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Why do Maintenance Inspection Reports?

Most property insurance providers require regular maintenance inspection reports. Before your tenant signs the lease – talk to your insurance provider to ask how often maintenance inspection reports are necessary to maintain your policy.

If it’s once, twice, or three times a year, include maintenance inspection reports in an addendum to your lease and have your tenant sign/date it – provide tenants with a copy (of course). You can schedule maintenance inspection reports as needed and ensure you provide your tenant with 24 hours notice, work with suitable times and honor their days of worship/rest.

Even if bi-annual or quarterly maintenance inspection reports are not a requirement from your insurance provider, it’s still good practice to schedule two to three maintenance inspections a year for your peace of mind. Property maintenance inspection reports:

  1. Let your tenant know you are a landlord who cares about keeping tenants happy by maintaining the property at a high standard
  2. Allow you to touch base with your tenants to see if there are any maintenance issues that need to be dealt with (not all tenants will tell you about leaking sinks or running toilets)
  3. See how the tenants are taking care of your property
  4. Help you build a relationship with your tenants
  5. Help you spot any illegal activities or additional unregistered guests or pets

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To make tenants feel more comfortable from the onset, I’ve referred to property maintenance inspection reports as check in’s rather than inspections. The message I want to give tenants is that I am providing a well-maintained property for them to live in, I’m not spying on them. Remind them this is a requirement of your insurance provider, and to sweeten the visit – bring a Starbucks gift card or something small you know they’d like.

When my husband and I ran a property management business, we completed quite a few property maintenance inspection reports. Most times, our tenants were happy to see us and let us know if additional items needed repair.

As with all landlording, documenting  proof  of your visit is good practice and proves to your insurance provider that you have been doing your due diligence with regular maintenance.

I’ve got an editable property maintenance form you can access with my 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms 10 Essential Landlord Forms – Helping you achieve profits affordably (neldaschulte.com).

 During property maintenance inspection reports, check for these eight items:

  1. Dampness and mould – check windows, sinks, bathrooms, kitchens, toilets, and fans – which keep the air circulating and prevent moisture build-up
  2. Leaks – taps, pipes under the sinks, and any blockage for drains or toilets. Tenants don’t always know what they shouldn’t pour down the kitchen sink and may need a little education about what drains can/can’t handle. Plugged toilets are oftentimes caused by toddlers flushing their toys or hygiene products.
  3. General condition of fittings – on sinks, toilets
  4. Condition of yard – check basic maintenance is being done and no garbage or snow buildup is accumulating, on walks/driveways
  5. Garage – doors and lights function properly. Garage is free of garbage
  6. Smoke alarms and Co2 detectors are working
  7. Attics – crawl spaces –  not too many properties have accessible attics or crawl spaces – if they do, bring your flashlight and take a look
  8. Any illegal activity
  9. Additional occupants/pets not listed as tenants on the lease

Property maintenance inspection reports may take 20-30 minutes or longer and should be conducted once every several months for new tenants and once/twice a year for long-standing tenants. Maintenance inspections provide valuable property information, an update on the neighborhood, build rapport with your tenants and present you as a quality landlord who keeps your property in excellent condition.

How often do you do property maintenance inspections? I’d love to hear about it [email protected]

To take advantage of helpful tips, tools, and educational resources for DIY landlords, sign up for a membership for Landlord Fundamentals 101. To save even more time and money, combine Landlord Fundamentals 101 with one-on-one coaching to qualify for the Canada Alberta Job Grant.

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