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Property inspections protect rental property value Part 2

The broken window theory is an academic concept that used broken windows as a metaphor for disorder. The theory links physical disorder to social disorder, incivility and decay. For our purpose, poorly maintained buildings lead to poorly performing property.


Cornerstone Property managers and landlords take this theory to heart.


The better condition of a rental property often leads to the best possible rental income.


Types of inspections


A good tenant-landlord relationship requires transparency and communication and nowhere is this better established then during the move-in process. For the benefit of all parties, inspections must be conducted with the incoming tenant, fully documented – photos are encouraged - dated and signed by tenant and landlord. The tenant can identify and request needed repairs while the landlord can be confident there is not an underlying resentment harboured by a tenant because of a deficiency.



After considering the normal “wear and tear,” the landlord or property manager should rely on the move-in report when conducting the move-out inspection and then used to identify and quantify damage that was not present upon move-in. The tenant must understand that this damage will impact the security deposit. Once again, communicate and be transparent: there should be no surprises for the tenant to avoid costly disputes and litigation.

Exterior and drive-by

A visual inspection of the exterior of the property can reveal clues and warnings about any potential issues or problems inside of the property. While obvious exterior repairs will be apparent, unauthorized tenant alterations or damage may indicate tenant problems. As well, relying on the broken window theory, a broken door, hanging gutters or overgrown, garbage-strewn lawns will drive down the possible rental income a property can generate.


This type of inspection should be scheduled with the tenant and be a regular event – quarterly or annually.


Like the move-in inspection this regular inspection process should be conducted with the tenant, fully documented – photos are encouraged - dated and signed by tenant and landlord.
Tenants must have a clear understanding of what the landlord is inspecting, how the process is documented and how repairs, if necessary, will be conducted.


Protect a rental property’s value and tenants’ happiness and with regular, documented and understood property inspections. Cornerstone Properties understands that proper planning and execution will make tenants’, landlord and real estate investor happy.