Rental walk-throughs are important for Las Vegas property owners because they help you notice and address maintenance issues. A walk-through during a tenancy can also help you understand whether your tenants are taking good care of the home and following the terms of their lease agreement.
Thorough walk-throughs will also help provide preventative maintenance, help you budget for upcoming renovations, and give you an idea of what you’ll need to do during a turnover.
To keep your walk-throughs productive and purposeful, you need a walk-through checklist.
The walk-through checklist should mirror your reasons for the walk-through. When you’re doing a move-in walk-through, you’re documenting the condition of the home and ensuring it’s ready to be occupied. During the move-out walk-through, you’re making decisions about the security deposit.
A few important items belong on every rental walk-through checklist, and we want to share those things with you today so you can be more organized and intentional when you’re walking through your own Las Vegas rental properties.
Las Vegas Rental Walk-Through Objectives
Think about your rental walk-through the same way you think about a maintenance visit. You’re checking the condition of your property as well as its systems and structures. These detailed walk-throughs allow you, as a property owner, to make notes on your checklist of the property’s condition, including wear and tear, repairs, and even the cleanliness of the rental home. Your walk-throughs will prevent surprise expenses and they will help you maintain the property’s condition.
Always walk through your property before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. When you have long term tenants living in your property for a year-long lease period, it’s a good idea to complete a walk-through at least once a year to make any necessary repairs and look for possible pet damage or other evidence of deferred and unreported maintenance.
Rental walk-throughs are perhaps the best way to anticipate, plan for, and budget any potential property upgrades. Regular walk-throughs will let you learn about any appliances that may need service. You’ll notice that it’s time to repair a roof or install a new water heater.
Rental walk-throughs also allow you to make sure your tenants are caring for the property and following the requirements of their lease agreement. You shouldn’t have to check up on them; you’ve screened residents well enough to ensure they’re going to perform the way you expect them to. But, you never know if a pet has been brought onto the property without authorization or if there’s evidence of smoking inside a non-smoking home. Walk-throughs help you hold tenants accountable.
Documenting the condition of your property during walk-throughs also helps you identify damage caused by the tenant that they’re ultimately responsible for replacing.
Las Vegas tenants should take advantage of your scheduled rental walk-throughs, too.
These walk-throughs are meant to be advantageous to the tenants, who can identify any concerns or problems they may have been experiencing. They can ask for repairs and upgrades that may contribute to a better rental experience for them. Ideally, rental walk-throughs protect both party’s investments and best interests.
What’s the Purpose of a Rental Walk-Through Checklist?
The checklist is important because it provides documentation.
Instead of claiming that something was damaged by a tenant, you’ll have the checklist to prove it. A good rental walk-through checklist will be supported with notes and photos. Even walk-through videos can be helpful.
Make sure your checklist reflects the property you’re walking through as well as the date and time. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget. The information is critical because collecting these walk-through checklists and reports allows you to create a sequence of how your property looks at different points in the tenancy.
Las Vegas Rental Walk-Through Checklist Item: Cooling Systems
Air conditioning works overtime in Las Vegas, especially during our extremely hot summers that last longer than summers last in other parts of the country. The HVAC system is going to need a lot of attention, and it should probably be one of the first items on your checklist.
Your tenants can potentially use the air conditioning almost all year long. In the winters, heat may be necessary, and it’s often a surprise. December nights can get cold, for example.
Your HVAC system has to be working well, and you should inspect it for efficiency. This is one of the most expensive functions in your rental property, so you want to make sure the heating, cooling, and ventilation is in good repair and not in danger of malfunctioning.
Checking your air conditioning unit should be part of every walk-through checklist you use.
It’s also a good idea to have the system serviced annually. Have an HVAC technician check and clean the coils, the fans, and the vents. You want to make sure it’s working properly, thereby extending the life of the system. The tenants will appreciate this as well. There will be less of a risk that it breaks down during the hot summer, and a healthy cooling system will improve their air quality and keep their energy costs down.
Checklist Item: Las Vegas Roof Condition
Las Vegas roofs are exposed to unforgiving sun. They also take on sand, debris, the occasional flash floods, bugs, and who knows what else.
Always include your roof on your rental walk-through checklists. The roof of any home needs to be inspected for missing shingles or signs of deterioration. Look for problems with insulation or any potential ways for water to get inside. Clear any debris and trim back trees that may drop branches and leaves.
Always Check for Water Leaks and Plumbing Issues
Water can damage a property faster than anything else. It’s almost always expensive to repair if you don’t get right on it. For this reason, plumbing and water have to be priority checklist items. You need to look for leaking pipes and dripping sinks, and you need to take care of such issues right away.
When you’re walking through, look for leaks under sinks and around toilets and tubs. A simple dripping faucet can turn into a major leak under the sink that causes rot and mold.
Outside, look for areas where water might be getting inside the house. Spots on walls and ceilings may indicate that a pipe is leaking somewhere. Check the floors and shelves under bathroom and kitchen sinks, check tubs and toilets, and make sure you don’t have any water coming in where it shouldn’t. If you have irrigation systems managing your landscaping, make sure they’re in good shape and not leaking or rusting.
Habitability and Safety Checklist Items
A good rental walk-through checklist will include safety and habitability issues. Your job as a landlord is to provide a safe, habitable, and well-maintained living environment for your tenants.
Some of the safety checklist items should include:
- Doors and windows that open, close, and lock properly.
- Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Sufficient exterior lighting.
- No loose steps, handrails, or floorboards. Make sure the carpet isn’t buckling or pulling up in corners.
- Test each electrical outlet and make sure there isn’t any smoke or staining around the plate.
- Look for lint build-up in dryers
If you have a pool, check the fence. When you’re walking through a multi-family building, spend some time looking for potential issues in elevators or common areas. Your parking lot, driveway, and walkways need to be free of debris and trip hazards.
Cleanliness is a Checklist Item for Las Vegas Property Owners
Every owner and every tenant will have a different standard of cleanliness. Don’t expect your tenant to be as clean as you might be, especially if you tend to be obsessive about clean homes.
Your tenant doesn’t need to be a clean freak, but you should expect that things are in order and there are no safety issues or pest issues due to dirt, food, and other messes.
When you’re doing a move-in walk-through, you need to make sure everything is perfectly clean. Baseboards and ceiling fans should be free of dust, kitchens and bathrooms should sparkle, and the home should look and smell beautiful. When you’re doing a move-out walk-through, you expect the same level of cleanliness after a tenant leaves. If the property clearly has not been cleaned, make notes and take pictures so you can withhold cleaning costs from the security deposit.
Include Tenants in Your Walk-Through Checklist
During routine maintenance walk-throughs, make sure your tenant is following the lease. This is a good time to look for unauthorized pets and to make sure there aren’t extra people who aren’t on the lease living in the home. Check for evidence of smoking or illegal activity.
Walk-throughs are also a good time to talk to your tenants. You don’t necessarily need a checklist for this, but you do want to make sure expectations are being met, and you also want to make sure those residents are happy and have everything they need.
Provide your tenants with an opportunity to add anything to the checklist, especially during the move-in walk-through. They deserve to have their concerns and notes documented as well.
If you’d like some help putting together your own rental walk-through checklist, please contact us at New West Property Management. We’re passionate about the services and value we provide to the owners and investors who trust us with their properties. Our team expertly manages residential rental homes in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, including Henderson and North Las Vegas.