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4 Things to Look for when Inspecting Your Income Properties

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If you own income properties as part of a long term investment strategy, then most likely you’ll have tenants to deal with.  As such, it’s important to conduct regular inspections of your properties so you can identify minor problems before they grow into larger ones.  The purpose of this post is to outline the things you will want to keep an eye out for as you conduct your periodic inspections.

First and most obvious is that you’ll want to check for property damage as well as proper property maintenance.  Look for broken doors, holes in walls, torn carpet, leaky faucets, and similar problems.  Similarly, check to make sure that basic maintenance items are being taken care of; for example, make sure the unit is not filled with trash, make sure there are no issues with bugs or other pests, make sure there are no fire hazards or other safety concerns, and make sure the grass gets cut regularly.

Second, you will want to check for unauthorized pets.  As such, check for pet smells, scratches on walls, holes in the yard, and similar telltale signs.  I’ve seen several of my own tenants try and sneak unauthorized pets in apartments, so I have to assume that this is a relatively common issue.

Third, inspect for illegal activities, especially drug manufacturing or trafficking.  Evidence of this might include boarded up or covered windows, foul or unusual orders emanating from the unit, humming or mechanical sounds, condensation on windows, or people coming and going at all hours of the night.  If you suspect any illegal activities, avoid taking matters into your own hands; call the police.

Finally, check for unauthorized occupants.  You need to know if people other than the legitimate tenants are occupying the apartment, because most municipalities have codes and requirements around occupancy rates.  Additionally, the more occupants an apartment has, the greater the number of problems that you’ll potentially face.

The bottom line is that you need to stay on top of your properties in order to nip any potential problems in the bud before they escalate into more serious problems.  So make sure you conduct random property inspections a few times a year, and always keep an eye out for the issues mentioned in this post.  Good luck!

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