A Tenants Guide for Preparing for An Inspection of Your Rental
Rental Inspections can stress out a first timer easily. Many first time tenants are uncertain about their expectations from rental inspections. 35% of residents in the US live in rented property and go through a rental inspection. If you are a first timer, this quick guide will prepare you for your first rental inspection. If you have already had rental inspections in the past and another is almost due, then here is a refresher for you.
1. Leave your pets at a friend’s place
Pets have a natural instinct and aversion to strangers. Your beloved and cherished pet will get very anxious and nervous. They only identify with you or people who come to the house on a regular basis. They will hiss, bark and growl at the sight and presence of new people in the house. It may well disrupt the whole rental inspection process and add to your worries. The pet doesn’t know why strange people are roaming in the house and that makes them uncomfortable. It may recognize the landlord if they come by often but that’s about it. Others will likely worry your furry friend.
If you have a close friend or family member who can look after your pet till the inspection is done, that would be the ideal solution. The pet will be with someone they probably see and are familiar with and that will help calm them down. As an added bonus: you will have one less distraction to worry about during the rental inspection process.
2. Make an effort to leave the place spotless
You just found the perfect home that you can have for the rent that you pay. You have been living there for a while now. You’re happy and the landlord is comfortable with you and vice versa. You don’t want to lose this place to someone else because of one little inspection. One of the many steps you can take to stay on in the rented house is to do a short but efficient cleanup from your side. A house with dirty windows, mildew on tiles, carpet stains and other small, messy details give a bad impression to the agent and landlord. They may feel that you are least bothered to clean up after yourself and may contemplate keeping you on as a tenant. Don’t worry; there is a simple solution for this.
To give a good impression, put a little bit of effort into cleaning up the place by scrubbing the carpet where you may have spilled wine or beer, cleaning windows and tiles etc. If your daily activities harmed the property such as your kids drawing on the walls or furniture rearrangement causing minor scratches, clean those up before the agent and landlord come for the inspection.
3. Highlight problem areas that need to be fixed by the landlord
You don’t have to take all of the blame for the property issues; after all, it’s not completely yours. Any structural damage to the apartment building or house— like a constantly leaking shower hose, toilet, or a loose fitting bulb socket that blows any bulb you put in—should be bought to the attention of the landlord and the agent so that it is fixed. You have this one golden opportunity to highlight these nagging problems so they are fixed for you and other tenants (who come after you, hopefully in the distant future). Maintenance issues once bought to the attention of the landlord and agents can be fixed and if they are not, the landlord could potentially have a lawsuit on their hands.
But be careful and make sure that the problem is not your fault. If the landlord or the agent finds out that the problem is your fault, you will have to get it fixed. For example, the kitchen waste disposal unit is not effective and you bring it to the attention of the landlord and/or agent. If during a rental inspection, they find the cause and it was due to your negligence they’d presume it’s your fault and you’d have to pay for the replacement.
4. Don't let your green thumb go grey
If you have a garden near the entrance or near the front porch, make sure it is in good shape. There are marks for curb appeal. Landlords have added the garden as an attractive feature to the house, so they expect the tenant to maintain it. After all, you as a tenant selected the house with a garden for the reason that it looked attractive or maybe you had a green thumb. So don’t let that garden dry up and maintain it by trimming the hedges and watering the plants and flowers, making it look fresh for the final rental inspection day.
5. Be like that Consistent Tortoise
We’ve all heard the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare runs furiously, gets tired and decides to take a nap. Meanwhile the tortoise keeps persevering and makes it through to the end, winning the race. Be the tortoise when it comes to prepping for the rental inspection. Many landlords give about a week’s notice period to your before a rental inspection although the notice period under the law is much lesser.
Make the most of that week. Schedule days to complete the specific repair and cleanup tasks described above. Clean the bathrooms one day, the kitchen tiles the next and the windows and carpets in the days that follow. That way you would be prepared when that fateful inspection day arrives.
6. Keep yourself calm and composed
The rental inspection is not designed so that greedy and ruthless landlords and accompanying agents will have an excuse to throw you out of your house. The truth is far from it: they need to make sure that the house is in a good condition for you and there are no small problems in the house that can cause bigger problems down the road. A rental inspection is for your safety and that of the house. Just prepare and clean as best you can and relax. Then let the agent carry out the inspection.
Need more information and tips on rental inspections? Contact Aquarius Property Management.