An ounce of prevention:
What you can’t see can’t hurt you, right? When it comes to managing your rental property, that is wrong! It is always important to inspect your rental.
Getting ahead of an issue before they become a major issue is one of the important aspects to being successful as a property investor or landlord. If an issue in the attic or crawl space is occurring, it is hard to know about it.
I’ve spoken before about doing rental walk through inspections. These are critical to compete. Look for indications of a maintenance issue and for problems or even possible lease violations. Our management company does these regularly on all of the properties we manage. It is also important to inspect the unseen areas of the home.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you need to pay hundreds of dollars every year for a full home inspection. However, inspecting a home every few years is a good idea. Especially if you do not know the condition of the home. If you have never seen the home or it has been many years since your last inspection. Then having a full top to bottom home inspection from a licensed home inspectors is your best first step to making a plan for upcoming maintenance expenses on your rental property.
If you know the condition of major parts of your home but have questions in specific areas, you can have the appropriate contractor look at it. For instance, having a roofer give you an estimate on how long your roof has left, if you are unsure, is an inexpensive way to check the condition of the roof. Roofers can recommend maintenance such as repairs to areas that wear out and/ or cleaning of moss and gutters.
Having a pest inspection that looks for moisture issues, leaks and as well as pests can be a cost effective way to inspect areas of the home your property manager may not be able to. Recently I listed a home for sale. We had managed the home and had great tenants who kept the home very clean. The home was spruced up, made pretty and marketed extensively. After only a few day on the market the home had received multiple offers. The best offer was accepted, which was higher than the listing price. The home was then inspected by the buyer’s home inspector; during that inspection it was discovered rodents had gotten into the crawl space. They did what rodents do. This caused the seller to have to agree to a large price reduction or scramble to get repairs done before closing. A simple pest inspection could have discovered this issue years before, saving the owner additional repairs.
Bottom line is that it’s important not to let things go too long without someone looking at them. Minor issues can become more major ones if left unattended.