Posts Tagged ‘tenant background check’

Periodic maintenance… periodic inspection of the premises

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Author: Scott Goodman •

Hoarders and packrats – every building has one or two to a varying degree.  Unfortunately, even the most thorough tenant background screening may miss such things as untidiness. Tenants can inflict a lot of damage to a unit when they set their minds to it.  The trick is to spot the problems early on and take prescriptive measures to limit the damage. But given the fact that most landlords only perform two inspections – once at move-in and then the final inspection at move-out – how do you gain access to a tenant’s unit when you suspect something has gone astray?

I recently had a tenant who turned out to be a hoarder with garbage and belongings covering every square foot of available floor space in his unit.  I could see through the windows that something terrible was going on, but how could I prove it when this tenant always demanded formal notice to gain admittance to his unit? Although a standard lease agreement does provide for such things as landlord inspection of the premises, such scrutiny may put tenants at odds.

This is where periodic maintenance of such things as AC filter changes, smoke detector testing, and the occasional plumbing leak can be an invaluable resource.  Never miss an opportunity to perform a general evaluation of the premises when called upon to perform routine maintenance for the unit.   In the case of our hoarder, a quick check of our records indicated that his smoke detectors were almost due for their periodic inspection. So we moved up the date a little and served the tenant a Notice to Enter the Premises for the purpose of testing the smoke detectors. Just as we suspected, we could not even get to the bedroom to check the smoke detector because there was so much garbage blocking our way.  A 3-Day Notice to Perform or Quit was served and as luck would have it the tenant has complied for the time being by cleaning up his unit.  Keep to a periodic maintenance schedule and you will find that it gives you the opportunity to fix more than just the leaks.