Check WHILE They Rent

Check WHILE They Rent

Inspecting a tenant’s unit for damage, against-contract, or illegal possessions.

Inspections are an important duty to help protect your property. Usually you would have move-in and move-out checks to note damage that happened before and after a tenant’s lease. Also, landlords should conduct a yearly check of the building. It is important to watch out for any damages caused by tenants violating any regulations settled before moving in. Also, make sure tenants are upholding any agreed tenant-required maintenance clauses in the lease. Catching these things now prevents headaches when the tenant moves out or – worst-case scenario – calls for eviction.


Some of the things to look out when inspecting units include:

Potted plants: Potted plants’ potential spillage of water and soil onto a balcony deck can cause damage and make the unit harder to market to future tenants after the current one has moved out.

Illegal drugs and marijuana: Manufacturing of drugs can produce distinct odors and you will likely be able to identify right away through a unit-by-unit check if it is happening in your building. This along with tenant behavior in regards to utility spikes and reports of high traffic in and out of the unit can help decide whether an eviction notice is warranted. Even marijuana, while it is legal to possess and grow in the state of California, can be a breach of a lease prohibition that includes the smoking “of any substance” in the clause.

Pets: A tenant may be able to hide food and water bowls in cupboards. Pet hair from shedding, on the other hand, can be harder to hide. Pet odors can linger even if a tenant uses air freshening agents. Finding the presence of an animal may be reason enough to give notice on a no-pets establishment. Though, it can be hard to manage if there’s a number limit or if only certain pets are allowed. In this case, it is important to spot pet hairs or spikes in water use in their water bill. For further checks, it is good to listen to complaints from other tenants. In the case you come across a fish tank, not only do you face spikes in water usage, but also…

High damage to furniture: Allowing items like fish tanks, waterbeds, or any type of liquid furniture is up to the landlord, but can cause a lot of damage. This is especially true if the tank exceeds 10 gallons. The tenant should agree to cover the owner’s fees to all losses due to having such items. It is within your best interest to instead strictly ban them.

Any tenant can cause massive damage to your unit. A yearly routine check can help you find any issues and address them before things get too out of hand.

Check out our related article:

Understanding SB 326: California’s Balcony Bill and Inspection Laws

Ramil Doronio

Ramil Doronio is a content marketer by day and creative writer by night. His love of real estate and property management far exceeds his need for sleep. You can find him furiously typing on his laptop in between trips to…
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