Top 20 BIGGEST Mistakes PM’s Make at Routine Inspections (Part Two)

Top 20 BIGGEST Mistakes PM’s Make at Routine Inspections (Part Two)

 

Continuing from Part One, here are ten more of the biggest mistakes that property managers commit during routine inspections.

#11- Booking in too many inspections.

There’s nothing like placing a 2 or 3 hour time block just for inspections and you’ve fitted too many in, or another person has scheduled too many for you.

The amount you can do depends on location, size and structure (2 bedroom apartment as opposed to a 4 bedroom house with a yard/garage), but a good rule to follow is how many can you easily get done in the time slot given, without rushing and compromising a quality/thorough inspection that is needed, taking into account any properties you need to spend more time at due to unforeseen issues arising that require more attention and inspecting.

Nuts and Bolts

#12- Not accessing all areas.

When a tenant says ‘sorry you can’t access the third bedroom because’ or ‘the garage is locked and my boyfriend has the key and he’s away at the moment’ then you need to reschedule and come back and inspect that room or area. Tenant’s don’t always tell the truth (shock horror!) and they could be disallowing access for devious reasons. Naturally, never walk into an unsafe situation that could result in your safety being compromised. Perhaps bring a second person with you next time to look at that area or room if required.

Another tip is to explain at tenant sign-up and have it as a special condition that the tenant is aware that all rooms and areas will be accessed at the inspection, so they’re on notice right from the start.

#13- Not ensuring your gadgets are powered up.

Ensure that your camera/smart-phone, iPad and other gadgets are adequately charged up for your inspections. A good property manager is prepared at all times.

#14- Not re-confirming the inspection beforehand.

Just because you’ve advised the tenant you’re coming with an official notice doesn’t mean they’ve remembered or every tenant is aware of the upcoming at the property.

Send an SMS text a couple days before to everyone on the lease reminding them of the day and time you will be there, and even a link to download your checklist again.

#15- Being ‘too heavy handed’.

Don’t go on a power trip!

The tenant only needs to keep the property ‘reasonably clean’ and it’s not an army boot camp where everything has to be scrubbed with a toothbrush and shine.

If the house is untidy but generally clean it’s OK, and if the morning dishes are not done or the beds not made don’t trip out. If something is dirty and can affect the rental property in anyway then address it with the tenant.

One of the best lines a tenant applying for a property with me once said, ‘I asked my last property manager how presentable the property should be for a routine inspection, and she replied ‘Just imagine the queen is coming around!’. Fail!!

#16- Sending out an untrained person to do the inspection.

Why send a person to do a routine inspection when they’ve received no training to do so? This means that big issues will be missed and poor tenant performance will get overlooked. Recipe for a disaster in the making!

#17- Overlooking poor tenant performance.

If the carpets are dirty, the walls grubby and other areas unacceptable don’t think ‘we can address this when the tenant leaves’.

When the tenant vacates their bond may already be taken up with overdue rent, so you may not even have a bond to work with at all.

Here’s a couple of sayings I’ve always stuck with- ‘If the tenant absconded tomorrow, what will they leave for me to clean up today’ and ‘poor routine inspection today, poor vacate inspection tomorrow’. If it isn’t up to scratch, address it today!

#18- Not ensuring your keys are up to date.

There’s nothing like the tenant not being home and you’re allowed to access the property, and you cannot enter because you’ve not updated the keys or kept check on them. Big waste of time.

#19- Not taking adequate photos.

We need to be careful here because any tribunal/court in Australia doesn’t want you to take photos of tenant belongings. But you can still take photos of the grounds front and back, any repairs required and also other issues and concerns. Your owners want to see not just read what’s going on. Take photos and don’t leave your clients guessing!

#20- Not respecting the tenant’s home.

Let’s face it, tenants are still treated as second class citizens in property management (in general). It really hasn’t changed.

It’s not just a rental property to them and it’s definitely not an investment or a money maker - to the tenant. It’s their home, their safe place for them and their family.

Treat them with the respect they deserve, don’t blow them off and attend to their queries and concerns promptly. The tenant is your partner in the rental property and without them, you don’t have a job!

Give them the respect they deserve and you will have them cooperative and helpful, making your job that bit easier.

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