How to Choose a Home Inspector for Your Rental Property
Rental properties have numerous peculiarities that landlords or property managers should not ignore. If you are carefree with some essential issues, you may lose so much income. One of such areas you should not dismiss is the home inspection.
Landlords should conduct a home inspection at various stages of their investment. Before buying the rental property, during a “move-in,” and after a tenant vacates the property. You wouldn’t want to purchase a property that will be unsafe for your prospective renters. In the same vein, it is not a good investment if you buy a property that will make you lose so much money on repairs.
Move-in inspections are necessary before renters start their tenancy. That is because you will get to show them the actual state of the property and how you expect them to hand it over at the end of their tenancy. After the inspection, the tenant will sign the lease, agreeing to the condition of the rental, and the terms.
Similarly, a move-out inspection will help the landlord or property manager confirm if the tenant returned the property as it was at the beginning of their lease. If the move-out inspection shows property damage that is not from normal wear and tear, the landlord will have to withhold the renter’s security deposit to perform the repairs.
Move-out and move-in inspections complement each other in this case. With it, landlords can save their rental income instead of spending it to repair damages due to tenant’s negligence. The home inspection reports can also serve as evidence in case of legal issues with your tenant.
During the process of choosing home inspectors, you will encounter many of them. It is essential to note that all home inspectors are not the same. You need an inspector that knows what to look for and how to handle each situation. Your home inspector should have sharp eyes on details to avoid missing critical problems on the property.
So how do you choose a professional home inspector from the numerous options? Below are some tips:
1.Consider training and skills
Some people can claim they are professionals, even when they don’t have the necessary training or skills. Before choosing any home inspector, ensure that the person has the training and skills to perform the home inspection.
Without these, it is as good as not assessing the rental property in the first place. That is because someone without the training will miss critical problems during the inspection. You don’t want to take chances on your rental property. Ask your inspectors to show you proof that they have the training and skills.
2.Ask for certifications and licenses but know their limits
You have the assurance that you will get a satisfactory job when you hire an inspector that has the necessary training, certifications, and licenses. However, you should be aware that some home inspectors can rush through the process in 1½ hours. As a result, they will miss several problems.
An undercover study performed by consumers’ checkbook in 2018 confirmed this. So, before you choose an inspector, ensure that the person will be conscientious, diligent, and patient enough to conduct an average of 3 hours of the inspection.
3.Consider their experience
Experience is very critical during a home inspection. Be sure that the home inspector you choose has adequate experience. Consider home inspectors that have been in the field for several years. That is because they will have exposure to numerous issues in rental properties.
It should be an added advantage if the home inspector has extra training as an engineer or architect. That is because they will have an in-depth knowledge about any problem they identify.
4.Ask the services you will get for the inspection fee
Home inspection fees differ based on specialization, experience, size, scope, and location. While some inspectors may include extra expenses for certain services, others may offer it for free. It is essential to note that specialized tests are not included in the standard home inspection and may incur extra charges. Familiar specialized investigations you may encounter include molds, termites, and radon. Ask the inspectors what they offer. Doing so will help you choose the inspector that suits your rental property.
5.Compare home inspection reports
Get a sample of their home inspection report if you want to know how thorough the home inspection will be. It will show you the nature of the work they do. Compare the inspection reports of several home inspectors and select the ones that have detailed observations. Avoid home inspectors that make use of generic information because they can source reports online.
The bottom line
Choosing a home inspection for your rental property is a vital process. That is because if you make mistakes, you can lose so much money on your investment. You can also ask friends in the neighborhood who have used the services of a home inspector to give you referrals.