A good time to inspect an individual rental unit is the sooner of once a year or whenever a tenant moves out, whichever comes first. This inspection should include checking:
- smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors – ensure there are fresh, new batteries in all fixtures,
- appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, to ensure they are operating properly and/or not leaking, and
- doorknobs, light fixtures, handrails, doorstops, etc. to ensure everything is operating and properly fixed,
- carpeting – note any damaged or loose carpet that needs to be replaced/repaired.
In addition, regular inspections should be applied to the building structure and the surrounding grounds to ensure:
- Common areas, such as a laundry room, are cleaned regularly
- Lawns are being mowed and trimmed regularly in the summer, and sidewalks/walkways are being cleared regularly in the winter,
- Issues such as paint repairs, missing roof shingles, and sealing damage around doors or windows are repaired timely,
- Furnaces, plumbing, electrical systems, and rain gutters are all working properly.
Dealing with maintenance issues timely keeps the property maintenance cost down overall. As an out-of-state property owner, you should consider making regular trips to view your property or installing a security camera system than can help you ensure that your property is being properly maintained.