Why do a move-out inspection?
Per California law, if the tenant request a pre-move out inspection, you must provide one. Even if the tenant does not request a pre-move out inspection, you must perform a thorough move-out inspection in order to deduct any funds from the tenant’s security deposit. The move-in and move-out inspections are critical evidence in small claims to justify any deductions you may make.
What are we looking for in an inspection?
We are looking for two things in an inspection: the condition of the property and whether the tenants are abiding by the terms of the contract. The condition of your property will be self-evident after you review your detailed report and look at your photos. But just as importantly to you should be if the tenants have abided by the terms of the contract. Is there evidence of pets at the property? Have they been smoking? Are there additional tenants than agreed upon at possession? Is the garage being used properly?
How often should we inspect your property?
A thorough inspection should be done at the move-in of the property by your tenant. Once the tenant moves-out, another inspection should be done to make sure your rental has only been subject to normal wear and tear. If the tenant has damaged your property, the move-out inspection will be used as evidence in court if the tenant contest the amount you deduct from their security deposit. Even if the tenant renews the lease and stays longer in your unit, you should conduct an annual periodic inspection to check on the condition of your property and make sure the tenant is abiding by the terms of your lease.
Why do a drive-by inspection?
You may receive complaints from neighbors, the city or the homeowner’s association if your property is located in one. A quick drive-by photos can confirm the exterior condition of your property and whether there are pets on the premises. It is also reassuring to see your investment property and decide if there are any exterior improvements that should be made.