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8 Things Landlords Should Always Look for in a Rental Property Inspection

8 Things Landlords Should Always Look for in a Rental Property Inspection

If you’re like most landlords in Dallas Fort Worth and surrounding areas in North Texas, you likely understand the value and importance of rental property inspections. Without routine walk-throughs and check-ups, you can’t be sure about the condition of your property and the way your tenants are treating it. 

Regular inspections are necessary before, during, and after a tenancy. 

But, what exactly should you be looking for once you’re inside? 

Here are the 8 most important things we look for as a North Texas property management company every time we inspect a rental home. 

1. Secure Doors and Windows 

Before you make your property available to tenants and during turnover periods, you want to make sure that the doors and windows in your rental home open, close, and lock securely. This is not only a best practice for tenant safety; it’s also a requirement under the Texas Property Code. 

Start with the doors: 

  • Are there deadbolts on all exterior doors? 
  • Are there peepholes that work? 
  • Do sliding glass doors open and close easily, and do they have a pin lock and a security bar?

Next, check the windows. Are the screens in good condition? Do the locks work?

2. Adequate and Effective Lighting 

Another part of keeping your rental property safe and secure is ensuring that it’s well-lit. When you’re inspecting your property, check the exterior lighting. Make sure the porch light works. If you’re renting out a multi-family property, all communal areas must have adequate lighting. Is it easy for tenants to see at night when they’re walking from wherever they park (driveway, garage, parking lot, etc.) to their front door? Consider motion lights on the outside of your rental home. 

Inside, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any bulbs that need to be replaced. If you’re inspecting between tenants, consider a lighting upgrade, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. It will increase your rental value and attract high-quality residents. 

3. Look for Leaks and Plumbing Problems 

A leak that is left unidentified and untreated may cause major problems for your foundation and your entire rental property. When you’re inspecting, look for evidence of water intrusion or leaking. 

  • Check every faucet.  
  • Check tubs and appliances
  • Look for moisture under floors and behind walls.
  • Inspect irrigation systems or sprinklers.
  • Check your water heater for rust or leaks.

Inspections help you avoid the headaches of major plumbing repairs because you have the opportunity to check for signs of leaks or water intrusion every time you are in the property. You’ll want to do this during the move-in and move-out inspection as well as any routine inspections you conduct in the property during the tenancy. 

4. Inspect the HVAC

One of the most expensive systems in your Dallas Fort Worth & North Texas rental property is the HVAC system. Your air conditioning works overtime in the north Texas heat, and we’ve had some brutally cold winters recently, so you’ll also need reliable heating sources. You’ll want an experienced HVAC tech to inspect and service your unit at least once a year, but go ahead and take a look yourself when you are inspecting the property. Check the furnace and the air conditioning unit. Test the thermostat. Clear away any debris from outside units. 

5. Check for Pests and Cleanliness 

Pests are a problem. You don’t want mice and rats burrowing into your roof and you don’t need squirrels chewing through your wires. Bugs and insects are also problematic because they multiply quickly and tend to really upset tenants. 

Make sure your pest control program is working. 

When you inspect your property while it’s occupied, look at its cleanliness. 

You want to see a clean home, too. There should not be any trash piling up in the kitchens, stains, and puddles left on floors, or empty boxes and debris piled from floors to ceilings. 

6. Inspect for Deferred and Unreported Maintenance

You may not know a repair is needed until you inspect the property. Hopefully, your tenants are good about reporting repair needs as they happen. If they aren’t the inspection is a good opportunity to ensure there isn’t any work that needs to be done. 

Preventative maintenance is always going to be less expensive than emergency repairs. If something isn’t working right, make a note and schedule the repair with a trusted vendor. Let your tenants know that you need to have maintenance issues reported right away.

Sometimes, it’s tempting to put off a repair that you know is necessary but not urgent. Those small repairs, however, can quickly become large repairs and expensive repairs. Look for any deferred maintenance and make a list of those things that should not wait any longer. 

7. Dallas Fort Worth & North Texas Lease Violations

You need to enforce your lease agreement

Inspections give you the opportunity to ensure your tenant is doing what you expect them to do and what they agreed to do. When you inspect your tenants occupying the property, you’re looking for potential problems. This isn’t in an effort to catch your tenants doing something they shouldn’t; it’s to ensure your tenants are holding themselves accountable to the lease. 

You want to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized pets or long-term guests at the property when you’re inspecting. If you don’t permit smoking, you want to address any signs of smoking you may have uncovered. If your lease doesn’t allow tenants to change the appearance of the property but you’ve noticed they painted walls, you’ll want to talk about the consequences of that as well. 

8. Opportunities for Improvements and Upgrades 

Replace Carpet

Finally, use every inspection as a chance to see where you can improve your property. Maybe hard surface floors should replace the carpet when it starts to look worn, stained, or old. New appliances can be planned for the kitchen if you’ve been called to repair them several times or if they are mismatched and unreliable. 

Look for ways to improve your property during inspections so you can earn more and attract and retain high-quality Dallas Fort Worth & North Texas renters. 

We’d love to talk more about how to manage your rental property inspections and what to look for. Please contact us at OmniKey Realty. We work with rental property owners in Dallas, Fort Worth, and other North Texas communities like Sherman, Denison, and Greenville.