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How to Conduct a Tenant Walk-Through Inspection

How to Conduct a Tenant Walk-Through Inspection

Walk-through inspections are a crucial part of the rental process. It serves as a detailed examination of the property’s condition before renting to a new tenant. This helps you determine whether a tenant has damaged your property beyond normal tear and wear during their occupancy. Moreover, it can help you establish a good relationship with your tenants.

Don’t know how to conduct a tenant walk-through inspection? Don’t worry, the experts at Real Property Management Talent have you covered! In this article, we’ll go over the key steps and considerations for conducting a thorough and effective walk-through inspection.

Preparing for the Inspection

An effective tenant walk-through inspection requires plenty of planning. Before you can conduct the inspection, you must do the following:

  • Schedule the Inspection in Advance – You must coordinate with the tenant to schedule the inspection at a mutually convenient time and date. Providing ample notice will help you avoid no-shows.
  • Gather Any Necessary Documentation – Make sure to have relevant documentation, including the signed lease agreement, any addendums, and the property condition report, on hand. 
  • Create a Checklist – A detailed inspection checklist will help you ensure that you don’t overlook anything during the inspection. Make sure to include every room in the property and its elements, as well as appliances and fixtures in your checklist.
  • Assemble Inspection Tools – Bring along tools such as a flashlight, a camera or smartphone for documentation, and even a notebook.

property inspector in a plaid shirt and hard hat

Initial Exterior Inspection

There are many different ways you can begin a tenant walk-through inspection when renting out your property. It’s best to start each inspection by assessing the exterior of the property. When doing so, make sure to do the following:

  • Check the Landscape and Curb Appeal – Begin by checking for any landscaping issues on the property, such as exterior lights not working, overgrown vegetation, dead plants, or damage to the lawn. Then, evaluate the overall curb appeal of the property.
  • Examine the Property’s Structure – Assess the exterior of the building for signs of damage such as cracks, peeling paint, or missing roof shingles. Additionally, you must inspect doors, windows, and their frames to ensure they work correctly and are properly sealed.
  • Assess Parking and Common Areas – If applicable, inspect any parking spaces and common areas. Ensure that any designated parking spaces are accessible, and common areas are well-maintained.

Interior Walk-Through Inspection

As you conduct the walk-through inspection, you must take notes and pictures of any issues you encounter. This will help you create a detailed report of the condition of the property. After thoroughly examining the property’s exterior, you can go ahead and examine the interior of the building. Here’s the best way to go about it:

a landlord and tenant conducting a walk-through inspection

  • Assess General Cleanliness – Upon entering the property, document any areas that require attention, such as stained carpets, dirty walls, or appliances needing a deep cleaning.
  • Check the Lighting and Electrical Systems – Test all light fixtures and electrical outlets to ensure they’re functional. Additionally, check for any exposed wiring or flickering lights, so you can address any potential safety hazards promptly.
  • Assess the Flooring and Walls  Inspect the flooring for signs of damage, stains, or wear and tear. Examine walls for cracks, holes, or peeling paint.
  • Examine HVAC Systems and All Appliances are Working – Test the heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems. Verify that the thermostat is functioning, and assess the overall air quality in different rooms. Examine all appliances provided with the rental, such as the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and in-unit washer/dryer.
  • Assess Plumbing and Water Fixtures – Inspect plumbing fixtures such as sinks, faucets, and toilets, to ensure there are no leaks or malfunctions. Run water in sinks and showers to ensure proper drainage, and check for any signs of water damage in the property.
  • Check Doors and Windows – Check the functionality of doors and windows from the inside. Ensure all doors and windows open and close smoothly, and keep an eye out for any drafts or damage to the frames.
  • Examine Safety Features  As you examine every room on the property, you should verify that all safety features are working correctly. This includes checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. 

home inspection checklist on a clipboard outside of a house

Post-Inspection Procedures

After conducting the walk-through inspection, you should:

  • Provide Tenants with a Copy of the Inspection Report – You should share a copy of the inspection report with tenants. This way, you’ll both have a reference point for the condition of the property at the beginning of the lease term.
  • Keep Open Lines of Communication – After the inspection, you should inform tenants of your findings and any next steps you’re taking. Encourage them to reach out to you with any concerns or issues that may arise, and make sure to address any questions they may have promptly.
  • Schedule Follow-up Inspections – After the walk-through examination, make sure to schedule follow-up inspections. This will help you monitor the progress of repairs and maintenance as well as ensure that tenants are taking good care of your property during their occupancy.
  • Discuss Responsibilities and Expectations – A walk-through inspection is the perfect opportunity to clarify tenants’ responsibilities regarding property maintenance. By establishing expectations for routine maintenance and prompt reporting of damages early on, you can ensure that your investment remains in good condition throughout the lease term.

Bottom Line

A well-executed tenant walk-through inspection is key to a good landlord-tenant relationship, as it promotes transparency, communication, and accountability. Moreover, a move-in inspection will help you keep track of the condition of your property during all stages of a tenancy. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a thorough examination of the property, establishing a foundation for a successful lease term.

Need help managing your property? Contact Real Property Management Talent! Our team can help you conduct thorough examinations before and after each tenancy to keep your investment protected.

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