So you’ve found a good deal on a rental property and now it’s time to have your tenants move in.
Well, hold up there just one minute!
It is important that before the tenant moves into the property you conduct a DIY (do it yourself) rental property inspection to make sure everything is as it should be. Also, so you can report any issues so they can be carefully examined and dealt with so that the house is habitable for your tenants.
Things To Check In A DIY Rental Property Inspection
1. Make An Assessment Of Cost
The first thing you must do after finding out the rental price of the property is to get an idea of what it will cost you in up-front capital expenditure (the sum total of all costs related to buying, selling, or repairing something).
If you are not the owner of the property, or if it is a trustee sale (where you can buy the property without revealing your identity), then this might be difficult to do. However, it is still very important that you get an idea of what it will cost because there could be hidden costs that may affect you later down the line.
2. Think Of What The Property is Worth To You
Many landlords choose to consider what it would be worth to buy a property rather than just thinking of the rental price initially.
However, this is not always a sensible thing to do because you must remember that your ultimate goal is to make money from the rental of the property and if you buy a property for more than it’s worth, then you are unlikely to make any profit.
Sometimes the rental price of a property can indicate to you whether or not its purchase is sensible. For example, if there are similar properties in the area that are renting for much less, then this might be an indication that something is wrong with the property you are considering buying.
3. Make Sure That The Property Adheres To All Local Zoning And Planning Regulations
Although the government allows you to register your property as mixed use (e.g. residential/commercial), it may not be sensible to do so, especially if you only intend to use a portion of the building yourself and rent out the other portion.
So it is important to understand what zoning regulations your property is subject to and how they affect its use, occupancy rates, etc.
4. Check The Property For Building And Health Codes Violations
It’s not uncommon for rental properties in some areas of the country to get away with violating certain building or health codes because they are allowed to do so (or because they don’t get inspected as frequently as they should be).
However, it is important that before you buy the property you check if there are any current violations and if so, what the status of them is.
5. Securing The Property With A Rental Or Guarantor Agreement
Before your tenants move into your rental property, it is advisable that you sign a rental agreement with them and have them sign one with you.
This ensures that there is an official record of your arrangement and makes it easier for you in the event of a disagreement or disagreement in the future.
If you cannot get your tenants to give you one, then at least try to get a guarantor for the rent. A guarantor is a person who agrees to pay the rent if your tenants don’t pay it themselves.
However, this person needs to be credit worthy, so you need to check their credit report and whether or not they have any debt that could affect their ability to meet financial obligations.
6. Checking The Property Out For Leaks
No matter what type of property you’re dealing with, it’s never a bad idea to give it a good going over for leaks.
Water damage can be very destructive and ruin many different types of building materials, depending on where the water originates from (e.g. roof vs plumbing). If you want to do this yourself, then you should check all the windows and doors for leaking seals and then inspect the ceiling for any water damage.
7. How The Electricals And Plumbing Systems Work In The Property
Inspect the plumbing system in the property to ensure that it’s in good working order (not clogged up), especially if you intend to use more water than usual (e.g. for laundry purposes).
You should also check the electrical system to ensure that everything works. For example, you should be able to turn on all the lights in each room and flip switches without any problems.
Also check if the property comes with additional appliances such as dishwashers, this will further reduce your cost of renovation.
8. How The Heating And Cooling Systems Work In The Property
If your tenants are likely to use heating and cooling systems, then you should ensure that they work before buying the property. If they don’t, then it might be a sign that there is an underlying issue with them. You can fix this problem yourself or get a professional in to do so for you.
9. Check For Covenants And Restrictions On The Property
If you’re buying your property, then you should check to see if there are any covenants and restrictions on the use of the building.
A covenant is a rule that restricts what you can and can’t do with the property (e.g. no pets).
A restriction is just like a covenant, but it’s usually used on condos, so it means that you can’t do something without the approval of all other owners (e.g. painting walls a certain color).
10. Check For Leaks And Problems In The Roof
If your roof sustains damage, then it can lead to water penetration and end up causing serious damage in the long run if not repaired properly.
So before buying the property, you should check the roof for any problems. You can do this yourself or get a professional to inspect it for you.
Just remember that even if there isn’t currently a problem with your roof, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be one in the future so it’s important to have a regular schedule of inspections put into place.
So, here are all the things you should check for before purchasing a rental property.
Remember, these are all things that you yourself should be able to do on your own, at least the first time around.
Also note that this is just a guide and not an exhaustive list of what needs to be checked during every purchase of a rental property.