Rental properties are investments and good investors keep an eye on their assets.
But when does checking on the property become an issue? There’s a line between expected inspections and plain harassment.
The short answer is that a landlord should inspect a rental property as often as needed. Every need has to come with a solid basis.
In the following sections, you’ll learn what exactly justifies these needs. Keep in mind that we’ll focus on landlord inspections in Reno, Nevada. Your state may have different landlord-tenant laws.
When can landlords always enter the property?
Let’s take a look at the situations when landlords can always enter your rental property. Each situation might have some unique legal nuances. Don’t take the following list as the final word on the subject. Always consult with a certified expert.
When your landlord has a justified reason to believe you left the property for good, they could enter the premises. Some people leave without giving any notice nor returning the key.
They should gather some information beforehand. For example, the neighbors might have seen the tenant moving away or the utilities could be shut off for some time.
In this context, emergency really does mean an emergency. A malfunctioning toaster won’t make the cut.
When that toaster causes a fire, your landlord has every right to enter the property.
All maintenance duties require reasonable notice and hours. Your landlord can’t just knock on the door and surprise you by demanding entry for a repair job. There’s no difference whether the landlord is alone or accompanied by contractors.
Some landlords create a proper maintenance schedule. This approach makes the whole maintenance issue less stressful.
Your landlord might ask for entry permission. Usually, their aim is to inspect for needed repairs and check for compliance with the house rules. These walkthroughs shouldn’t take place more than once or twice a year. Notable exceptions include a bug infestation. This calls for regular checkups.
Is your status as a tenant about to end? It’s reasonable from the landlord to expect that you allow property showings. As with maintenance, your landlord should let you know well in advance. There’s no reason to put up with annoyingly frequent showings.
Say, your landlord proposes open house on Saturday and Sunday mornings. You could ask for a reduction on your monthly rent as a way to balance the discomfort.
What else could justify an inspection?
Move-in & move-out
Most landlords conduct both move-in and move-out inspections. The latter is especially important to ensure the property remains in the same condition after the tenancy. This doesn’t mean everything needs to look exactly the same. Landlords have to accept normal wear and tear.
Landlords may conduct drive-by inspections as they wish. Your landlord could be on a bicycle, in a car, or just on foot. The idea here is that they won’t enter the property. Your landlord has every right to conduct unlimited drive-by inspections. Usually, the purpose is to make sure everything looks sound from the outside.
How often should landlords inspect the property?
The inspection frequency depends on many circumstances. Some landlords hate the idea of inspecting the properties while there are tenants inside. This isn’t ideal. If there’s any maintenance need that you haven’t noticed, it’s better your landlord discovers it sooner than later.
Other landlords want to conduct very frequent inspections. These landlords feel they have the right to enter the property anytime. Even though they own the place, this kind of behavior isn’t justified. Entering the property needs a reason. There’s never a reason to visit at unexpected times or on a weekly basis.
While there’s no golden rule for inspection frequency, two to three times a year seems to be a common approach. You should check your lease or ask directly from your landlord about their plans. Sometimes, lease agreement terms specify the inspection frequency.
Whatever the frequency, you need to know about the inspection before they enter the property. It’s more than common courtesy.
Note that landlords in Nevada need to provide a notice of entry 24 hours in advance.
What issues are the landlords looking for?
Keeping the property habitable and safe is in the interest of both sides. Landlords inspect the property to ensure everything works smoothly without any unexpected problems. They also want to make sure the tenants are respecting the rules.
Sometimes tenants move a pet in even if it’s against the house rules. The landlord might look for obvious or subtle evidence that tenants are hiding a pet on the property. The same goes for rules regarding smoking and other potentially damaging activities or habits.
The property might face a pest infestation. If your landlord finds signs of an infestation, they will quickly book extermination services to combat the issue. You might get further instructions on how to lower the infestation risk in the future.
A very basic part of the inspection concerns maintenance and repairs. The landlord checks for damage along with wear and tear for any fixtures, appliances, and other things inside the home.
How often should a landlord inspect the property in Reno, NV?
The property inspection frequency isn’t set in stone. Sometimes landlords need to inspect more often. For example, there might be an ongoing infestation that needs regular attention.
Under normal circumstances, anywhere between one to three times a year is fine. Regardless of the frequency, your landlord needs to let you know well before arrival. In Nevada, landlords should notify the tenants at least 24 hours in advance.
Landlords may do drive-by inspections at any suitable time for them. Drive-by means no entry. These inspections shouldn’t disturb the tenants in any way. Additionally, move-in and move-out inspections are an expected part of opening and closing the contract.