete areas for damage, replace any outlets, regrade the areas surrounding your house, and clean out your gutters.
Since you will be on the property for the seasonal inspection, you can also use the chance to do a routine inspection.
Do’s and Don’ts of Performing a Denver Property Inspection
Colorado rental laws protect tenants when it comes to rental property inspections. Therefore, it’s key to ensure compliance.
- Give the renter adequate notice. This is a big one. Before an inspection, landlords must give their renter enough notice of their entry. Although Colorado landlord-tenant law doesn’t specify how much notice to give, most landlords give a 24 hours’ notice.
- The notice should be clear on the time and purpose of the visit. If unsure of anything regarding this, please consult a competent Denver lawyer.
- Ideally, conduct the inspection with your tenant. Having the tenant present will give you an opportunity to talk to him or her regarding any issues. Let them know of any issues they should fix before the lease ends.
- You could also use this chance to explain why the inspection is good for both parties.
- Don’t take pictures of personal belongings. There is nothing wrong with documenting the property’s condition by taking pictures. However, taking pictures of the tenant’s personal items could land you in trouble. In fact, Zillow recommends landlords don’t take pictures of renter’s pets.
- Avoid a confrontation with tenants. Every landlord in Denver takes pride in their property and it can be difficult not to take damages or neglect personally. However, to be a successful landlord, knowing how to deal with problem tenants is key.
- Always remain professional and calm even when the renter seems unreasonable. Also, make sure that you address any problems in writing.
Additional Tips for Your Rental Property Inspections
- If the tenant would prefer to be there and agrees to a specific time after work hours, try to accommodate that schedule.
- Keep the focus of the inspection on the condition of the property, and always avoid personal comments or criticism.
- Discuss the inspections with prospective renters at lease signing. This will serve as an incentive for renters to keep the property in good order.
- Never cut corners on tenant screening. Finding the right tenants will reduce the likelihood of property damage.
As you can see, performing inspections at your Denver rental property is important. You will not only preserve your property’s value but will also keep your property in its best condition always.
The result? Better lease renewal rates, good landlord-tenant relationship, and, of course, better ROI.