What Kind of Inspections Do I Need for Detroit Investment Properties?

By Own It Detroit

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What Kind of Inspections Do I Need for Detroit Investment Properties?

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Updated March 7, 2022

Even the best rental properties don't maintain themselves. When was the last time you laid eyes on your investment property? If you manage the rounds yourself, your operations could already use some streamlining to boost profitability, but we'll get to that. If you can't recall—or it's been more than a couple of months—it's time to schedule a property inspection.

Without consistently reviewing rental properties, investors will struggle to maintain the high level of quality Detroit renters expect from their rental homes and property management. Poorly-maintained properties drive good residents away, leaving investors without rental income. However, for investors with large diversified portfolios, routine schedule inspections can quickly become an overwhelming task—which is exactly why you should be allocating this work to the experts in property care.

What kind of inspections should investors demand to keep their investments in excellent condition? We'll warn you: maintaining your rentals should be one of your top priorities, and the frequency of inspections required to offer the best quality rentals can be alarming—if you don't have help. Thankfully, you have the expertise of Own It Detroit at your disposal.

Follow these inspection tips for your Detroit investment properties to keep them operating at peak profitability—or rely on the skilled OID team to manage them for you!

Download the Detroit Guide to Real Estate Investing!

Why Do Inspections Matter?

Reaching your long-term financial goals requires protecting your rental properties and income. Property inspections help investors keep an eye on their Metro Detroit properties to make sure they stay in excellent condition. 

Reduce Resident Turnover

When properties fall into disrepair, investors face expensive repairs and resident turnover. With the competition in the Detroit rental market, you can't afford not to prioritize inspections and excellent maintenance if you want to maintain success and see genuine cash-on-cash returns.

Local renters have options—and they'll leave your property for another rental home if yours can't keep up with expert-level property maintenance. 

Concentrated male paparazzi doing surveillance by camera with lens from his car

Keep an Eye on Renters

How can investors make sure residents follow the rules of the lease agreement if they (or their partners) never inspect their rental property?

Even the best renters can ignore their property upkeep responsibilities or break the outlines of your lease. Inspections for Detroit investment properties are a critical part of preventing renter damage and keeping an eye on resident behavior. 

What Inspections Do Investors Need?

You don't need eyes on your property daily—but you should never let more than a couple of months pass without an inspection. Make sure your lease agreement outlines each type of inspection to make sure renters know what to expect when they rent a property from you. 

Move-In Inspections

Before a new renter moves into your property, it's time for an inspection. The Move-In Inspection helps you document the condition of the property before a resident has access to the home.

To get ready for a new resident, you'll perform the Make-ready Process to ensure that your property is in its best condition before welcoming your new resident. After the make-ready, you (or, preferably, your trusted partner) will conduct a Move-In Inspection that includes:

  • Walking the property, inside and outside
  • Inspecting walls, floors, and ceilings 
  • Checking all outlets and light switches to make sure they work
  • Running appliances to ensure they're ready for renter use
  • Turning faucets off and on and flushing toilets to confirm the plumbing is in good working order
  • Documenting the condition of everything in the residence, including exterior features.

Hang on to your inspection report and file it with your new resident's information. When it's time for them to move out, you'll refer to the Move-In Inspection documentation for the final property inspection. 

Magnifying Glass Inspecting Model

Mid-Lease Inspection

Move-in and move-out are not the only times you should inspect your Detroit investment properties. Plenty can go wrong during a lease term! Sometimes residents forget to report a potential maintenance problemuntil it becomes an emergency. A Mid-Lease Inspection helps you recognize the problems that residents overlook.

  • Try to schedule this inspection when renters are home.

  • It's an excellent time to check on your residents and take note of any lease violations.

  • You can then remind residents of their responsibilities according to the lease officially after you've left the property. 

Move-Out Inspection

  • Before your renter turns in the keys, walk through the property for the Move-Out Inspection.

  • Compare the current condition of your Detroit property to the Move-In Inspection Checklist.

For damage caused by your renters, you can use the security deposit to cover the cost of repairs. Make sure you don't penalize residents for repairs that should be considered normal wear-and-tear, or you may find yourself on the unfortunate end of some litigation.

This is another reason why elite portfolio growth depends on the proper allocation of tasks: you gain a professional buffer when you're not directly involved in the day-to-day management of your Detroit investment properties.

Drive-By Inspections

    • For any inspections requiring you to enter your property, be sure you provide a Notice of Entry to your residents.

    • It's illegal for a property owner to enter an occupied property unannounced.

However, drive-by inspections allow investors to take a look at their properties without notice and without entering the property. These inspections can be an excellent way to monitor renter behavior and keep an eye on the condition of your properties. 

Choose Best-In-Class Property Management for Inspections

If your goal is to see superior cash-on-cash returns, investors have to transcend the "boots-on-the-ground mentality" and allocate the workload to someone else: it's time for best-in-class property management. Your Detroit investment properties can't generate the income you need without routine inspections and expert property maintenance to attract (and keep) the best resident.

Own It Detroit is the seasoned team of professionals that successful investors rely on to get the most out of their rental property portfolios. Don't skip an inspection or risk your investments and income! Contact us to talk with our experts about the best property management solution in Detroit!

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