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Passing a Rental Property Inspection in Delaware Checklist and Important Things to Know

  • September 7, 2023
  • James Beeson
  • Category: Property Management, Rent & Security Deposits

Are you getting ready for a rental property inspection in Delaware? It can feel a bit overwhelming. The goal is to make sure that everyone has a comfortable place to call home. Whether you’re a tenant, a landlord, or sharing your home with others, knowing the process can be really helpful. Delaware takes the well-being of its residents seriously. These rental property inspections are in place to maintain living standards for all.

Why Is A Rental Property Inspection Important?

Well, they aren’t for any property. They specifically focus on properties where the owner doesn’t live or homes where the owner lives but shares it with more than two people who are not family members. The purpose is to ensure that every aspect of the property meets the city’s standards benefiting both residents and property owners.

Why Is A Rental Property Inspection Important?


What Exactly Is a Rental Property Inspection?

Think of it like lending your electronic gadget to a friend. Before handing it over you might check if it’s clean and working properly. When your friend returns it you’ll inspect it again to ensure everything is still in shape. That’s similar to how rental property inspections work!

A rental property inspection serves as a sort of “check-up” for a house or apartment that is being put up for rent. Prior to a tenant moving in either the owner or a specialized inspector examines the premises. Their goal is to ensure that everything is safe and functioning properly. They do this by looking at aspects such as doors, windows, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Throughout the tenant’s stay, periodic inspections may occur to ensure that everything remains in order. Lastly when the tenant is ready to move out another inspection takes place to assess the condition of the place.

Why are these inspections necessary?

Rental property inspections are necessary because they provide protection for both the landlord and the tenant by guaranteeing a comfortable living environment for everyone involved. Any damage to the structure is assessed and the inspector ensures that it is fixed.

Why are these inspections necessary?

How does rental property inspection work in Delaware?

If you’re considering renting a property in Delaware it’s important to understand how rental property inspections function within Delaware. Here is an overview of the step-by-step process of rental property inspection.

1. Prior Consent

Before any inspections can begin, permission, from the owner or landlord must be obtained by the inspector.

This information is typically obtained from either the tenant residing in the property or the person responsible, for managing it. Without receiving a confirmation from them the inspection cannot take place.

2. Types of Properties Subject to Inspection

Not all residences undergo inspections in Delaware. The focus is on types;

  • Houses where the owner does not reside.
  • Houses where the owner lives but shares the space with more than two non-family members.

3. Purpose of the Inspection

Why is an inspection necessary? Its main objective is to ensure safety for everyone and guarantee that the property meets standards for habitation. This ensures that tenants can live comfortably while also maintaining and enhancing property value for owners.

4. Areas Assessed During Inspection

During an inspection several aspects are thoroughly examined, including;

  • Doors and windows:  Are they secure and not damaged?
  • Plumbing: Are there any leaks or plumbing-related issues?
  • Electricity: Is it safe and follows all the safety standards?
  • General condition: Is the premises clean and free from damage?

5. After Completion of Inspection

Once a comprehensive evaluation has been conducted a report detailing any identified issues will be generated by the inspector. The property owner will then receive this list. The owner will be responsible for addressing the matters listed.

Only once these issues have been resolved can the property be rented out again.

6. Regular Inspections

Inspections are not a one-time process. After a tenant moves in, there may be inspections to ensure that the property remains in excellent condition. Delaware takes inspections seriously as it prioritizes the safety of everyone involved and ensures that properties are well maintained.

Understanding this process is beneficial, for both renters and landlords as it allows them to avoid any circumstance where they might fail.

Rental Property Inspection Checklist in Delaware

When renting a home in Delaware it is crucial to understand what an inspector inspects during the inspection. This guarantees safety and peace of mind for both landlords and tenants. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Rental Property Inspection Checklist in Delaware

1. Exterior of Rental Unit

  • Material Condition; Inspectors thoroughly examine walls, roofs, and foundations for any signs of damage.
  • Drainage; The inspection verifies proper water drainage to prevent flooding or water-related harm.

2. Accessory Structures

  • Sheds, garages, and other additional buildings undergo inspection.
  • Inspection ensures their structural integrity and overall safety.

