Interim Inspections in The COVID Age

Interim Inspections in The COVID Age

You’ve found the perfect tenant, collected their security deposit, performed the move-in inspection and wave to them as you walk out the door “See you in a (insert length of lease term here)!”. Wouldn’t that be nice?? I mean, you may operate like this, but the benefits of conducting interim inspections at least once or twice during a tenancy far outweigh the risks of not conducting any at all.

Interim inspections on your rental property are an integral step in effectively managing your property. Not only do they help you to stay informed on the condition of your property, but they encourage open communication and indicate to the tenant that you care about their comfort and well-being, not just your investment.

But how do we go about this whilst still complying with AHS directives in the current COVID age? The answer – electronic inspections. Some may argue that the accuracy of an electronic inspection, conducted by the tenant, may be compromised because the tenant could be trying to hide something (yes, I see your unauthorized cat in the reflection of that mirror). But the same could still be said when physically visiting the property. There is nothing stopping the tenant from tucking away all of their contraband in a closet or under the bed prior to your arrival. 

It’s in the tenant’s best interest to report back honestly and accurately as we’re sure they’d rather have that leak in their basement addressed than turn into a full-on remediation project during their tenancy. The tenants are also in the best position to report deficiencies as they have become most familiar with the inner workings of the property over the course of their occupancy. 

Having the tenant perform their own interim inspection electronically isn’t without any sort of human interaction. Give them a call, explain the process (usually sent out as a link to an app), and while you have them on the line ask if there are any outstanding maintenance issues that you can expect they will be reporting. As a property manager, this extra heads up can save time in the long run as it will provide the opportunity to preemptively request specific details/photos from the tenant before they do their inspection. Most inspection apps are set up so that the owner or manager can review the inspection before it is finalized, thus providing another opportunity to request additional photos or further clarification. 

The final report of the electronic inspection is tidy and comprehensive. No more scrolling through the 100+ auto-labeled photos from your camera to find that specific one showing the cracked bathroom tiles. Your photos now will be organized by room, then even further, into the different elements of each room, each with a comment section to directly correlate.

Will this replace the need for the physical inspection entirely? No. But the tenant driven electronic inspection is still going to have a place, even when we come out the other end of this COVID-19 pandemic. Their efficacy and efficiency have been proven, and as we look to advance the property management industry, we’re only going to see the technology improve and become more and more commonplace.

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