Imagine this: One of your renters calls you, freaking out because they just found termites in your Cape Cod vacation rental. As it turns out, there was a leak letting water seep into the beam. Termites won’t stop there; they will start infesting surrounding woodworks. If an issue like this isn’t detected quickly, it can lead to a beam collapse, which is potentially hazardous to those in the home.

You – and your renters – can avoid fiascos like this by having a regular rental home inspection. But how frequently should you have them? And why is it a bad idea to do it yourself? Let’s get into the details.

How Important are Inspections?

Inspections are vital. Not only do they protect your renters, but they also protect your investment. While you are not living full-time in your rental home, you should treat them like you are. The thing is, your landlord insurance policy is not going to cover the problems that build up over time.

No home can escape wear and tear throughout the years, but if you treat them with love and care, you can prevent some of these huge issues from occurring. As the landlord, it is your responsibility to initiate a home investigation, and you and the vacation rental property management company you work with should all cooperate.

Keep in mind that building codes change over time, so work that was done thirty years ago might have been up-to-code then but might not be today. Having regular inspections can keep you up to date.

How Often Should I Get an Inspection?

So you know inspections need to happen, but how often? Do some buildings need more frequent inspections than others? If the rental home is a bit older and has plumbing or wiring that dates back quite away, having an inspection every year or two might be ideal. Newer homes can go for longer than three or four years, but if they have certain features (like a basement), two to three years will be optimal.

Are you planning on renovating part or all of the rental home soon? Then you should absolutely get an inspection. All sorts of issues and surprises can come up during renovations, but some of them could be avoided with a pre-renovation inspection.

Has the home been inspected during your time as a landlord? If so, great! If not, you should probably hire an inspector to come in and give an assessment. Knowledge is power, and knowing what is going on behind the walls, in the pipes, and above the ceilings can give you power.

Can You Inspect the Home Yourself?

The short answer to this question is: No. The long answer will explain why this is the case. Most of us simply do not possess the right kind of knowledge to conduct an inspection. Inspectors are professionals trained in the field and often have years of experience. They keep up to date on building codes and know a lot about construction methods and materials.

Professional home inspectors often belong to one of three well-regarded home inspection societies (the American Society of Home Inspectors, the National Association of Home Inspectors, or the National Society of Home Inspectors), since membership grants them errors and omissions insurance. In other words, if they go through an inspection and fail to catch something that is obviously wrong with the rental, you are protected against the financial damages this could cost. Of course, if you do everything yourself, you don’t get any kind of protection from costly hazards.

Pick a home inspector to help you protect your Truro rentals. Before something does go wrong, a professional home inspector can help you negate it. Protect your investment and your renters and get inspections regularly and professionally done. Your renters – and your homes – will thank you.