Good communication with tenants
Regular inspections are an opportunity for tenants to communicate their needs to the landlord, and for landlords to reiterate their rules to the tenants. This bi-directional communication creates a cooperative relationship. Tenants are an asset and also your best source of information about the property. Together, tenants and managers can ensure that the rental property is a safe and healthy place.
Tenants may need reminders
To make sure that tenants are following the rules, regular visits to the property are necessary. Even the best tenants can be time-challenged and may sometimes ignore maintenance, such as removing trash in a timely manner or not cutting the grass. Scheduled visits, every month for example, allow the tenant to prepare for a site visit.
A rental is not ‘set-it and forget it’
Regular visits are an assurance to the tenant that the owner takes responsiblity for the maintenance and curb appeal of the property. Property inspections are a way of demonstrating that your property is safe, clean, and a welcoming place to live. It’s also a good opportunity to look for problems that need fixing.
Wear-and-tear is expected with any building that people live or work in. It cannot be avoided. The key to preventing problems is to recognize ‘normal’ wear-and-tear and take care of problems right away. For example, a broken bathroom fan can result in excessive mold. Tenants are expected to regularly clean walls and window frames to remove surface contaminants but a working exhaust fan should be in place. We also look for damage that is repaired by tenants such as unhinged doors, broken windows, and patched drywall. These deficiencies should be corrected immediately and payment arrangements worked out with the renters.
Regular inspections may offer clues as to how the property is being used. For example, is it being used for short-term rentals? Has it been converted to student housing with the lessee living elsewhere? Both situations are in contravention of a residential lease agreement and can affect agreements with stratas or contravene municipal by-laws.
Compliance with the housing act
Tenants need at least 24 hours notice before entering the suite or house for an inspection. This notice must be delivered before each visit. Without notice, a property manager cannot enter the dwelling unless it is an emergency. Some landlords and managers choose to do monthly checks. This may be necessary if you are renting a house. A condo has fewer maintenance issues and a bi-annual inspection may be sufficient.
Mountainview Properties conducts regular inspections of all rental units. Contact us today for more information on property management services in the Columbia Valley.