Are you a Landlord in the St. Louis or St. Charles area?  Are you, or your property management company conducting regular walk through’s of your rental property?  If not, you should adjust your process to add this right away.

Whether you own condos or single family homes, property walk throughs are so important for your real estate investment. If you or your property manager is not conducting them, you need to have this service added to your rental property asap.

So, what kind of things should you or your property manager be checking at your rental property?   Aside from the overall condition of the rental home, you should make sure that the following items are checked as well.

  1.  Furnace filter.  Is the furnace filter dirty, and needing to be changed?  Are the tenants responsible for changing it, per your rental lease? A dirty furnace filter can cause major damage to your HVAC, and limit the lifespan.  So if it’s dirty, you should make sure it gets changed right away.
  2. Another thing to always have your rental property manager check at your property are the gutters.  Full, overflowing gutters and clogged downspouts can cause unwanted water issues.  You also want to make sure that downspouts are being properly directed away from the house.
  3. And along with water issues, be sure that your property management company is checking at all water sources (under sinks, around tubs, etc) for any potential water leaks.  You also want to make sure that everything is caulked properly.
  4. If your property has a sump pump, make sure that is checked to ensure it is working properly.
  5. Also, be sure to have your property manager check for safety issues.  Are there any loose handrails? Rotted boards on the deck? Trip hazards?
  6. And speaking of safety issues, have your property management company check the smoke detectors as well.  If they aren’t working properly, they should be replaced, or batteries changed.  The lifespan of a smoke detector is typically 10 years, and anything older than that should be replaced right away.
  7. You’ll also want to have your property manager walk around the exterior and check for any missing siding, rot, missing roof shingles, etc.
  8. Make sure the property management company is also checking for any tree overgrowth.  Limbs that are hanging over the house should be trimmed, and any overgrowth, loose limbs, etc should be cut back.

As far as the condition of the property, some things that you want to check on, or have your leasing management company document, would be the following.

  1. Wear and tear vs damage.  Walk through all of the rooms of the home, and check for damage.  Is there wall damage from the tenants, major flooring damage, etc?  If your tenant isn’t taking care of the property, you may want to consider non-renewal of the lease to avoid thousands of dollars in getting the rental back up to par.
  2. Pets.  Look for any signs of pets.  Water or food bowls, pet beds, pet toys, etc.  You can also look outside for any pet evidence as well.
  3. If your tenants have a pet and are allowed to have a pet, then check to make sure the pet isn’t causing excessive damage.  Look on the doors, baseboards, any railings, etc for pet damage in the rental home.

Don’t wait until your tenants request maintenance!

Tenants are notorious for not reporting damage to your rental property.  They might feel like they could be charged for the damage, they don’t want to take off work to meet someone to make the repairs, or maybe they don’t even realize that it is property damage.  The lack of tenants reporting maintenance can be a major financial burden later on.  If you, as the rental landlord, have water damage to your ceiling, and it’s not getting reported, chances are it’s going to continue to become worse and worse, and costing you more and more money.

But I don’t want to scare off my tenants will all of these “check in”s on my rental property!

On the contrary, tenants respect a landlord that takes care of their investment property.  And if they don’t, well it’s your rental home – and you need to make sure it’s being taken care of!

Won’t property condition reports cost me, the rental landlord, more in maintenance expenses?

On the contrary!  This is your opportunity to get in front of maintenance issues before they become major!  Wouldn’t you rather spend a little bit of money to fix that bathtub leak, then a whole lot of money a year from now when the undetected issue becomes super major? Major, undetected issues at your rental will cost you a lot in cash flow.

So yes, rental property condition reports are very important.  At the very least, if you hire a property management company, make sure their property management services include property walk throughs.  is checking on the property at least once a year, but we recommend bi-annually.  And make sure everything is being documented, so that you can see the condition of the property yourself as well.

And of course, if you are in the St. Peters, Saint Charles County, OFallon, Wentzville, or the St. Louis area, be sure to call us.  We would love to be your property manager!

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