If you’re a landlord aiming to keep your Denver unit in an excellent state, we recommend running routine walkthrough inspections with your tenants prior to the day of moving in. Initial property walkthroughs can motivate the residents to observe proper upkeep of the rental space.
Both parties can benefit through protection since you already have a general knowledge of the condition of the property. Often, fewer damages are left behind as a result of conducting an initial walkthrough.
Here are tips to accomplish a proper walkthrough in your Denver rental.
1. Draft a form
It’s beneficial for landlords to prepare a form outlining all the areas of the property. This method helps them to jot down descriptions of the condition of certain areas, items, or furnishings. You can find plenty of online templates of the form but it’s easy to design one.
Make a list of each room, and write down all the details surrounding it. For example, you’re focused on the bedroom. Under the category, you must create sub-labels, such as door, window, floor, appliances, and air conditioner if it’s available.
Create extra space right next to these sub-labels, so you can note down your observation. If repairs are needed, you can write some cost estimates. If it requires additional maintenance, you can also place an approximate cleaning fee.
To make the document official, the form must have extra spaces for both tenant and landlord to affix their signatures. Once the tenant walkthrough inspection is over, ensure that both parties sign and date the form. It’s also recommended to hand a copy to the renter.
2. Visit the rental space together
Before the tenants move their things into your rental, a walkthrough inspection must be scheduled first. The purpose of doing a joint walkthrough is to ensure that both parties agree on how the unit appears as they closely evaluate each room. This strategy lowers future disputes since both have established the condition of the rental unit and gained a first-hand look.
It also sends a clear message to how you expect the property to be treated by the tenants. While doing the walkthrough with the renter, you can discuss damages that are categorized as normal wear and tear versus damages resulting from abuse or neglect.
You can also communicate the level of cleanliness you expect from your Denver unit. Walkthroughs before the move-in day are required to be attended by the renters. But walkthroughs performed at the end of tenancy won’t need the presence of the renters, since most property issues that require repairs and replacement are over at this point.
3. Avoid overcomplicating the process
Simplify the walkthrough inspection process. If you focus on every tiny detail, you can end up discouraging the renters. They might lose their excitement and get nervous that you’ll expect them to leave your Denver rental unit unscathed like no one ever lived in it.
Remember that perfect homes don’t exist and small bumps here and there are perfectly acceptable. If you over document, you can also consume a lot of time. Your walkthrough inspections should be over in 20 minutes or less.
4. Include images and videos when documenting
Capturing details through a digital camera is advisable since it’s hard to dispute damage when presented with visual proof. Take a general shot of the whole room, then move closer for close-up shots.
It’s also helpful to use the date stamping feature to specify the time. Store a digital copy in case the pictures go missing. You can also opt to take videos for a faster capture. This will help the tenant return the property to it’s condition during end of tenancy cleaning.
5. Perform independent property checks prior to the arrival of the renters
You need to conduct an intensive property inspection to ensure all the systems are functional. Surface checks can miss a lot of details. It’s good practice to perform tests. You should switch on the air conditioning and heating systems, flush the toilet, and turn on the faucets.
Learning if your Denver rental space needs repairs from the outset protects your landlord-tenant relationship. If you present a rental unit in an outstanding state, the tenants will trust you more. You’ll make them feel you can be relied upon to provide a habitable living space.
Be detailed and include opening and closing the windows and doors, even if you generally assume they should be working well. This reduces complaints when you’re just starting to build rapport with the renters.
Establish the condition of the rental space, furnishings, and furniture, so disputes over repair costs can be avoided later on.
6. Offer your renters a grace period to uncover potential issues
Leave a few days for renters to discover if property concerns exist. A reasonable period is three days. It’s possible to overlook things and sometimes, issues really do appear when a tenant is fully residing in the rental unit.
Ensure you document the valid damage presented by the renter. From here on, you’ll know where the damage lies.
Giving a grace period also brings peace of mind to the renters, knowing they won’t be held liable to pay for undetected hidden damage when they have recently just moved into your Denver rental home.
7. Be aware of your state’s landlord-tenant laws
When renting your home, you should be familiar with the regulations governing security deposits, tenants’ rights and responsibilities, and landlords’ rights and responsibilities, including evictions and breaking of leases.
It’s vital to learn what you can deduct from the security deposits and what renters must pay when they cause the damage. You’ll also know the maximum security deposit amount to ask from the renter, and what cannot be refunded to them. Otherwise, you can risk facing a lawsuit filed by a renter against you.
Another great strategy to protect your rental business is hiring a trusted property management company to handle the finer details of running your Denver rental unit. Contact Keyrenter Denver today for your property management needs! We are well-versed with state laws and very efficient at carrying out detailed and consistent walkthrough inspections.