It’s that time of year again rental inspection season in Colorado! As a landlord, you want to make sure your rental property is in tip-top shape to pass inspection and keep your tenants happy. A failed inspection can lead to headaches, extra costs, and delays in renting your property, so proper preparation is key.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to prepare your Colorado rental property for inspection. We’ll cover what’s inspected, how to spot potential issues, tips for repairs and improvements, and a checklist to keep you on track. Let’s get started!
What’s Inspected During a Rental Inspection
In Colorado, all rental properties must pass an inspection every 1-3 years depending on your city or county. Inspections ensure rental units meet basic health, safety, and habitability standards. Inspectors will check the interior, exterior, and common areas of your property. Here are the key areas they’ll evaluate:
- Walls/ceilings – No major cracks, holes, or water damage. Paint/drywall in good repair.
- Floors – Even surfaces with no trip hazards. Carpets vacuumed and in good condition.
- Windows – Operable, no cracked/broken panes, locks function properly.
- Doors – No damage, open/close easily, proper hardware installed.
- Lighting – Working light fixtures in all rooms and common areas.
- Ventilation – Bathroom/kitchen fans vent properly and are free of dust.
- Plumbing – No leaks underneath sinks or tubs. Hot and cold water work properly.
- Electrical – No exposed wires or faulty outlets. GFCI outlets installed properly.
- Heating/cooling – HVAC systems must be in working order.
- Appliances – Stove, oven, refrigerator all operate correctly.
- Smoke detectors – Correct type installed in each bedroom and common area. Operate properly.
- Carbon monoxide detectors – Installed appropriately and functioning.
- Bedrooms – Meet size requirements with adequate light/ventilation. Closet in each room.
- Overall cleanliness – No clutter or unsanitary conditions.
- Roof – No major damage or leaks. Shingles intact. Proper drainage.
- Gutters – Securely attached and clear of debris. Drain properly.
- Siding – No rotting, cracking, or peeling paint.
- Windows – Latches and locks work. No broken glass or torn screens.
- Doors – Solid, lock properly, open/close easily. Weather sealing intact.
- Deck/Porches – Sturdy, no major structural damage. Railings secure.
- Exterior lighting – Working light at each entryway.
- Landscaping – Grass/weeds trimmed. No overgrown vegetation.
- Fencing – Intact, no missing boards or dangerous protrusions.
- Garage door – Operates properly with auto-reverse function.
- House numbers – Clearly displayed and easy to read from the street.
Common Areas (Multi-Family Properties)
- Hallways – Clean and uncluttered. Adequate lighting.
- Stairways – Handrails properly installed and secure. No tripping hazards.
- Community rooms – Maintained, ventilated, and accessible.
- Laundry room – Operational with proper ventilation.
- Garbage area – Clean and enclosed.
- Parking area – Free of debris and hazardous conditions.
- Playgrounds – Equipment in good repair. No sharp edges or damage.
- Pool (if applicable) – Meets safety standards. Operational equipment.
How to Spot Potential Issues Before Inspection
The best defense is a good offense when it comes to rental inspection Colorado. Be proactive by doing a thorough pre-inspection of your own. Walk through the entire property, inside and out, to identify any problems or areas needing improvement. Here’s what to look for:
Signs of wear and tear
Scuffed walls, worn carpets, leaky faucets. Time to freshen things up.
Outdated or non-compliant safety features – Upgrade to meet current smoke detector and GFCI outlet requirements
Faulty systems or appliances
Test all HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Repair or replace broken appliances.
Clutter and uncleanliness
Tenants aren’t required to deep clean when they vacate but any grime or clutter issues need addressing.
Structural or water damage
Look for cracks in ceilings or foundations, rotting wood, mold/mildew buildup.
Peeling exterior paint or roof damage
Address these issues quickly to prevent further damage.
Trees, bushes, grass need regular trimming and maintenance.
- General exterior maintenance – Power wash siding, repair fences, wall cracks, maintain the roof.
- Common area wear – High traffic common spaces require extra diligence.
Catching maintenance needs and repairs early allows sufficient time to correct violations before inspection day.
Tips for Making Repairs and Improvements
Once you’ve identified any problem areas, it’s time to start making improvements. Here are tips for efficiently addressing repairs and upgrades:
Triage the most important safety issues and code violations first. Cosmetic fixes come later.
Get professional help for major issues – Don’t DIY electrical, plumbing or structural repairs. Hire licensed contractors.
Take care of exterior issues first
Curb appeal matters. Focus on landscaping, paint, roof, and siding repairs in early spring.
Reserve enough time for repairs
Some projects have long timelines. Order any parts/materials well in advance.
Review costs of replacement vs repair
Sometimes it’s better in the long run to just replace an old appliance or flooring.
Install bathroom/kitchen fans if lacking. Replace AC filters.
Consider preventative improvements
Upgrade to longer-lasting materials or add protective measures like window film.
Enhance living spaces
New lighting fixtures, closet organizers, shower heads provide an upgrade tenants appreciate.
Increase curb appeal
Fresh paint on the front door, potted plants, and decorative touches make a great first impression.
With the right combination of diligence and elbow grease, you can tackle repairs efficiently. This spares you major headaches down the road.
Preparing for the Inspector Visit
You’ve done your repairs, double checked the checklist, and now the inspector is on their way. Here are a few final tips to prepare for inspection day:
- Tidy up inside and do final cleaning if tenants recently moved out.
- Test smoke/CO detectors, HVAC, appliances again right before inspection. Replace batteries as needed.
- Have all paperwork ready including emergency contact form, current business license, past inspection reports, etc.
- Inform tenants of date/time if the inspector will access inside units.
- Unlock gates, access doors, electrical panels, HVAC closets so the inspector can easily examine them.
- Keep pets out of the way during the walkthrough.
- Be onsite during the inspection in case any questions come up.
- Take notes on any areas the inspector says need improvement.
- Stay calm! A few minor violations are common. Work cooperatively with inspectors.
- Ask when you’ll receive the full report and for a timeline to correct any citations.
With ample preparation and organization, your rental inspection doesn’t have to be stressful or take you by surprise. By staying one step ahead, you can pass with flying colors! Let us know if you need help getting your Colorado rental property in tip-top shape for inspectors. We offer affordable repair, maintenance, cleaning and improvement services tailored for landlords. Contact us today for a quote!