To ensure a smooth property inspection, tenants need to clean up areas that are often overlooked.
Regular property inspections are vital as they’re an opportunity for tenants to raise any maintenance issues. They also assure landlords that their property is being cared for.
However, some tenants find rental property inspections to be stressful—though it doesn’t have to be that way, according to landlord insurance provider Terri Scheer Insurance.
“You can’t pass or fail an inspection. The purpose is to ensure the tenant is taking reasonable care of the premises, keeping it clean and ensuring it remains in the same condition as the start of tenancy,” said Carolyn Parrella, executive manager at Terri Scheer Insurance.
While rules differ from state to state, generally routine inspections are held every quarter, with the landlord or property manager required to give written notice ahead of the inspection. Moreover, if the landlord or property manager identifies any issues, they must serve the tenant with a Notice to Remedy that outlines the problem and states when it must be rectified.
“As a tenant, walking through your home prior to each inspection and viewing it from the landlord or property manager’s perspective will better prepare you at inspection time and help you to tick all the boxes.”
While most tenants know how to prepare for an inspection, Parrella said the following factors are occasionally overlooked:
“Exhaust fans are a common case of out-of-sight and out-of-mind,” Parrella said. “From our experience, tenants sometimes overlook the cleanliness of their exhaust fans, which are prone to attracting lint and dust in bathrooms and oil and grease in kitchens.”
Exhaust fans should be cleaned not just for inspections but for general safety, as dirty or blocked exhaust fans pose a potential fire risk.
“It can be easy to forget that ovens are a fixture of the property and belong to the landlord, not the tenant,” said Parrella. “A landlord or property manager is within their rights to open and inspect the oven, so they should be clean and free from food splatters, overflow or built up grease and oil.”
“Mould can build up quickly but is unsightly, unhygienic and a big no-no,” Parrella said.
She advises tenants to scrub shower screens, toilets, and kitchen sinks to remove mould, grout, and bacteria. Cleaning should be done on a regular basis to help avoid build up and a frantic rush to clean before inspections.
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