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Published on July 24, 2012

I have to admit that recently I started watching a new cable show called “World’s Worst Tenants” on Spike TV. The premise for the show if you haven’t seen it depicts three individuals who are hired by various property management companies to handle unusually odd tenant related issues. The issues range from your basic nonpayment of rent to more bizarre and serious issues that can leave any self-respecting property manager shaking their head in disbelief. The show makes for great TV and entertainment, but on a serious note it can offer some insight to the importance of exterior and interior property inspections.

I noticed that usually the trio of characters hired to resolve the tenant related issues would indicate that the out of state owner or property manager had lost communication with the tenant and in most cases both were unaware of the property condition. This dangerous combination usually lead to disastrous situations leaving the rental property completely destroyed, and in some cases declared uninhabitable by city, state, and federal laws. I can’t help but think that regularly scheduled inspections would act as a deterrent in the outcome of some of these situations.Here at SDP Management our company policy is to conduct two exterior and one interior inspection annually. At the lease signing we advise the tenants of this policy and make it known that the property owner and the management company have a vested interest in making sure that the condition of the property is maintained. The exterior inspections are done randomly and documented via photo log. The interior inspections which are preceded by 24 hour written notice are detailed in a report. If concerns or violations are found during the course of either inspection, a notice of cure or solution to remedy the problem will be issued to the tenant before the situation gets out of control or causes damage to our client’s property.

Inspections are not intended to be viewed as “Big Brother” looming but more like a friendly reminder that the property management company will enforce the tenants contractual lease agreement to maintain the property in a certain condition. In some instances we hold raffle drawings and issue gift cards as a “Thank You” to unsuspecting tenants for maintaining curb appeal and general upkeep of their rental property. Keeping both parties happy (owners & tenants) may not always be easy but when you conduct regular exterior and interior inspections you may just avoid being on the next episode of “The World’s Worst Tenants.”

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Salvatore J. Friscia

Salvatore J. Friscia is the Managing Broker at San Diego Premier Property Management in California.

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