It is important for property managers to schedule regular inspections. Bad tenants can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time. Just because the rent is being paid on time does not mean that everything is going well and there are no complaints. Do not make assumptions or take anything for granted.
These are important questions to ask a property manager about how they inspect the properties they manage:
What kind of move in inspection do they perform?
Property managers should perform a detailed inspection including digital photos. Tenants should accompany the manager while the walk through is taking place and sign off on the inspection report. Documentation resolves any disputes in the future.
How often do they inspect the interior of the property? Are tenants notified before inside inspections?
The unit should be inspected annually, preferably every six months. The person doing the inspection should have a checklist that they go over which includes things like checking all appliances, locks, A/C filters, furnace, water heater, smoke detector, electrical, plumbing and looking for lease violations. Do not accept management companies that only do inspection in between vacancies because tenancies can last for years. Tenants must be given notice before inspections at least 24/48 hours prior depending on state laws.
How often do they inspect the exterior of the property?
Between monthly and quarterly is standard but more frequently is better. It is best for a property manager to perform full scale exterior inspections while also frequently performing drive by inspections.
How often are inspection reports sent to you?
Ask to see a sample copy.