A property management director shared his tips on how to conduct thorough and accurate ingoing and routine inspections every time.
Rick Pignetti, director of True Property, told RPM ingoing inspections should be detailed to help protect the landlord and tenant, while starting the tenancy on the right foot.
Mr Pignetti said property managers should also ensure that, when an ingoing inspection report is returned to the agency, they check any issues the tenant has highlighted.
“If there are notes that have been noted by the tenant and not the agent, we will go back out there and agree whether that note is correct or not,” he said.
According to Mr Pignetti, his agency gives each tenant a USB stick that includes about 200 photos from the ingoing inspection, to ensure all bases are covered and that there is no need to physically print the photos.
“We get to provide all the photos to the tenant, so we’re not second-guessing ourselves and we’re not taking any shortcuts, since everything that we’ve seen, the tenant is going to see as well.”
There is no set amount of time property managers should spend on a routine inspection, however Mr Pignetti said he usually spends half an hour to 45 minutes on each property.
“Upon a vacate inspection, if it’s extremely neat and tidy and there are no concerns, sometimes we will conduct our ingoing inspection at the same time.”
When photographing a property for an ingoing inspection, Mr Pignetti said property managers should focus primarily on the bathrooms and kitchens, since items like appliances are the most expensive to replace.
“In a kitchen or bathroom, I might have about 20 to 25 photos because you have to show, for example, that the stovetop is clean, and then a second photo with all the knobs on to show that there’s power to it,” he said.
“With a normal bedroom, you’re probably looking at 10 to 15 photos as a bare minimum.”
As for routine inspections, Mr Pignetti said photos should generally be wide-angled to show the condition of the rooms, and the report should only contain close-up photos to highlight necessary repairs or issues.
“If I do have access to an owner on Skype and I feel that [the property is] going to really look good, I’ll also take some video, upload it to an online channel and send them the link, because video tours give a really good visual for owners.”
According to Mr Pignetti, routine inspections are generally conducted twice a year, with the first one occurring within the first three months of the tenancy, to let the tenant get settled and put the owner’s mind at ease.
“Generally, we find that landlords will give us their notes on whether they want another inspection done in three, six or 12 months,” he said.
“For us, we’re in the service industry, so we want to make sure that we listen to our clients and follow their instructions.”
[Related: PM coach shares tips on final vacate]