Owning property in the hot Denver market is a great position to be in. And once you've got the hang of it (or, depending on what your margins are) hiring a property management company will make your rentals truly feel like passive income.
Especially when you no longer have to do rental inspections. But if you're wondering how to do those - or what they look like on our end, read below.
Every rental property is different, so each inspection will be too. Creating a rental property checklist template that you can customize for each of your properties will save you time in the long run.
You can likely find move-in rental checklists online, which you can print out for each of your properties. We recommend writing the name of each property on the top of the originals, highlighting what's relevant in this specific unit, and making any unit-specific checklist items yourself, at the end of the provided template.
This should be your original, which you make copies/scans of going forward.
As a landlord, you're responsible for making sure all the items that are relevant to this unit are in acceptable condition before a tenant moves in. To do your due diligence and make things easier on you at move-out, we recommend either providing the tenant this checklist so they can initial each item themselves, or going through it together at move-in.
That way there's no legal wiggle room for them to create issues when they move out.
Mid-Lease Inspections: Three to Six Month Intervals
Depending on how hands-on you are (and how close your property is) we recommend checking in with your tenants once a quarter. If you can't make that happen, every six months is a good second choice.
In Colorado, you have to give your tenant 48 hours' notice if you're going to be entering the premises. It's common practice to tell your tenant what you're looking at/for and any activities you'll be doing.
If you don't have a regular maintenance person, ie, they only come on-call, then this is the time you want to make small updates around the home. Replace your tenant's air filter, change smoke and CO2 detector batteries, check the fire extinguishers, and do any other regular maintenance stated in your lease.
While you're in the home you'll be able to take a look around while doing these duties, without it being seen as snooping. In cold climates (like Denver), it's normal for landlords to come by and do cold-temperature home prep, which means different things for different properties.
Move Out Rental Inspections
When your tenant moves out, they should go through the same checklist they went through when they moved in, marking the condition of each item. Many of these checklist templates have a spot for move-in conditions and move-out conditions on the same sheet, so you can see how the property progressed.
The state of Colorado requires landlords to document and submit items that they're taking out of the security deposit. This should be done on your final walkthrough, whether you're able to do that with the tenant or not.
Rental Inspections in Denver
Rental property laws have changed in the Denver metro area in the last few years, so it's essential that you work with a property management company or a lawyer before purchasing a rental property.
If you'd rather not do the rental inspections yourself and are looking for a property management company, we'll be happy to speak with you!