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Property Reviews: Should You Disclose or Resolve?

As we continue to add more properties to our management list, we always encourage our property owners to get the properties in the best shape possible.  It creates fewer headaches for both the owner and us as the tenant moves in and resides in the property.

One of the first steps we go through as we begin managing a new property is the completion of a property review.  As we go through the property, we are looking at the condition of the major internal and external features.  We are also taking photos for additional documentation as to the condition of the property.  As part of the property review, we usually are asking the owner for feedback on any problems or known issues.  For example, we might want to know about the age of the HVAC system or other details we may not be able to derive from reviewing the property.

After we complete the review, we will make recommendations to the owner as to what may need attention before a tenant is to move in.  For some properties, there may be no action items and for others, there may be a few.  These are typically strong recommendations because it will make the term of the lease much more enjoyable for all parties involved, including the tenant.

While this property review is not an exhaustive inspection, we do our best to review and document the condition of the home.  However, some of the items we review we cannot easily determine the condition with the few hours we are at the home.  So, if there is a leaky toilet or a toilet that has a tendency to run or leak, we may not catch that if it does so over a longer period of time.

In these situations, some owners will not disclose the problem (if they have knowledge) and it will not be caught during the review.  As a result, it becomes a tenant maintenance request within the first few days of the lease duration.  Over the years, we have come to realize that tenants A) have a knack for finding the problems within a property and B) expect the condition to be problem-free, within reason. It is also our job to manage tenant expectations and decipher between personal preference and actual issues.

In the end, if you are a property owner and you know of a problem that will be problematic to a tenant, take the initiative to disclose or resolve before the commencement of the lease.  This will make the landlord experience much more pleasant.

If you need property management services in Northern Colorado, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Wellington, Timnath, Johnstown, and the surrounding areas, we would be honored to become your trusted property management partner.  Please contact us to learn how we can reduce vacancies and increase profitability.

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