Do you own rental properties in Miami, Florida?
As a property investor in Miami, one of your duties is inspecting your properties. That said, you need to find balance with this task. If you do it too often, you’ll risk annoying your tenants. If you do it to little, you’ll risk not spotting violations and damages early on. So, what is the proper number of times to perform inspections in your Miami, Florida property?
Before we discuss how often a property should be inspected, we need to know its purpose first.
Purpose of Property Inspections
Property inspections are essential to keep up with maintenance. For example, you want to check if the roof and gutters are well cleaned, especially in the autumn season. You want to avoid any blockage that would cause water damage. It would also be financially safe to regularly check the HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, Air Conditioning) since this makes a rental home habitable. Not to mention, the repairs are costly when they break down.
Property inspections are great to prevent any disastrous problems in your Miami, Florida rental unit. It also serves as a reminder for tenants to perform their rental maintenance duties as well. If there are no inspections, tenants may begin to neglect the unit.
Notice of Inspection
You must provide the tenant with a notice prior to the property inspection. This should adhere to the State law. Some require 48 hours’ notice while others only require 24 hours. Tenants are given the right to privacy so you can’t just barge in anytime you want. You need to secure the tenant’s permission first and arrange a suitable time. In the case of an emergency, it’s not necessary to give notice.
If a tenant refuses to have the unit inspected, you can’t enter forcefully as this can be considered harassment. If such a situation occurs in your Miami property, you can file for a court order.
Conditions for a Landlord Initiating a Property Inspections
1. Move In
The landlord can check the current state of the property and determine the condition prior to the residency of a renter. As a property owner, you should document the condition of the unit. This will make it easier to check if there are tenant damages after months of the tenant living there. Documenting can be done through photos and videos.
2. Move Out
Before a tenancy expires, the landlord can look at the current status of the property. This makes it easier to gauge any property damage and potential needed repairs. The expenses will be estimated so there will be a rough computation. Once the renter moves out, you can prepare the itemized list that enumerates the repairs done. Thus, it’s easy to compute for the security deposit refund.
3. Drive by Inspections
Some tenants can purposely violate the leasing agreement. They can hide the number of people staying in the rental home or the existence of a pet. Through a drive by inspection, you can check on the tenant from time to time and ensure they are following the terms of the lease agreement and maintaining the property well.
4. Routine Maintenance Inspections
Landlords can reduce their anxiety and ensure that the property is in good shape by performing regular checking. You can do the maintenance annually, seasonally or quarterly. For example, you might check the roof every season to check for water damage after autumn or winter. You can also check the rental unit’s foundation every year just to make sure that there are no problems, especially if a housing structure is old.
Common Issues Landlords Note During Inspections
- Is the rental space clean?
- Is there a brewing pest infestation?
- Is there damage to the furnishing?
- Is the landscaping well maintained? (Conditional depending on the lease agreement)
- Are the HVAC systems all working?
- What’s the condition of the flooring?
- Is the fire extinguisher expired?
- Is there any potential water leak/damage?
- Are the toilets and pipes running well?
- Are there signs of sticky windows and doors?
- Are the door locks and doorknobs working properly?
- Is the alarm system functioning?
Inspections can induce anxiety for tenants. As a landlord, you must conduct it in a professional manner. If you find any violations, it’s best to communicate with the renters and get their side of the story. This is why discussing about the inspection protocols during the signing of the leasing agreement is vital. Renters need to know the number of times you’ll inspect the Miami, Florida property.
Besides this, the Florida Law stipulates that your tenants have a right to be provided with a 12-hour notice for a property inspection. Respect this law and provide a minimum notice of this inspection period or even longer.
Once the property inspection is over, you can then meet with your tenant to discuss your findings. You can offer them tips on how to improve the maintenance of the unit, especially if you recorded damages caused by neglect. Be considerate and use a courteous tone. You can then send your tenants a written report of the inspection.
A tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment while staying in your rental property. Avoid conducting property inspections too frequently, and always send a notice prior to inspections.
Keep in mind that to retain your renters’ loyalty, you need to cultivate a strong relationship with them. The objective is for your tenants to be happy to see you instead of annoyed. While it’s important to build value of your rental home in Miami, Florida through consistent property inspections, be sure to keep it balanced. Make your inspection schedule is fairly reasonable. Tenants appreciate an excellent property maintenance plan as long as it doesn’t cause a violation of their privacy.
For more information, contact Income Realty Corporation.