When it comes to documenting the condition of a property, it’s best to be prepared and know exactly what needs to be documented in order for the walkthrough to run smoothly. This is especially true in the case of properties currently occupied by tenants.
For occupied properties, the preparation for conducting a periodic inspection has a few more steps than a move-in/move-out report.
Let’s dive into how property managers should prepare for an occupied property walkthrough, as well as how the Showdigs Team handles the scheduling, documentation, and post-walkthrough processes!
Preparing for an Occupied Property Walkthrough
Communication and preparation aligns expectations and can keep you from potentially upsetting your tenants. Here’s what you’ll need to do for the preparation stage:
First, inform the tenant that you will be conducting a mid-tenancy walkthrough to assess the current condition of the property and they will need to schedule with you accordingly. Explain in detail what will take place during the walkthrough, including that pictures will be taken for the purpose of the condition report. Let your tenant know what they can do to be prepared: Update smoke alarm batteries if needed, change filters, check and clean under the sinks, put anything away that they do not want to be photographed, and make a list of anything that may need maintenance.
Try to get your tenant to schedule the walkthrough within 3-7 days from when you notify them, as this allows for the most accurate reports. Once scheduled, be sure to give your tenant a 24-hour reminder before the walkthrough.
If you’re a Showdigs user, our in-house Live Operations Team handles all tenant communication and scheduling. Once a time for the inspection has been confirmed, that’s when our licensed Showdigs Agents step in!
Performing an Occupied Property Walkthrough
You’ve done your preparation, reminded your tenant(s) 24 hours before the walkthrough, and now it’s time to document the property! Here are the steps we recommend for performing an occupied property walkthrough:
- Arrive to the property on time and conduct the exterior inspection before entering.
- Ask the tenant to put any pets away before you enter the interior of the property.
- Have a conversation with the tenant prior to beginning the interior inspection. Explain why you're there and answer any questions they might have. Remind the tenant that you will be taking pictures for documentation purposes only.
- Conduct the property walkthrough! Let the tenant guide the walkthrough if possible — this will help make them feel more comfortable. If it's a positive experience, they will be more open to walkthroughs every 6 months (the recommended frequency for property walkthroughs). Make sure to look for lease violations, such as additional renters that are not on the lease, undocumented pets, any illegal activities, etc.
Periodic condition reports can take up a lot of your time. Luckily, our network of licensed, on-demand Showdigs Agents can handle them for you! Showdigs Agents are specially trained to complete periodic condition reports, move-in/move-out reports, and vacant property checks. Check out an example of a condition report completed by a Showdigs Agent below.
What to Do after the Occupied Property Walkthrough
Once you’ve completed the walkthrough, remind the tenant that this walkthrough is just to document the current state of the home for the property owner, and if there's something they want to be fixed, they should submit a maintenance request. If you find a leak, extensive mildew, unauthorized occupant(s), pets, or anything else that needs attention, take immediate action to:
- Document your findings in writing and with photos
- Put those findings in the tenant lease file
- Issue a notice of compliance to the tenant
Once the report is finalized, upload it to each tenant's lease file and send it to the property owner. Inspections completed through Showdigs are sent directly to the property owner’s inbox after being carefully reviewed by our Live Operations Team.
Rental condition reports don’t have to be time-consuming…
If you don't have the time to conduct frequent, thorough property inspections, there’s a solution! Our in-house Live Operations Team removes the burden of tenant schedule coordination, while our network of Showdigs Agents is trained to complete all types of condition reports when you need them.