3. Sanitation

  • Proper disposal areas, for trash are checked during the inspection process.
  • The area is checked for pests or infestations

4. Entrances and Exits

  • Make sure all entrances and exits are clear and not blocked.
  • Check that safety measures, like railings or ramps are in place.

5. Exterior Doors

  • It’s important to have locking mechanisms for security.
  • Check for weatherstripping and sealing to improve energy efficiency.

6. Windows

  • Ensure that all windows can be opened and closed easily.
  • Take a look at the condition of screens and glass.

7. Throughout the Home

  • Check for cleanliness.
  • Make sure there is no presence of mold or mildew.

8. Stairways

  • Secure the railings to ensure safety.
  • Remove any tripping hazards such as carpeting.

9. Kitchen

  • Verify that appliances are working efficiently.
  • Inspect for any leaks or plumbing issues.
  • Check the condition of cabinets and storage areas.

10. Bathrooms

  • Ensure ventilation in each bathroom.
  • Inspect faucets and toilets for leaks.
  • Make sure all fixtures are securely mounted.

11. Bedrooms

  • Adequate ventilation and lighting are essential, in bedrooms.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are functioning properly.

12. Smoke Alarms

  • Are the smoke alarms installed on all floors?
  • Each and every smoke alarm should function
  • The battery life of devices is also examined.

13.  Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • These alarms are considered essential for homes with gas-burning appliances. Inspectors carefully verify that these alarms are in working order.

14.  Fire Extinguishers

  • It is important for fire extinguishers to be easily accessible.
  • Inspectors check if they have not expired and have been maintained properly.

15. Sprinkler System

  • If a sprinkler system is present it is inspected for functionality.
  • Inspectors ensure that it covers all areas of the home adequately.

16. Mechanical Systems

  • Heating and cooling systems undergo inspection.
  • The goal is to ensure that all systems operate efficiently and safely.

17. Electrical Components

  • Wiring, outlets, and switches receive inspection.
  • The aim is to identify any risks of fires or shocks.

18. Washer and Dryer Assessment

  • Both appliances must be in working condition during the inspection.
  • Connections and vents associated with these machines are also checked.

19. Basement Examination

  • Basements are inspected for signs of dampness or water leaks.
  • Proper insulation and prevention of mold growth are also verified.

This checklist offers a guide, on what to anticipate during an inspection promoting the importance of healthy living conditions for everyone involved.

Benefits Of Rental Property Inspection?

Benefits Of Rental Property Inspection?

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant renting a property there are some responsibilities and expectations. The rental property inspections ensure that those are followed. Here’s why performing a property inspection is vital

1. Prioritizing Safety

  • An inspection ensures that all safety features, such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • It checks for hazards like wiring or structural issues that could endanger the occupants.

2. Maintaining Property Value

  • Regular inspections help landlords identify and address any signs of wear and tear before they escalate into problems.
  • By ensuring that the property remains well maintained it retains its market value and attractiveness for rentals.

3. Compliance with Legal Requirements

  • Regions have housing codes and regulations that rental properties must adhere to.
  • An inspection guarantees compliance with these codes reducing the risk of complications or penalties.

4. Effective Communication

  • Inspections provide a channel of communication, between tenants and landlords.
  • During the inspection, any concerns or issues, from either party can be addressed.

5. Cost Savings

  • Identifying problems such as a leak or electrical issue can lead to significant savings on repairs in the long term.
  • It helps prevent small issues from escalating to big problems where costly repairs are required.

6. Peace of Mind

  • For tenants, an inspection provides assurance that they are moving into a well-maintained property.
  • On the other hand, landlords can have peace of mind knowing that they have fulfilled their responsibility.

7. Protection for Both Parties

  • At the end of a lease, an inspection helps determine if there is any damage beyond wear and tear. This aids in resolving disputes regarding security deposits.
  • It sets clear and specific expectations regarding the condition of the property, from the beginning until the end of the lease.


