How Often Should You Inspect Your Rental House?

Property Manager with HomePointe Property Management, CRMC 00691121

It is my opinion that you should have a plan and be open to changing it as facts present themselves.

Upon move in of a new tenant you should inspect the property and photopraph or video tape the interior, exterior, and yard, front and back.

During the tenancy the occupant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the home.  In California, there are limited reasons that an owner can enter the property for.  These include doing necessary and agreed upon repairs, appraisals and sales acitivity, and emergencies. 

I do suggest that you get into your property at least annually do see how the house is holding up.  Checking the roof, windows, bathrooms, drains, kitchen, smoke detectors, and getting into all rooms to check for leaks, should be included in your inspection. 

I would also use vendors during the course of the year that can give me feedback when they enter the property to do requested repairs.

Note that in the Sacramento region, local governments require annual inspections in most areas.  These must be documented and sometimes must include a government inspector's report. 

I would also want to get inside if something comes up that makes me think it would be wise to get inside.  A complaint of parties by a neighbor, evidence of an illegal pet, chronic late rent, or anything else that makes me suspicious. 

In sum, plan on getting in annually, but be ready to go in when you get that bad feeling.

Posted by

Robert A. Machado, CPM, MPM

HomePointe Property Management

Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, and Placer Counties

We manage residential and commercial property.

916-429-1205 x 105


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  1. Erin Newington 02/26/2010 06:26 AM
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Kevin Dunlap
Trident Investments Group - Las Vegas, NV

Long term rentals should be done annually.  Any shorter terms should always be done at move out and take pictures compared to the move-in pictures.  Then retake pictures after repairs are done prior to new tenant move-in and ensure you time/date stamp it.

Feb 25, 2010 06:40 PM #1
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


All great advice.  My handyman is a great support and always lets me know if he has any concerns.  To be fair, he'll share good things too, he just enjoys people.

All the best, Michelle

Feb 26, 2010 12:05 AM #2
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I have a short sale seller whose tenant just moved out and she has asked me to do the final inspection for her. I had to tell her that I am not authorized to do a final inspection, even though I have a real estate license, because I am not her property manager. These things are best left to the professionals. I'll go walk through it, but I'm not certifying anything.

Feb 27, 2010 02:27 AM #3
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Elizabeth,  There is really nothing to certify.  The owner is responsible to inspect and compare the condition at move out to the condition at move in.  This is done in order to make the desposit refund determination.  The owner needs both ends documented or they better refund the deposit with no repair deductions.  Of course, if the tenant owes rent that could be deducted.

Feb 27, 2010 04:37 PM #4
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Robert Machado

CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management
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