Navigating the Inspection Schedule for Property Managers

Bryan Cunningham
By Bryan Cunningham
4 Min Read

Property management is a wide range of duties, with inspections of rental properties being an important component to maintain the value, health and safety of the property. These inspections don’t just involve ensuring that the rental property is in good condition or complying with local housing codes. They are a proactive way to protect the investment and enhance tenant satisfaction. Property managers may vary the frequency and type of inspections they conduct based on a variety of factors, including the property’s condition, the lease contract, local regulations and their own policies. This article discusses typical inspection schedules as well as the types of inspections commonly performed.

Routine Inspections

Routine inspections take place to make sure that the property is well maintained by tenants, and to identify maintenance or repair problems. These inspections take place on a semi-annual or annual basis. Property managers must give tenants adequate notice of an inspection. They should also respect their privacy and adhere to local laws about landlord entry.

Move In and Move Out Inspections

Move In Inspections: This inspection is conducted before a tenant moves into the property. It documents the current condition of the home, noting existing issues or damages. The tenant and property manager must agree on the state of the property when the move-in occurs to avoid future disputes over security deposits.

Move Out Inspections: This inspection is performed after the tenant has moved out. It assesses any damage or wear and tear that exceeds normal usage. The findings of the inspection are compared to the report from the move-in, in order to determine whether any part of the security deposit is retained for repairs.

Seasonal Inspections

The purpose of a seasonal inspection is to prepare the property for changing weather conditions. This includes ensuring that the heating system, air conditioning, roof, gutters and landscaping are all in good condition. These inspections are especially important in areas with extreme weather conditions. They can help prevent expensive weather-related damage.

Emergency Inspections

An emergency inspection is conducted when an unexpected event occurs or a tenant report something serious that may pose a risk to their property or well-being. Examples include a structural problem, a water leak or a gas leak. In order to minimize any dangers or repair damage, these inspections must be conducted quickly.

Drive By Inspections

The property manager may perform drive-by checks to check the condition of the outside of the building. These inspections can be unobtrusive, and they can identify issues such as unauthorized pets, unreported issues with maintenance, or lease terms that are related to exterior maintenance.

Property managers should be aware of and follow local laws regarding inspections. In many jurisdictions, it is a legal requirement to give tenants adequate notice and conduct inspections at reasonable hours. In many jurisdictions, failure to comply with these laws could lead to legal disputes or damage the relationship between property managers and tenants.


Property managers must conduct regular and appropriate inspections to ensure the successful maintenance of rental properties. The inspections are done for different purposes, such as routine, move in, move out, seasonal, emergency and drive by. They all serve to ensure that the property is maintained, in compliance with regulations and acceptable to tenants. Communication and respecting tenant privacy can help maintain a positive relationship between landlords and tenants.


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