Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Four common reasons Kalamazoo landlords fail inspections
- Smoke Alarms
- GFCI Outlets
- Fire Extinguishers
Landlords trust their tenants to follow their leases absolutely, but many tenants don’t. That’s not to say any of these tenants are bad people. We’ve all removed smoke alarm batteries, for instance, when things get a bit too smokey in the kitchen. The problem is that the landlord is still liable to the city if the property’s smoke alarms don’t have a battery when the inspector arrives. Fortunately, the solution is simple—bring a few extra batteries, usually 9-volts, and check the smoke alarms just before the inspector arrives. Remember one missing battery is all it takes to fail an inspection, costing at least $55.
Furnace filters are another example where landlords expect tenants to follow the lease absolutely. In the real world, not all tenants will replace furnace filters even if the lease specifically says it’s their responsibility. We recommend keeping a note of your furnace filter size and keeping a few on hand, replacing old filters just before inspections.
Besides possibly failing a rental inspection, old filters can shorten the effective lifetime of your furnace, costing you more money in the long run.
City inspectors will also test all GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupting outlets. These special outlets are generally required anywhere near running water in the home, most commonly by sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. The inspector will bring a three-pronged GFCI tester that plugs into the outlet. For around $10 you can buy one from your local hardware store, and we would suggest you do. Only the GFCI tester can tell you if the outlet is functioning correctly. If it is not, have a licensed and insured electrician fix the outlet for you. It really won’t cost much more than the re-inspection would.
Fire extinguishers are another problem for a lot of landlords during inspections. Just because the extinguisher is present and placed where it’s supposed to be doesn’t mean its still fully charged or that it hasn’t expired. We recommend checking these prior to inspection as well.
Owners with property managed by August Property Management have the option for a licensed property manager to walk through their properties quarterly. We replace any old filters or batteries, test all GFCIs, and make sure all fire extinguishers are up to date and charged. We even provide a report with pictures and notes from your property manager. We look for any possible maintenance issues and confirm tenants are complying with their lease requirements, such as no smoking and lawn care.
What’s great is that any rental owner who uses our management services can get all this value for only $16/month!