Noel Pulanco with Phoenix Property Management talks about the three types of walk-through assessments that HomeQwik completes on a regular basis.
Protecting your owners and tenants as a Phoenix Property Manager is one of your greatest responsibilities. When a tenant moves out of one of your owners houses, there is often great conflict over what money is owed by who. HomeQwik Phoenix Property Management takes extensive steps to ensure a seamless transition from one renter to the next by using multiple video assessments at every property.
Today Noel Pulanco sits down and details each type of assessment that we recommend every Phoenix Property Manager does for their clients.
Hi Noel Pulanco here again with HomeQwik Property Management. Our topic today for our blog entry is discussing inspections and why we do them. Here at HomeQwik, we believe that there’s really two types of inspections that you do. We do an inspection while the property is occupied; check up on the tenant, see how things are going. We also do a move out inspection when the tenant leaves. So we’ll take a couple minutes and discuss both of those with you today.
Inspection While the Home is Occupied
First we’ll discuss what we call our Preventative Maintenance Walk-Through inspection. This is an inspection we do while the tenant is still occupying the property. It’s really a status check to see how the property is looking, how well they’re taking care of it, and more importantly, are there any maintenance issues that they either haven’t reported or that they might not even know about. I know from personal experience that a small drip underneath my dishwasher that the tenant didn’t report ended up costing me a whole new wood floor in the kitchen. So catching minor issues like that can really help protect your asset long term.
There also may be stuff that the tenant is not doing that we want to be aware of like changing the air filters, keeping the windows and blinds clean making sure they’re not deteriorating too fast, cleaning the carpets semi-regularly: once or twice a year, especially if you’ve got a long term tenant, it can really help your carpet last longer.
We want to know what to expect when they move out; how dirty it’s going to be; how good it’s going to look. There could be other stuff too: Is the trim on the roof due for a paint job? It only lasts so long here in the Arizona sun. Is there any evidence of termite damage that tenant hasn’t reported or doesn’t even know about. There’s a lot of stuff that we can take a look at to see if we need to take action while they’re in there. If we wait two or three years to check out a house just because we’ve had a good paying tenant with no major issues, it’s really a mystery as to what kind of condition your house could be in when you get it back.
We strongly suggest that at some point during the tenancy you do an inspection. We don’t want to bother the tenants too much, at this time we’re only doing these every six months. If you can get in and do it every six months, that’s fine, but you really want to be careful that you’re not bothering a good tenant that’s been paying on time and isn’t having any issues.
Pre Move In and Move Out Inspections
Ok, so the other kind of inspection is actually split into two parts. We like to do an initial move in video that shows the condition of a home prior to someone taking possession. More important that than that is the move out inspection. We call it a Move Out Assessment. This is where we’re going to go in and really document everything that’s wrong with the house and make a great effort at assessing who is responsible for any damage. In Arizona, normal wear and tear is expected. You can’t charge a tenant for normal wear and tear. We want to make sure we’re documenting anything that’s past that.
We mentioned the air filter in the Preventative Maintenance Walk-Through; if they have never changed the air filter and you can tell, that’s probably caused quite a bit of damage to your A/C unit and it’s possible you could hold the tenant liable. Extra dirty, chipped up paint, tons of nail holes in the walls, carpet that’s never been touched, tile that’s never been cleaned, swept or mopped. The tenant can be held accountable for that kind of stuff. The tenant is responsible for keeping your property clean.
So this is your chance to really document, and you have to be really clear on what you’re charging the tenant and the owner. We mentioned trim on the outside of the house, it’s not the tenants responsibility to keep the outside of the house painted, it’s the owners. That’s something we look at on the Move Out Assessment as well and determine if it’s something that’s going to protect your asset going forward or again, something that needs to be charged back to the tenant.
It’s really crucial to do these. At least to have an idea, something documented before your tenant moves in. We prefer a move in video. Then obviously really crucial to have that Move Out Assessment and document that information. The last thing you want to do is get into a dispute with the tenant after they move out: discussing the security deposit; who pays for what? It’s a really uncomfortable fight to be in, but unfortunately we see them a lot. Many tenants don’t understand what their responsibility is at the end. But again in these cases we work for the owner and not the tenant. We always want to be fair so documenting with video, especially with the technology we have now, there’s just no excuse not to do a really good job on your assessments.
For more information on this, if you have any other questions about property management, or if you want to know how to invest in Arizona real estate, please give us a call any time.