As a landlord or a property manager who is representing the landlord, you have done a lot of hard work in sprucing up the house after the previous tenant left. You repaired broken things, heck you even updated the light fixtures in the kitchen and changed the bathroom vanity to make your rental home look nice. You went through a thorough screening process and signed the contract with the tenant using HomeKasa, the best property management software. But you are not done. You can't just see the tenant or the house again at end of the lease agreement.
More on updating bathroom and kitchen on a cheap budget for rental home
HomeKasa highly recommends that you pay a regular visit to the property, at least twice a year. You put all this effort to update the property and you have invested a significant part of your life savings in this investment house. You want to ensure that the tenants are who they said they are during the inspection process.
Give notice of entry in advance##
You are free to drive by the property anytime. But to enter the rental unit, many local regulations will require you to provide advance notice to the tenant. In some places like California, according to California Civil Code §1954, the landlord must provide at least 24-hour notice. In other places like Arizona, you are required to provide at least 48-hour notice. There are of course exceptions to this rule under special circumstances. You can't just enter the house unannounced - it would be trespassing. Familiarize yourself with the local law and see what is permitted including entry for general inspection.
Unlike an emergency repair, the regular property inspection is a preventive measure and can be planned in advance. As a best practice and as a courtesy to the tenant, we recommend providing the written notice a week in advance. While verbal communication is accepted, we highly recommend documenting everything. Let's face it, documentation is a pain. Who has the time or interest to sit down and write everything? This is why HomeKasa has created many templates so that you can easily send an email to the tenant.
HomeKasa also recommends agreeing to a mutually convenient time with the tenant, if that suits your schedule. While this is not required, its just a matter of general courtesy. The tenant is not required to be in the house. After providing sufficient notice of time and date, you can enter the property on your own.
Learn about tenant screening
What is in the notice?##
Let the tenant know who is going and why. If you are entering to repair something specific and you will be bringing a service person along with you, let them know. If not, let them know that this is a regular inspection. Mention a specific time and date.
Your name and address
Tenant's name and address
Subject: Notice to enter
We will be inspecting the property on DATE. We will need access to the property between 11 am and 1 pm.
Thank you in advance for your full cooperation on this matter. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.
Sign and date
Phone / Email
When you visit the property, take notes on the condition of the property. If anything needs repair or maintenance, capture that in your notes. HomeKasa makes this easy for you through our property management software. We recommend using a checklist to capture these things so that you can follow-through the repairs on time.
What should you look for when inspecting a rental property?
With the right process, you can keep a tab on your investment property while respecting the tenants' right to privacy. You want to comply with all the state and local laws. HomeKasa makes this entire process easy for you through our property management software. It's free, give it a try now.