Rental property inspections go beyond being formalities. They are an integral part of the rental process that safeguards both landlords’ and tenants’ interests and well-being. Whether it is ensuring safety, enhancing property value, or complying with law requirements there is no denying the benefits of conducting a thorough inspection of the rental property.

How To Prepare Your Rental Property For Inspection?

Here are some important tips to prepare your rental property for inspection.

1. General Cleanliness

  • Clean every inch of your property from the floors all the way up to the ceilings.
  • Pay attention to ensuring that the kitchen and bathrooms are sparkling clean.
  • Remove any clutter and personal items as this will make it easier for the inspector to move around freely.

2. Accessibility

  • Make sure that all areas of your property are easily accessible including attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
  • Unlock all doors, those leading to storage rooms or utility closets.
  • Clear any pathways or obstructions that could hinder movement during the inspection.

3. Electrical Systems Check

  • Take a moment to check that all light switches and outlets are functioning properly.
  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs.
  • Tidy up any exposed wiring. Ensure that the fuse box is labeled and easily accessible.

4. Plumbing Inspection

  • Take care of any taps or leaking pipes before the inspection.
  • Double-check that toilets flush correctly without any issues.
  • Ensure that drains are clear and free-flowing, for operation.


5. Testing Safety Features

  • Make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working fine. If needed replace the batteries.
  • Check if your security alarms or systems are functioning properly.
  • Confirm that your fire extinguishers are easily accessible and haven’t expired.

6. Landscaping and Outdoor Maintenance

  • Take care of the lawn by mowing it and trimming any shrubs or trees.
  • Clear any debris or obstacles, from walkways and driveways.
  • Look out for any peeling paint, or damaged siding on the exterior of your property and make necessary repairs.

7. Windows and Doors

  • Give both the inside and outside of your windows a thorough cleaning.
  • Ensure that all windows can open and close without any issues.
  • Test all door locks to ensure they’re working correctly.


8. Pest Control

  • Take action if you notice signs of pests like droppings or insect nests.
  • Consider getting a pest inspection done if you suspect an infestation.


9. HVAC System Maintenance

  • Replace air filters as required to maintain efficiency in heating and cooling systems.
  • Make sure that your heating and cooling systems are functioning efficiently.
  • Clean ducts to ensure airflow throughout your home.

10. Gathering Documentation

Keep documents such as warranties, repair receipts, or maintenance logs handy, for reference. This can provide proof of the property maintenance. Address any concerns the inspector might have.

11. Be Present But Give Space

It can be helpful to be available during the inspection in case the inspector has any questions. However, avoid hovering. Allow the inspector to work independently and form an opinion.

Properly preparing for a property inspection ensures a smooth and quick inspection process.  It also showcases the effort and care you put into maintaining the property. This can have a strong and positive impact on the inspector.


Having rental property inspection in Delaware is vital for both landlords and tenants as it ensures safety preserves property value and provides peace of mind. Adequately preparing your property for an inspection can make a difference in how the inspection proceeds and its outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why is it necessary to conduct a property inspection?

Rental property inspections are important for keeping your property well-maintained and peace of mind. It also improves the value of your house.

Q2. Who typically performs the property inspection?

Usually, a licensed and certified property inspector conducts the inspection. However, in some cases landlords or property managers may also carry out checks.

Q3. How frequently should a rental property be inspected?

The frequency of inspections can vary depending on regulations and lease agreements. Typically it is done before a tenant moves in or when the tenant moves out.

Q4. Can tenants be present during the inspection?

Yes in some cases tenants have the right to be present, during inspections. This helps in resolving any damage-related issues between the tenant and the owner.

Q5. What happens if a property fails an inspection?

If the rental property fails the inspection then the landlord is given a time frame to fix all the listed issues. Failure to fix the problems in the given time frame might lead to a penalty.

Q6. Are there any costs associated with property inspections?

Yes, if you decide to hire an inspector for your rental property inspection, they will charge you a fee for their services.

Q7. Who is responsible, for the property inspection? 

This is usually determined by the lease agreement or local regulations.

Q8. How much time does a typical rental property inspection usually take?

The length of the inspection can vary depending on the size of the property and how thorough the inspection is. However most inspections typically last, between 2 to 4 hours.