Property owners always take a risk when choosing to rent a property to tenants. Even with proper tenant screening, the risk still stands, though it decreases with high screening standards. One way that property owners can protect themselves, and their rental properties, is by conducting routine property inspections. Inspections for Orlando “rent my house” properties should be completed a minimum of biannually, including when a tenant moves in or vacates. For property owners who live far away from rentals that they manage, Specialized Property Management Orlando, is here to help in more ways than one. In this article, investors will learn how often they can enter a rental property, how to gain proper entry access, documentation of the visit, and how to inspect while on the premises.
How Often Can I Inspect My Rental Property?
Florida law does not put a specific number on the number of times that a property owner can inspect a property within a certain time frame, but the State of Florida Legislature does acknowledge that it should be done reasonably and without the tenant feeling harassed by the landlord. A landlord may enter the premises at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. A property manager must also provide reasonable notice to the occupant and must enter at a reasonable time, specifically during the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The following reasons for an Orlando “rent my house” property inspection are permitted by the State of Florida:
- With the consent of the tenant
- In case of an emergency
- When the tenant unreasonably withholds consent
- If the tenant is absent from the premises for an extended period of time
- If the landlord believes that the tenant has abandoned the property
- To show the property to prospective tenants or buyers
- To make needed inspections or repairs
Prior to entering a property, a manager should provide a minimum of 12 hours notice, and the notice should be in writing and delivered to the tenant in person or posted on the front door.
Before a tenant moves into a property, a landlord or property manager should have conducted a thorough inspection during and after the turnover process of getting the home rent ready. Walls should be evenly painted and without holes or scratches. Flooring should be properly installed, cleaned, and appear to be in good condition without stains, damage, or tripping hazards. Orlando “rent my house” properties should be inspected for mildew and mold growth due to the elevated humidity levels. Weather and Climate state that the average humidity level of Orlando, Florida is 74%, with the most humid month being August and the least humid month being April. Cabinets and countertops should be free of damage and in proper working order. Inspect the property for pest infestations or signs of pests. This includes animal droppings and small holes or access points for rodents or critters. Test all appliances to see that they are in good operating order. Move-in property inspections for Orlando property management firms should also include toilet flushing, opening and closing windows and window coverings, and the testing of door locks and garage doors. After completing the lease agreement signing, landlords should provide the new tenants with a move-in inspection checklist. This checklist will allow the tenant to inspect the property in private and make notes of anything that they notice that is damaged or in need of repairs or maintenance. Generally, property management companies require that this list be returned to the property manager within two weeks of the move-in date.
Inspections During Occupancy at Orlando “Rent My House” Properties
At the time of the lease signing, inform tenants about routine property inspections to avoid catching them off guard or making them feel defensive. It will also help to ensure that your tenants will take good care of the property, knowing that you will be inspecting it. When inspecting an occupied rental property, the most important thing that a landlord can do is to gain proper entry access and document. Landlords must put the request to enter the premises in writing and deliver it to the tenants with no less than 12 hours notice, according to Florida law. However, Orlando property management firms prefer 48 hours, giving tenants time to plan and prepare daily routines and schedules. Reserve a copy of the entry notice for management files. On the entry notice, landlords must give a reason for needing to gain access. A common reason is to inspect and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be done every six months. While inspecting, testing, and changing the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, maintenance technicians and Orlando “rent my house” landlords should also inspect the condition of the property.
During the routine inspection, look for signs of overcrowding or unauthorized tenants. Look for signs of pest infestations, unauthorized pets, maintenance that has gone undetected or unreported, water damage, and safety hazards. See that the residents are in compliance with all lease agreement rules, including cleanliness standards and proper storage of items including barbeques and smokers. Document your findings during and after the inspection. Tenants should be contacted immediately if they are not in compliance with the lease agreement. Landlords may verbally tell them about the breach of the agreement, or may put the findings in writing and deliver a letter to the residents, while keeping a copy for property management files. In the letter to the tenants, there should be an exact date when the tenant must comply with the lease agreement. Inform them that the landlord or property management agent will be entering and inspecting on a specific date and time to see that the issue has been resolved inside the Orlando “rent my house” property. Prior to inspecting the property to see that the resident is now in compliance, post an entry notice with a reason for the entry. Documenting all findings during inspections of occupied rentals will prevent legal disputes, ensure lease compliance, and allow management to catch repairs at an early stage.
Move Out Inspections
Upon receiving written notice that a tenant will be vacating, property managers should acknowledge the notice to vacate, informing tenants of the specific move out date, how to return keys, a reminder to shut off utilities, a request for a forwarding address for the purposes of the security deposit disbursement, and a checklist of cleaning guidelines. On the acknowledgment, landlords can ask tenants if they would like to participate in a Preliminary Move Out Inspection. During this inspection, Orlando “rent my house” tenants can request that the landlord assess the condition of the property, while they are present or not. Preliminary Move Out Inspections benefit both the tenant and the property manager. Renters are able to hear and see first-hand the condition of the property in the eyes of the manager. This provides them with the opportunity to make repairs to holes in the walls, complete a touch-up paint, arrange for carpet cleaning, and learn exactly the condition that the manager expects the property to be returned. Preliminary inspections also benefit the property manager, giving them an inside look prior to moving out to assess the condition of the premises. Doing so gives them the upper hand in the turnover process, allowing them to schedule vendors based on findings during the inspection. Orlando “rent my house” landlords will know if flooring needs to be replaced, if the wall paint requires a touch-up or a full paint, the condition of the cabinets and counters, or any repairs or maintenance that is needed. Property managers can then schedule vendors early, ensuring they will get technicians into the property on the day that works best for the manager and owner. Every day that a property sits vacant is money out of the property owner’s pockets. It is imperative that managers and landlords work quickly and efficiently, scheduling vendors back to back, to get the property rent ready and back on the market. The following is a general checklist of items that managers should inspect upon move out:
- Change door locks, mailbox keys, and garage door codes
- Inspect flooring and check for stains, lifting, water damage, or tripping hazards
- Look at the condition of the walls and baseboards. Patch holes and paint over scratches. Remember to be careful about completing touch-up paint, as many touch up jobs will not match the entire wall. Often, an entire wall will need to be painted to look evenly toned.
- Orlando “rent my house” managers should test all appliances. Replace drip pans on the stove and filters on the range hood, air conditioner, and furnace.
- Test and inspect window coverings and locks. See that they operate properly to decrease liability.
- Open and close all cabinetry. See that the countertops are free of stains, cracks, and damage.
- Test all toilets, showers, and closet doors. Remove hair in the shower drain trap so that water will drain quickly and easily.
- See that all personal belongings have been removed from the property. If not, they should be removed at the cost of the tenant who left them behind and the amount should be deducted from the security deposit.
- Schedule professional cleaners.
Why You Need Specialized Property Management Orlando
Managing a rental property comes with a lot of jobs including maintenance, leasing, marketing, getting the property rent ready, property showings, property inspections, maintenance emergencies, tenant screening, lease signings, lease compliance, and so much more. Do not put your investment in jeopardy by trying to manage all of this on your own. Leave it to the Orlando “rent my house” professionals at Specialized Property Management Orlando. Request a quote by visiting this page, or call our specialized team at 407-682-3355.