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    As a landlord, you might come across a legitimate dilemma. How often can a landlord inspect a property without being too intrusive? There is a difference between justified checkups and nosy inspections. It also depends on the type of rental property you are in charge of, and of course, the tenants. Also, sometimes more frequent visits are not that inconvenient – for instance, in rentals where people stay only for a few months. For all of these reasons, we are going to discuss how to approach property inspections. In fact, aside from landlords, even San Diego┬áhome renters might find the following tips helpful.

    Consider the purpose of the rental inspection

    One way to assess whether you should do a rental inspection is to decide what its purpose is. You can announce it to your tenants if you find it makes sense to do so. Sometimes a property checkup might disturb the tenant’s plans, which is why it may be better to inform them.

    It is a sound strategy to try to build a good working relationship with your tenants. For instance, if the tenants pay their rent without significant delays and intend to stay in the rental for a more extended period, it makes sense to ease up on the inspections. Otherwise, announce them when you think they are needed.

    Inspections for assessing the condition of the property

    This is especially true when it comes to property inspections which serve to assess the condition of the property investment. Or in other words, if there are any damages to or (intentional or unintentional) mishandling of appliances, the sewage and piping systems, the HVAC system, etc. These inspections sometimes include pest and mold control inspections as well. You can do these large-scale inspections once or twice a year.

    Inspections for assessing the safety of the property

    Property inspections are also a precondition for claiming that the accommodation is safe to live in. So, explain to the tenants before they move in what the purpose of the inspection is. It is in their interest that everything functions well in the home, and for everything to function properly, you need regular maintenance and regular inspections.

    The word quality in the foreground and an illustration of a man holding a magnifying glass in the background.
    Property inspections are important for maintaining the safety of appliances and large home systems.

    The last thing you would want to happen is to compromise the health and well-being of your tenants. In that sense, it is OK if you inspect a property at least once a year (preferably every 8 months).

    These seasonal or quarterly property inspections will enable you to vouch for the safety of the rental. However, this time frame is only an approximation – keep in mind that different state regulations apply for different types of inspections. Contact your local municipality for more information before you conduct a property inspection.

    Move-in and move-out inspections

    Tenants might move out frequently or suddenly from your property. You probably want to see if everything is in order before the new tenant moves in.

    For this reason, it is advisable that you inspect a property before the current tenant moves out for good. If something is damaged or missing, you might need to paint, fix, or bring in new furniture to the rental.

    However, you might also want to conduct move-in inspections. Sometimes it happens that the property gets damaged when inexperienced moving crews bring the furniture into your San Diego rental.

    A property inspector cleaning and fixing a sink, which is a standard procedure when you inspect a property,
    You need to check and clean the property before new tenants arrive.

    Yet, some landlords who rent out a property do not have the time to conduct move-in-move-out property inspections as frequently as it might be necessary. One way to solve this is to hire a property manager who will be able to do this instead of you. Of course, what property managers do includes many other services related to inspections, rent collection, and other business with tenants.

    Professionalism is crucial when it comes to being a landlord

    No matter how long or well you know your tenants, you still have to keep certain boundaries. Hence, it is essential to treat your tenants with the utmost professionalism, particularly when announcing a property inspection. Be sure to notify the tenants about frequencies and times of day when they can agree to an inspection before they sign the lease.

    Signing a contract after you inspect a property..
    As a landlord, you have to inform the tenant about how often a landlord can inspect a property.

    When and how often can a landlord inspect a property?

    To summarize, a landlord or a property manager has the right to conduct routine inspections at least once a year. However, these inspections have to be announced more than 48 hours in advance. This means that the law prohibits the landlord from entering the rental property unless allowed by the state. This applies only to emergencies and prolonged tenant absences. In these cases, the landlord is issued a special emergency ‘warrant’, if you will.

    This allows the landlord or property manager to enter the property without announcement or the tenant’s approval. Furthermore, maintenance or repairs that the tenant requested are also an exception. In this case, you have the right to unlock the doors without specifically announcing the arrival of the property manager.

    If your tenant assesses an unlawful breach of the terms and regulations in the lease agreement, they have the right to speak to the housing authorities and ask for legal counsel. However, the tenant does not have the right to change the locks or prevent you from entering the property in any other way. Still, make sure that you announce the property inspection in due time.

    All in all, we hope this short article provides all that you wanted to know about why, when, and how often can a landlord inspect a property.