As a property owner, you’re probably worried about if your renter is taking good care of your investment. Sure you can drive by the property and get a feel for its condition, but you likely won’t be satisfied with that! I know that I’m not. So, how can you get onto the property to have a look around, legally and easily?
Make up an excuse for visiting! I’ve found the perfect one for examining the outside of a house: a yearly weed and feed! I have yet to have a renter pass up a free treatment for the lawn, which will keep the lawn looking good and minimize weeding. Who doesn’t want that?
Want to get inside? Offer to come over and change the batteries on the smoke alarms. Maybe add a carbon monoxide detector or fire extinguisher. Of course your renter has a right to say no, but again, it’s not likely. Similarly, you can also get inside if a repair is needed and it’s something that you’re capable of doing. Regardless, you’ll get an idea of the condition and if anything further needs to be done.
Why sneaky? Your renters will have no idea of your true motivation. You can find out all sorts of information, while the tenants think that you’re doing them a big favor.
Why efficient? Not only will you get to check up on your property and renters, but you might be doing some preventative maintenance along the way. For example, while fertilizing the yard, you can look for signs of termites along the foundation of the building, wood rot, or dying landscaping. Also, you will be keeping the lawn looking good for not only the current tenants, but also for when you need to list your property. Nothing like trying to rent a property with a yard full of weeds!
On a final note, such visits will keep communication open with your tenants, which is always a good thing!