In California, tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their home, which means you cannot show up unannounced whenever you feel like it. However, you should schedule at least one or two visits each year to get inside the property to assess its current condition and look for any changes from the last visit.
Advantage Property Management Services manages both single-family and multi-family rental investments in San Francisco’s East Bay, serving cities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including but not limited to San Ramon, Danville, Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Castro Valley, and San Leandro.
There are two good reasons to visit your rental property: first, you can look for any necessary maintenance, and second, you can make sure your tenants are following the terms of the lease agreement.
Checking the Property Condition
When visiting the property, look for any maintenance items the tenants may not have reported. Make a list of anything that needs to be done and be sure to take care of those things immediately. Start with the safety devices. Then look for leaks, evidence of dry rot, problems with pests, and angle stop drips. You want to make sure that everything is functioning the way it should.
Preventative maintenance will keep long-term repair costs down and preserve the condition of your investment. So, make all the preventative maintenance repairs that you can sooner rather than later, whether it’s a slowly leaking faucet or a set of broken window blinds. Not only will it keep the property in tip-top shape, but also you’ll show your tenants you care about the property and that they should too.
Enforcing the Lease Agreement
Another reason to do property visits is to ensure the tenants are complying with the terms of the lease agreement. Look for any evidence of pets that have not been approved or additional people living in the property who are not on the lease.
Check for property damage as well. You are responsible for normal wear and tear, but if you see damage, like large holes in the walls, tears in the carpets, or a bedroom that has been turned into a marijuana grow house, you’ll want to address those problems right away.
Visiting your property and getting an idea of how it looks while your tenants are living there should be part of your due diligence. These visits will make sure everything is going well and ensure that maintenance is taken care of while still in the manageable cost range.