When you’re renting out a property in St. Louis, you’ll have to expect municipal inspections and building inspections to ensure everything is up to code, safe, and habitable. Equally important is the periodic rental property walk-through which we recommend you conduct twice a year. It gives owners peace of mind that their investment property is being taken care of.
You’ll want to do the first walk-through six months after a resident has been placed in the property. But this should not be the last of the inspections. It is recommended that you continue doing walk-throughs every six months throughout the resident’s tenancy. While the resident does not have to be present, we like them to be there so there’s a mutual understanding of the property’s condition at move-in.
There are some specific things to look for when you’re inside the property.
Maintenance Issues are a Priority
The main reason to conduct a walk-through is to look for any deferred or unreported maintenance. To adequately protect your investment, you want to take care of routine maintenance issues right away. Sometimes residents neglect to report issues that they believe are minor.
Inside the property, look for leaks, check the walls, ceilings, counters, and make sure the appliances are running well. Remember to check the exterior spaces too. Make note of the condition of the rental property so you can document any work that needs to be done and schedule your vendors as quickly as possible.
The walk through is a good time to note any future preventative maintenance needs before they become emergency repairs.
Checking for Lease Violations
Another main reason for the walk-through is to look for lease violations. You likely did a lot of background checking when you screened your resident, so you’re comfortable with the resident you decided to put in place. But, you never know what people are going to try to get away with. If a pet wasn’t approved during the application process but you notice signs of a dog or cat, you’ll want to investigate that with your residents. Look for evidence of smoking or additional residents or other lease violations.
Take a look at the condition of carpet and flooring. If there’s any damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear, this is the time to document it. You’ll want to hold the resident accountable for those issues, and you’ll need pictures and notes to prove that something changed due to abuse or neglect or misuse since the resident took possession.
Documentation and Inspection Reports
Document every walk-through with plenty of pictures, and make recommendations about any work that may need to be done.
It’s important to conduct these walk-throughs while respecting your resident’s privacy and right to quiet enjoyment of their St. Louis rental property. The resident’s lease agreement includes the possible performance of a walk-through. Our staff also notifies residents prior to a walk-through with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice so there are no surprises.