We received quite a few questions about our last post on the importance of performing routine property inspections. We mentioned that we perform an inspection within 90 days of a new Tenant moving into a property of ours. The main theme of the questions that we received revolved around why we perform those inspections so quickly. A few people almost felt like it would cause the Tenant to think we don’t trust them and could cause the relationship to be off to a bad start.
Well, I understand why you would ask that, because it is all about the trust and the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant. And it is also all about business too. That trust between a property manager and a renter has to be built and earned. You can either extend blind trust to someone, (which I highly recommend against) or you can communicate upfront that trust is earned and not given blindly. Then the expectation is set and communicate that you will be doing an internal inspection some time in the first few months. Leave it at that. I try not to give them an exact day. In fact, the Oregon law states that you cannot enter without a 24 hour advance notice, however if they give you “permission” and you just happen to be in the area, then there is no problem with that as well. If you are “in the area” and stop by, and they then don’t allow it, you can schedule your inspection for the next day, 24 hours from now.
In fact, this 90 day inspection is very important. If the Tenants in your property are not going to be good Tenants, for whatever reason, then you need to know that quickly so you can process them. You do not want to go an entire year without knowing your Tenant is trashing your property on the inside. Wear and tear happens very quickly. We took over management of a Medford property from an Owner that had $11,000 in damages caused by a Tenant beyond wear and tear. Guess how much of a security deposit they had…..$750. That’s right. First off, it was a property that rented for $1,800. So at a minimum they should have had $1,800. And, had they done their homework and called the Landlord before the current at the time, they would have found out that the previous landlord had to pay $6,000 when the Tenant moved out of that property after only living there for 8 months.
There are great Tenants out there, and there are miserable Tenants. 99% of the job in property management and landlording is done finding the highest quality Tenants through an intense and scrutinizing Tenant screening program. However, no one is perfect. Every once in a while, a mediocre or worse off poor performing Tenant can fool the best screener. If that does happen, you need to have a backup plan which allows you to catch it VERY QUICKLY, hence a 45-90 day after move in property inspection.
So be sure to get that early inspection in, even if you think you have a niche at finding the best Tenants. We have seen so many landlords lose a lo of money by not taking their time and being picky upfront, and then by ignoring simple landlording best practices, ie “expect what you inspect”. That was actually a lesson learned and an actual quote from my Operations Supervisor in the Navy. I learned that lesson in the Navy the hard way. He also taught me “Trust, but verify”. So true in Property Management. Call us if we can help: Asurent Property Management Medford Oregon. 541 816-4140.