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NINE TIPS WHEN YOU VISIT YOUR RENTAL | By: Fellow GDREIA Members

NINE TIPS WHEN YOU VISIT YOUR RENTAL
 Jeffrey Taylor editor@mrlandlord.com

A landlord is about to make their first interior visit to their rental property with this set of renters. The landlord wants to know, what is the goal of the visit? Is the goal just do a visual check that nothing is falling apart, to verify that there are no unauthorized animals, a meth lab, or anything else that should not be there?
 
Here's 9 tips from fellow landlords, including what to look for and/or bring with you. Start with sending a short note to send leading up to the visit.
 
  1. Send a friendly letter/email that reads something similar to:  "Dear Bob Smith, I'm Mike, the new manager. It's time for our quarterly/semi-annual/annual maintenance check up. We want your home to work well for you! I'll come by on ________ at ___ PM. Please be present or have a friend or family member available to allow access at that time. If this time doesn't work, please contact me no less than 24 hours prior to the appointment to reschedule. Thanks, Mike the Manager."
 
  1. The "official" reason to do an inside inspection is to change furnace filters and check for leaks, which I do. The side benefit is to find the unauthorized boyfriend/girlfriend/pets and to assess damages. If there are any unauthorized guests, before you simply allow them to stay, be sure to run at least an eviction and criminal check on them.
 
  1. Check the "wet" spots. Bring a flashlight to look under sinks, around the tub, in the laundry room, or by the water heater. Water can cause massive damage, and often residents fail to notice or report it. 
 
  1. While you're there, check to see if the walls are painted black or if there are any other alterations to the premises. Bring a camera or your smart phone to take pictures.
 
  1. Check your furnace/AC unit. Check the furnace filter (bring some filters to install if needed).
 
  1. Check the smoke alarms (and bring batteries with you).
 
  1. Ask for access to every room to see if the residents are hoarding anything.
 
  1. Check for pets or "stray" animals. Smell or look for litter boxes/food/water bowls.
 
  1. Bring a house-warming gift! Happy Sleuthing!

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