With everything going on – you know, that global pandemic that has turned our world upside down – COVID-19 has changed the way we do business. We have been told to practice social distancing. We’ve been instructed to wear a mask. We’ve even been told that simply touching an infected surface or breathing contaminated air can up our chances of getting knocked down by this brutal virus.
Does that mean we don’t move forward with our inspections of rental property? Does that mean upon move in or move out we simply let it go – and assume all is well? Does that mean we risk our lives to do the inspection?
Let’s be rational for a moment. We have to do the inspections. They are necessary to protect the interest of everyone involved in a lease agreement. However, we also have to protect the health of everyone involved. Trust and believe that as much as you don’t want to walk into a stranger's residence not knowing the germ factor – they don’t want you there either for the same reason.
What to do? How about virtual inspections? Yep, you read that right – virtual inspections.
- Move-in inspections are crucial so that the condition of the property can be reviewed and noted. As you know, these inspections allow both landlord and tenant to come to an agreement of what the unit looks like upon move-in for liability reasons.
- Move out inspections compare the move-in report to the current conditions. You bypass regular wear and tear, but any damage done to the property that wasn’t noted at move-in could penalize the tenant. This helps protect the landlord before the return of any security deposit.
- Maintenance inspections are necessary to keep a property in healthy shape. Regularly inspecting appliances, the foundation, the roof, and so forth can help reduce the incidence of major problems down the road.
With many apps and online tools, you can easily maneuver the inspection process by using mobile devices, such as phones and tablets. While each tool will be designed differently, many are designed to deliver prompts for video, photos, and the like. And, even more, many can be customized to meet your needs.
This makes it easy to pass the information between all parties – and many platforms allow for the signing of documents to approve or deny the outcome of the inspection. Everyone’s needs will vary. But, it is important to note that these tools can be used for things such as inspections prior to move in, inspections prior to move out, routine maintenance inspections, and so on.
Take the time to do your due diligence and uncover the many options available to you. You will most definitely find a program that can help you proceed with business as usual while also maintaining safety for you and your tenants during this unprecedented time.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out atwww.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.