Home Inspections : Protecting your Rental Property

A phrase that is often used in our business is “you only need a property manager when you need a property manager”. Tongue and cheek plug aside, the idea it presents is that a professional property manager would have the foresight that experience creates to put preventative systems in place that protect both your home and tenancy. In saying this we wonder why home inspections are often treated as a ‘should-do’ rather than a ‘must-do’. We sat down with Victoria Ballantine, a licensed home inspector with over 25 years of construction experience and owner of Allegiant Inspections (https://allegiantinspections.ca ), who gave us some wonderful insight into the world of professional home inspections and how they can be used as a vital property management tool.

INSPECTIONS REDUCE LIABILITY: While many tenants consider themselves handy, any repairs or maintenance that should have been and were not done by licensed professionals can spell major issues. Work done without the right permits, whether electrical, plumbing, or structural will not be covered by insurance should they cause damage or injury. A common example is that all wood-burning fireplaces are dated and if not cleaned and inspected with regularity, are not covered by homeowners’ insurance should damage or injury arise. One spark through a crack in the mortar can cause significant damage to a tinder-dry wood-framed structure.

THEY SAVE YOU MONEY: Catching seemingly minor issues before they become expensive emergencies can add up to huge cost savings for landlords. Clogged gutters can back up past the “high-tide” mark and water will be absorbed into the wood sheathing of the roof, causing rot. They can also do substantial damage to concrete foundations. Gutters cost very little to clean and can save thousands of dollars in repairs. The same is true for bathroom grout and caulking; a few hundred dollars to do regular maintenance/repairs but thousands to fix structural water damage behind the tiles.

THEY HELP BUDGETING: As a private landlord, would you know the life expectancy of roofing materials? Hot water tanks? Heating systems? Plumbing materials? And are you likely to be faced with the failure of any of these in the near future? Understanding future costs can help you engage with your property manager and plan for your investment accordingly and avoid sudden and reactive expenses.

SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY: Did you know that electrical wires in the attic are a favourite thing for rodents to chew on? It’s likely you didn’t and since inspections do look for pest and rodent activity you can take steps to prevent electrical fires or personal injury before it happens. The same can be said for the rest of the electrical system that is inspected by a professional. A home inspection includes all visible aspects of the building. You will know if the stairs and railings are loose (a potential lawsuit) as well as if the structure itself is sound.

An ounce of prevention can protect your investment and give you the peace of mind of knowing that your rental property is operating as efficiently as possible. While a professional property manager will always be a vital resource in protecting your investment we strongly recommend leaning on the advice of experts. With this being the start of a new year, we encourage you to get in contact with your property manager who would be able to introduce you to a professional, licensed home inspector like Victoria from Allegiant Inspections and assess the overall health of your investment. On behalf of the team at Sycamore Property Management, we wish you a wonderful year ahead. Happy Renting!

Will I get my home back the way it was?

We understand how scary the thought of a damaged home is and we care about protecting your valuable asset. While wear and tear is to be expected when renting out your home; what forms as an excessive amount and who is responsible for it is our job to determine, a job that we do very well.


It starts with placing the right tenant and with our years of combined experience managing basement suites to luxury estates we have proven processes in place such as comprehensive screening processes, preventative maintenance trackers, rigorous inspections and condition reports to ensure you receive your home back in the best condition possible. In the rare event that it is not the case, we will work tirelessly alongside to guide you through the legal avenues available ensuring you get what is owed to you.


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