The Best Rental Inspection Checklist – Property Services in Seattle, WA


Regular rental inspections are an excellent way to manage preventative maintenance, and today we’re talking about how to conduct those inspections. There are two types of inspection; monthly property inspections and annual all-unit inspections.

Monthly Property Inspection

Go to your property and check that the on-site manager is doing a good job consistently. We always go on a different day and time randomly during the month with a 10-point checklist. The site manager is expected to have at least 8 out of 10 items on the list complete at all times. It’s not realistic to expect that the property will be 100 percent pristine at all moments of every day. But, we think 8 is a reasonable expectation. Our 10-point rental inspection checklist includes these things:

  • Entry way is clean, including the exterior and interior. The door must close automatically.
  • The exterior, curb, and parking area are debris-free and swept. One piece of litter doesn’t matter, but large collections of trash on the sidewalk is not good.
  • Interior hallways, breezeways, and elevator common areas must be clean. There shouldn’t be cobwebs or smudges on the walls.
  • Laundry room has to be clean with the machines wiped down. It should be swept and mopped.
  • Light bulbs in the building must be working.
  • Garbage cans in the common areas have to be recently emptied. You don’t want them overflowing.
  • Dumpster area should be picked up and clean, with no excessive build-up of trash. It should be hosed down if necessary and not attracting flies.
  • Resident register, parking log, and key box need to be current. We check the tenant names on the front door and we look at the parking log so we know who is parked where. We also need to be sure all the keys are in place.
  • Emergency lights and exit signs are functional. We test those batteries.
  • Storage areas are clean and orderly. These are where the site manager keeps cleaning and maintenance supplies. We don’t want chaos and madness in those areas.

Annual Maintenance Inspections

Whether you have two units or 30, you’ll go into every unit at the same time every year to look for common things.  We check the smoke detectors and the carbon monoxide detectors. We check every single sink for leaks, and we check the bathroom fan and the kitchen fan to make sure they work. The filters might need to be switched out. We also check the heaters. Our inspections happen in November, right around the time people turn the heat on. Sometimes dust can get in there and if it starts to smoke, we clean out the grate.

We also check for mold or buildup around the windows and doors. This is a good time to talk to tenants about mold. This is the time of year where they close up the unit and turn up the heat, and that can cause some condensation and a lot of sweating windows. It can create mold and growth. So, we educate them on running fans, cracking windows, and wiping away moisture.

The overall cleanliness of the unit is also important and worth checking. Make sure the exits aren’t blocked, and you don’t want any big maintenance issues or concerns. We can take care of any problems while we’re in the unit checking it out.

These are the two major inspections we conduct on a regular basis. If you have any questions about your apartment inspection or anything on our rental house inspection checklist, please contact us at Olympic View Property Services.

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