CategoriesRental Property

What Can a Landlord Look at During an Inspection?

what can a landlord look at during an inspection

Wondering what exactly a landlord can check during an inspection of a rental home? Let’s break it down simply. Landlords often conduct inspections to ensure everything is in good shape and that you, as the tenant, are taking care of the property.

That said, there are rules to follow. So, what can a landlord look at during an inspection? In this handy guide, we’ll explore the basics, from checking appliances to respecting tenant privacy, so you know what to expect and what tenants’ rights are. Let’s get started.

What Can a Landlord Look at During an Inspection?

When a landlord comes knocking for an inspection, here’s what they can typically look at. This includes everything from overall cleanliness to electrical systems and more.

Overall Cleanliness

One of the first things a landlord may check is how clean the rental unit is. They want to ensure that the property is well-maintained and free from clutter.

This includes common areas like hallways and stairwells, as well as the individual living space. Keeping things tidy not only pleases the landlord but also helps to maintain a healthy living environment for tenants and their neighbors.


A landlord or property manager will likely inspect any appliances that were provided with the rental unit, such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines.

Landlords want to make sure that these appliances are in good working condition and that they haven’t been damaged or misused. If tenants notice any issues with household appliances, they should be sure to report them to the landlord as soon as possible so that they can address them promptly.

Plumbing and Fixtures

Another important area that the landlord may inspect is the plumbing and fixtures in the rental unit. They’ll be checking for any leaks, drips, or other plumbing issues in sinks, toilets, showers, and faucets.

It’s essential to report any plumbing problems you notice right away, as they can lead to more significant issues if left unaddressed.

Electrical Systems

The landlord will also want to ensure that the electrical systems in the rental unit are functioning correctly and safely. This includes checking outlets, switches, and light fixtures for any signs of damage or wear.

If tenants experience any electrical issues, such as flickering lights or outlets that aren’t working, they should let their landlord know so that they can arrange for repairs.

Structural Integrity

The landlord may inspect the overall structural integrity of the rental property, including walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows. They’ll be looking for any damage or signs of wear and tear that need to be addressed.

It’s essential to report any structural issues you notice, such as cracks in the walls or windows that won’t close properly, so that they can be repaired before they worsen.

What Can’t a Landlord Look at During an Inspection?

While landlords have the right to inspect their rental property to ensure it’s well-maintained and in compliance with the lease agreement, there are certain limits to what they can inspect. Here are some things landlords typically cannot inspect during a routine inspection.

Personal Belongings

Tenants’ personal belongings are off-limits during a landlord’s inspection. This includes items such as clothing, furniture, electronics, and personal documents. The landlord cannot touch or move these items without tenants’ permission.

Their personal space should remain just that-personal. The landlord has the right to inspect the property itself, but they cannot intrude on a tenant’s privacy by rummaging through someone’s personal belongings.

Locked Areas

Landlords cannot force entry into locked areas within the rental unit without consent or a valid reason specified in the lease agreement or local laws. This includes locked closets, cabinets, or storage spaces.

These areas are considered private space, and the landlord should respect tenants’ right to privacy by not intruding without proper authorization.

Sensitive Information

A landlord cannot access or inspect sensitive personal information, such as financial records, medical records, or correspondence, without a person’s consent or a valid legal reason.

Tenants’ privacy rights extend to their personal information, and the landlord should not breach them during an inspection. Tenants should be sure to keep any sensitive documents secure and out of sight during inspections.

Tenant’s Privacy

Landlords must conduct inspections in a manner that respects tenants’ right to privacy. They should give tenants reasonable notice before entering the property and conduct inspections at a reasonable time of day, typically during normal business hours.

Tenants have the right to be present during the inspection if they choose, and the landlord should not conduct inspections too frequently or at unreasonable times.

Illegal Activities

While landlords have the right to address lease violations, they cannot use inspections as a pretext to search for evidence of illegal activities unrelated to the lease agreement, such as drug use or other criminal behavior, without proper legal authority.

A landlord’s primary concern during an inspection should be the condition of the property and ensuring that tenants are complying with the terms of the lease agreement.

How to Discuss Upcoming Inspections

When discussing upcoming inspections with your tenant, it’s crucial for a landlord to establish open and respectful communication. They should begin by emphasizing the significance of rental property maintenance and expressing gratitude for their cooperation in the inspection process.

They should clarify the purpose of the inspection and provide details regarding the date, time, and expected duration. It’s important to be receptive to any scheduling conflicts they may have and consider accommodating alternative times if feasible.

Landlords should also encourage their tenants to voice any concerns or questions they may have regarding the inspection, fostering transparency and trust. Effective communication lays the foundation for a harmonious and productive inspection process benefiting both parties.

What to Know about a Rental Property Inspection

Above, we asked and answered what can a landlord look at during an inspection, as well as what they can’t look at. For landlords seeking expert property management services, understanding what they can look at during an inspection is vital.

At Reedy & Company, with over 40 years of experience in Memphis, TN, we offer comprehensive solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can optimize your rental property management experience. We look forward to speaking to you.