How Often Should a Landlord Conduct Rental Property Inspections in Bothell, Washington?

How Often Should a Landlord Conduct Rental Property Inspections in Bothell, Washington?

Are you worried about what's going on inside your rental properties behind closed doors?

You're not alone. Inspections are a natural part of owning a property. You're (literally) giving your tenants keys to your property and inviting them to treat it as their own.

Yet not everybody values a property the same way. And bad tenants can end up costing you a fortune.

Read on to find out how often you should conduct rental property inspections to safeguard your investments.

What Makes Frequent Rental Property Inspections Vital

Inspecting rental properties regularly helps you identify potential hazards, such as structural issues and faulty wiring, before they cause harm. This not only protects your tenants but also reduces your liability as a landlord.

Inspections also protect your investments.

They let you identify and address any issues that can devalue your property. Unauthorized modifications by tenants, property damage, and neglect all pose a risk to your properties. Identifying them early lets you take action - whether it's to repair damage or consider evicting tenants.

Finally, rental property inspections are a part of your legal responsibilities.

All landlords are required to ensure their properties meet certain safety standards. Regular inspections are the best way of ensuring compliance.

Legal Requirements for Property Inspections in Washington

In Washington State, landlords are legally obligated to maintain their rental properties in a condition that meets basic health and safety standards. This includes:

  • Ensuring the property is structurally sound
  • Maintaining plumbing and heating
  • Keeping the property free of pests
  • Making all necessary repairs to maintain standards

That's where regular rental property inspections come in.

Technically speaking, the law doesn't state how often they should happen - and that's why landlords rely on experts.

How Often Should You Conduct Rental Property Inspections?

Most landlords grapple with the question of how often to conduct rental property inspections.

It's a balancing act, after all.

On one hand, regular inspections are necessary to protect your investment and ensure the safety of your tenants. On the other hand, too frequent inspections can infringe on your tenants' privacy and create a hostile living environment.

As a general rule, it's a good practice to conduct a full inspection of your rental property at least once a year.

This helps you uncover major issues or concerns with regularity. It's also a good idea to conduct additional inspections at key times, such as before a new tenant moves in, shortly after they've settled in your property, and when they move out.

Essential Components of an Inspection Plan

So, what are the essentials that you should inspect? Here are the most important ones:

  • Structural elements
  • Safety features
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Appliances
  • General maintenance

You should start with the building's walls, roof, and foundation. These are vital for the integrity of your property. Keep an eye out for cracks and water damage.

Then you can move on to the inside of the property. Check that all smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

The same goes for plumbing and electrical systems. Hunt for leaks, faulty wiring, and inadequate lighting.

If your property includes appliances, make sure they are in good working condition. Pay particular attention to areas that see a lot of use, such as kitchen appliances.

Finally, assess the overall state of maintenance and cleanliness. Clutter, dirt, and minor damages build up over time, and a disorderly property is a good sign your tenant isn't taking care of it as they should.

Balance Inspections With Tenant Privacy

Rental property inspections are a natural part of managing a profitable property. They help you fulfill your legal obligations and ensure the safety of your tenants.

Owning rental properties comes with responsibilities. But handle it well, and you'll keep your tenants - and your investments - safe.

Property Management Inc. Equitas offers full-service packages for landlords that cater to all aspects of running a profitable rental property. You can view our property management services here.