When buying an investment property, a professional home inspection is absolutely necessary. Aside from home inspection prior to buying the property, regular inspections after moving in are equally important.
Regularly inspecting your investment property will help highlight most issues before it becomes expensive. Doing so will help save you money, and you’ll also be able to:
- Ensure that your tenants are complying with lease terms.
Regular inspections may help you check if your tenant is violating any terms of the lease. You will be able to check for such things as unapproved alterations to the property, criminal activities or unapproved roommates.
2. Identify needed maintenance and repairs.
Regular inspections can help identify needed maintenance and repairs. Without an inspection, minor repairs can escalate to major issues over time. What could have cost you a few dollars could end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
3. Preserve your investment property’s value.
Without routine inspections, your property could lose immense value. A bad tenant could trash your unit and you would need to spend lots of money on repairs to bring it back to the rent-ready state. We’ve all heard of the horror stories landlords tell after they do the final walkthrough inspection.
4.Improve the landlord-tenant relationship.
A healthy relationship between you and your tenant is necessary for the success of your business. Regular inspections help improve the living quality of your tenants. Such tenants are likely to rent longer, leading to a record-low vacancy.
Things that You Need to Look for During Regular Inspections
Inside the House
The following items should be in your inspection checklist when checking inside your investment property:
- Safety alarms
Check the operation of the electric fence, intercom and burglar alarms.
When necessary, check and clean appliances such as stove hobs and smoke extractors.
3. Sewerage and drains
- Check for bad odor around drain pipes, rodding eyes, and manholes.
- Lift any inspection manhole covers to look for root encroachment into the sewer system.
- Turn on the hot and cold water at the sink and basins and look underneath for leaks when the water is running.
- Flush the toilets and check for leaks.
- All pipes should be dry. Rust and discoloration are signs of a water leak.
Check for cracked and lifting floor tiles and damp smells in the flooring.
6. Hot water geyser
Check for water collecting in the drip tray and any broken or missing overflow pipes.
7. Roof cavity
- Check for water stains on the roof timbers, which are signs of a water leak.
- Look out for other visible damage to the roof structure.
8. Interior paint
- Wall surfaces should be clean and smooth.
- Blistered paint may indicate damp. In this case, try and find the source.
Interior staircases and balustrades should feel solid under your feet and in your hands. Look underneath staircases for wood rot and damage.
Check the distribution board, and switch and plug covers for signs of rust which indicates the water is getting into the panel. Also, remember to check sub DB boards at the pool or in the garage.
Damaged grout and cracked tiles are entry points for water getting into the walls. Feel for loose tiles around a bath, shower, basin or sink.
12. Kitchen splashbacks and counter
Look for open space between the tiles and the counter near the sink. This could allow water to drip behind the cupboards or sink.
13. Walls and ceilings
Dark blackish stains can mean mold from poor ventilation. Brown marks indicate a water leak from a broken pipe or a problem with a roof.
Outside the House
The following are items you should look at while you are outside the house:
- Pool, decking, and paving
These areas require regular maintenance and it’s important to inspect above and below the surface. Inspect for signs of ant and termite damage. Look for loose and broken boards and lifting paving.
2. Driveways and garage
Check the paving. If you have an automatic driveway gate, or garage door use your hand to do a force test and to ensure that the safety auto reverse is working.
3. Windows and doors
Look for rotted seals around the frames. Poor sealing around window and door frames, and around glass panes are some of the major causes of water damage.
4. Walls and foundations
Check for cracks which can be either a sign or minor settlement, or something more serious.
Check for peeling paint, which can be a sign or moisture penetration.
6. Gutters and downpipes
Check for sagging gutters, blocked gutters, and damaged joints. These problem areas often allow water to run down walls and into the foundation, and this can cause major damage.
7. Chimneys and pipe penetrations
Look for anything that might be blocking the chimney opening. Inspect the bricks and mortar around the chimney – especially the crown (top) and the base of penetration.
The goal of a home inspection is to locate trouble spots early on. If you are unable to keep up with the regular inspection schedule, please consider hiring a professional property management company.