Can I have a home inspection as a prospective tenant?

Yes indeed! With more and more inventory making its way into the rental market it is becoming more common for tenants to have home inspections prior to deposit and lease signing.

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May 12 2012 - Aliso Viejo
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We see inspections all the time in our area for high end homes and or long term rentals. Are there health and safety issues in the home you are renting? I would want to know if I were renting! A home inspection is always a good idea!
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May 13 2012
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I can think of a ton of reasons. I, personally, don't know  anything about inspection guidelines. So, if something was wrong with the structural integrity of the home, a landlord can tell me everything's just fine and I wouldn't know the difference. I've never worked in construction and I'm not a contractor. If you have your OWN documentation of the problems found during the inspection, the landlord can't put off repairs or updates that are needed to inhabit the home. Sure he'll/she'll be responsible for repairs, but you must know, not ALL landlords (or tenants) are stand up guys. If you get an inspection, you have documentation that will state the problem AND how much time he/she has to resolve it per the BOH. Hey, if there's nothing to hide, why question an inspection scheduled by a potential tenant. I wish I had done that with the last home I rented years ago. I'll never do it again without an inspection, if at all. I don't see how anyone could be confused as to why a tenant would want to do this. It's called protecting yourself or as some say "Covering your a$$".
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August 03 2013
Wet Dawgs, landlords try to hold tenants responsible for any number of pre-existing conditions. First let's assume that much like a standard home purchace not all sellers/landlords are created equal. If that were the case there would be no disclosure requirements and no real estate attorneys in the world.

Now let's begin. Cracked toilets, cracked window glass, damaged railings, worn/torn carpeting, cracked flooring, cracked counter tops, damaged appliances, bent/damaged roll up garage doors, damaged window screens, restricted drains, cracked sinks, missing drain stops, worn/damaged tub showers, broken faucet stops, plaster damage, damaged or missing window hardware, worn/damaged light fixtures/covers are just a few of the items that landlords use to withhold security and or deposit funds.

Now let's consider these items, inoperative heating/AC systems, damaged appliances, safety issues such and missing or inoperative smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fireplace systems that are inoperative or need to be serviced.

I often find water damage, active plumbing leaks, mold and or other safety issues. What tenant wants to move into a property and immediately begin the process of repair and remediation or worse dealing with an uncooperative landlord.

Even a simple transaction like renting a car has the need for a review of the asset before taking possession or you run the risk of being charged for those pre-existing conditions upon return of the asset.

Buyer and in this case "Tenant" beware!
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May 13 2012
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I'm still puzzled.   Are tenants being held responsible for structural integrity, condition of the roof, plumbing, rot in the walls etc?      I can imagine tenants clogging plumbing, or causing mold issues but most of what I've had inspected as a buyer has been components that I (as a landlord) would not expect the tenant to maintain.

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May 13 2012
Absolutely.  It is a great idea, especially if you plan on staying there for a longer term.
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May 13 2012
I agree...no reason to get an inspection on a rental as the landlord is responsible for repairs anyway.
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May 13 2012
Good comment Bob, I may have stated the timing portion of that scenario incorrectly. When I perform these rental inspections they are during the walk through portion of the transaction. I guess the lease has been signed subject to inspection. I'm in the coastal area of Orange County where deposits for summer rental beachside homes run in the tens of thousands of dollars. I also perform them on commerical properties and in what might be best described as executive homes where once again the deposits are substantial. Having the inspection will document property condition and in many cases cause the owner to effect repairs prior to taking possession of the property. I'm guessing the reports assist with full refund of deposit at lease termination at least from a property condition perspective. I'm not suggesting have an independent third party home inspection of a studio apartment at $600 per month, this service would offer protection where the loss can be much greater.
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May 13 2012
Will, while I can appreciate your zeal to pitch your product, I can't imagine a scenario where a home inspection would help in a lease situation - certainly not to GET the lease, anyway. ( They are way too competitive. While one prospective tenant is fooling around setting up, and having an inspection conducted, there are probably multiple applicants already being selected from.)

Nothing wrong with having one done AFTER you've been selected, but why waste a few hundred bucks to find out what's wrong with someone else's property?  If you live there, and something goes wrong, it's typically the landlord's responsibility to make it right - at NO cost to the tenant, other than a little inconvenience.

I'm sorry, but I can't fathom ONE good reason for a prospective tenant to have a 3rd party home inspection done on a rental property - unless he intends to buy it, someday.  Even then, he shouldn't do it until he's in escrow for the purchase.
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May 12 2012
 
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Can I have a home inspection as a prospective tenant?
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August 03 2013 | 8 answers
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