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Rental Inspections and Maintenance: Ten Things to Look for and Ask

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Rental inspections and maintenance are crucial aspects of renting a property, ensuring the safety, comfort, and overall condition of your living space. Whether you're moving into a new rental or already residing in one, it's important to understand what to look for during inspections and what questions to ask your landlord or property manager. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of conducting rental inspections, identifying potential issues, and addressing maintenance concerns effectively.

  1. Pre-inspection preparation: Before the inspection, make a checklist of items to assess and questions to ask. Familiarize yourself with the rental agreement to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding maintenance. Take note of any existing damages or issues that should be addressed during the inspection.

  2. General inspection: Begin with a general inspection of the property. Check for signs of water damage, leaks, mold, or pest infestations. Inspect walls, ceilings, and floors for cracks, stains, or signs of deterioration. Test light switches, electrical outlets, and appliances to ensure they are functioning properly. Examine windows, doors, locks, and security systems for any issues.

  3. Plumbing and fixtures: Inspect all plumbing fixtures, including faucets, sinks, toilets, and showers. Check for leaks, water pressure problems, or any signs of water damage. Flush toilets, turn on faucets, and inspect for any unusual noises or malfunctions. Inquire about the maintenance history of the plumbing system and ask if there are any specific care instructions.

  4. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: Check the functionality of the heating and cooling systems. Adjust the thermostat to test if the HVAC system responds appropriately. Inquire about the maintenance schedule for the HVAC system, including filter replacements and professional servicing. Note any unusual odors or noises coming from the system.

  5. Safety features: Ensure that the rental property has adequate safety features. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to confirm they are in working order. Verify the presence of fire extinguishers and inquire about their maintenance and expiration dates. Check for proper functioning of any security systems, such as alarms or intercoms.

  6. Outdoor areas: If applicable, inspect any outdoor areas associated with the rental property. Check the condition of the yard, garden, or balcony. Inquire about maintenance responsibilities, including who is responsible for lawn care, snow removal, or general upkeep.

  7. Ask maintenance-related questions: During the inspection, ask specific questions related to maintenance and repairs. Inquire about the process for reporting maintenance issues, response times for repairs, and how emergencies are handled. Request information on the protocol for requesting and scheduling routine maintenance.

  8. Document and communicate: Take photos or videos of any existing damages or issues discovered during the inspection. Document the date and time of the inspection and maintain a record of all communication with the landlord or property manager. If any maintenance or repairs are agreed upon, ensure they are documented in writing for future reference.

  9. Follow up on maintenance concerns: If maintenance issues are identified during the inspection, promptly report them to the landlord or property manager following the designated procedure outlined in the rental agreement. Keep a record of your communication and follow up to ensure timely resolution of the issues.

  10. Regular maintenance responsibilities: Understand your responsibilities as a tenant for routine maintenance tasks. Inquire about any specific maintenance obligations, such as changing light bulbs, air filters, or regular cleaning tasks. Clarify the division of responsibilities between you and the landlord or property manager.

Rental inspections and maintenance play a vital role in ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment. By conducting thorough inspections, asking relevant questions, documenting issues, and following up on maintenance concerns, you can proactively address any issues and maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship. Stay informed about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and communicate effectively with your landlord or property manager to ensure a well-maintained rental property.


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