What is Rental Property Inspection and How to Perform it Effectively?

By: Abdullah Haroon

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The problem with a rental property is that owner does not live there. The tenant does not own the property and is only staying for a certain period. By nature, the tenant is going to be less responsible for the condition of the property. So, it goes in your best interest to conduct inspections regularly to keep your property in good shape. It gives you the opportunity to repair the broken fixtures as well as a chance to update the quality.

The periodic inspection gives you complete information about which damages are the result of normal wear and tear and which were caused by tenants. So, you would work out the plan accordingly.

What do you Understand by Rental Property Inspection?

A thorough examination of both the quality and condition of the rental property is dubbed as a rental property inspection. An inspection checklist gives you a smooth ride in reviewing. Generally, rental inspections are held alongside the tenant during the move-in and move-out periods.

Understanding Rental Inspection

If you think about why there is a need to take that extra pain, the following are the reasons:

  • First, the landlord comes to know and evaluate if there is any damage to fix before the tenant move-in.
  • Second, it brings both the landlord and tenant to the same page about the condition of the unit to avoid any future possible feuds over the condition of the unit. So, it will help in fixing the blame in case of any damage.

What is the Right Time to Perform a Rental Property Inspection?

Well, the rule of the thumb is to perform the inspection twice for each lease agreement. When a new tenant moves in and when they move out are the best possible events to perform an inspection. Besides, periodic inspection once after a few months is also a good idea to keep your place up to date.

Here is a complete guide to the rental property inspection.

How to Conduct a Property Inspection?

To be honest, the process does not involve any complexities. The only concern is the time consumption depending on the size of the unit. So you shall allocate at least an hour for each inspection.

Another prerequisite is to let your tenant know about the inspection and settle a mutually agreed date and time. Ask your tenant to remain present during the session.

How to conduct a Property Inspection

Do Not Forget to Bring your Check-In List when you Arrive at the Unit.

1) Move-In Inspection:

This is the most important inspection among the many to establish a mutual understanding of the condition of the unit. Reviewing minor details of each room and keeping a record of it is likely to help in potential future damages. The chief favor you are going to get from it is that tenant won’t be able to put blame on the previous tenant in case of any damage.

The ideal scenario is to do the inspection alongside tenants before they shift their belongings. This is really going to help as walls will be empty and rooms with no furniture. In case, there are some repairs required, it is high time to do the investment.

2) Move Out Inspection:

At this stage, the inspection you did when the tenant moved in is really going to pay off. Therefore, you shall bring that previous inspection report with you.

The operation goes in the same sequence. You shall contact your tenant to decide a date and time for the inspection. Encourage your tenant to be there when conducting an inspection. Then, examine each area with the same detail and compare each entry with the previous ones.

Checking out house

If you notice any major difference in the condition of a certain place, you are entitled to withhold the amount of money required to repair the damage.

However, one important point is that property is subject to normal wear and tear and that does not give you any right to withhold security. If only you notice any major damage that you can actually ask for the losses. Your move-in checklist will not let your tenant disagree with the initial condition of the unit.

3) Routine Inspection:

Besides these two major inspections, this is also common practice with many landlords; to conduct a routine inspection. The time period may vary between 3-6 months. This is not supposed to be conducted meticulously instead of a glimpse on everything to notice any significant damage. There is no need to bring the previous inspection record. You shall take into account if there is any repair or cleaning is required

Routine Inspection

Post Inspection Steps:

It is going to swing in either way; a good inspection or bad inspection. If you have taken the renting process seriously and have rented apartments to good tenants, this is where you are going to get satisfaction.

When your Inspection goes Right:

If you find the unit in good shape and you do not observe major differences compared to your move-in list, it is fortunate for you.

After inspection, when you come home, you shall write an email to your tenant for paying gratitude for keeping good care of your property.  Your acknowledgment is likely to make them more responsible in the future.

When your Inspection goes Bad:

Sometimes, things are not going to be perfect and that’s normal. In that case, keep a good eye on where you find significant damages. When you reach home, there is no need to react strictly at first. Rather, send the tenant a written notice of where you require repairs and wait.

inspection goes bad

In case you do not see the damage has been adjusted, then you need to be more formal and strict towards your requirements.


If you are a landlord, making sure to conduct these inspections goes in your best interest. You shall keep the record for long enough until your tenant stays in the unit. Most of the time, you are going to find good tenants but there could be some bad exceptions. But hope things do not go that way for you.

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