How Long Do Apartment Inspections Take?

How Long Do Apartment Inspections Take?

Last Updated: January 23, 2024 by Jessica Menefee

Apartment inspections typically take 30 minutes – 1 hour, depending on the type of inspection, unit size, condition, and other factors.

Apartment Inspection Factors

Landlords should notify tenants of the areas that will be inspected as well as how long the inspection will take. Inspections can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as 2 hours or more based on a few factors including:

  • Type of inspection – Landlords may conduct move-in inspections, move-out inspections, routine inspections, or drive-by inspections. A drive-by inspection or a move-in inspection is typically faster than a routine or move-out inspection.
  • Size of the unit – Larger units take more time to inspect as there is more area to cover. Landlords may also have to check out exterior spaces such as porches or yards.
  • Condition of the unit – Units with excessive damage can take longer to inspect as the landlord or property manager will need to thoroughly document any issues.
  • Age of the unit – Older units may need more attention than new units.
  • Frequency of inspections  Landlords that conduct quarterly inspections are likely to be faster than those who inspect once per year. Landlords who inspect once per year will need to be very thorough while those who inspect regularly may complete a quick check to ensure the unit is still in order.
  • Landlord or Property Manager Experience – Experienced inspectors will have a good system in place for completing the inspection promptly.

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Lease Violations

The length of an apartment inspection can also increase due to lease violations, such as:

  • Unauthorized tenants – Landlords will need to document the violation and determine if the tenant increased paid for utilities or caused damage to the property
  • Unauthorized pets – If pets aren’t allowed or the tenant did not pay a pet deposit, a pet can cause major issues or damage to the unit such as damaging carpets or walls as well as excessive barking to cause problems with other tenants or neighbors.
  • Subletting – If the legal tenant has sublet the property without the landlord’s approval, there can be serious issues. Almost all states do not grant tenants, by default, the right to sublease.
  • Commercial business activities – Tenants need consent from the landlord to run a business from a rental property. Many HOA communities or other local laws prohibit commercial businesses from being run in a residential area.
  • Renovations – If a tenant changes the property without permission, it can also result in a lease violation. Changes may include painting, wallpapering, changing light fixtures, and more.
  • Broken appliances or fixtures – An inspection may reveal a broken appliance or other fixture of the property. The landlord may need to spend extra time assessing and documenting the damage to plan for a repair.
  • Excessive damage – Landlords may also discover excessive damage (beyond normal wear and tear). Depending on the significance of the damage, landlords will need to document the damage and may need to contact a handyman to determine the cost of repair.

Some lease violations will require more attention from the landlord, such as issuing a formal warning or even beginning the eviction process.

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How to Notify Tenants of a Rental Inspection

All states require landlords to give tenants prior notice before a rental inspection. Notifying tenants may include:

  • A Clause in the Lease Agreement
  • Actual Notice
  • Send a Reminder

A Clause in the Lease Agreement

Adding a “right to enter” clause that states that the landlord may enter the property with advance notice (according to state guidelines) to handle property maintenance and inspections can help avoid tenant issues.

Landlords should discuss the clause with the tenant when signing the lease agreement and briefly explain how and when apartment inspections typically take place.

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Required Notice

Most state entry laws only require the landlord to provide actual notice of a future entry. It just means any action that results in the tenant actually knowing about the landlord’s intent to enter. This notice typically must be given 24-48 hours in advance.

State Default Required Notice Allowed Notice Types
Alabama 2 days Any actual notice (written posting on main door of residence is preferred)
Alaska 24 hours Any actual notice
Arizona 2 days Any actual notice
Arkansas “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
California 24 hours (6 days for mailed notice) Written notice only (with some special exceptions)
Colorado “Reasonable” notice (48 hours in specific cases) Usually written, depends on entry purpose
Connecticut “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Delaware 48 hours Written notice only (but actual notice may count in court situations)
Florida 24 hours for repairs, “reasonable” notice otherwise Any actual notice
Georgia “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Hawaii 2 days Any actual notice
Idaho “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Illinois “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Indiana 24 hours Any actual notice
Iowa 24 hours Any actual notice
Kansas “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Kentucky 2 days Any actual notice (written only, if billing for non-compliance)
Louisiana “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Maine 24 hours Any actual notice
Maryland “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Massachusetts “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Michigan “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Minnesota “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Mississippi “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Missouri “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Montana 24 hours Any actual notice
Nebraska 24 hours Any actual notice
Nevada 24 hours Any actual notice
New Hampshire “Reasonable” notice generally (48 hours in some specific cases) Actual notice in general, written only for some specific cases
New Jersey 1 day Any actual notice
New Mexico 24 hours Any actual notice
New York “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
North Carolina “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
North Dakota “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice (written posting in/on residence is preferred)
Ohio “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Oklahoma 1 day Any actual notice
Oregon 24 hours Any actual notice
Pennsylvania “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Rhode Island 2 days Any actual notice
South Carolina 24 hours Any actual notice
South Dakota 24 hours (by custom, not a strict legal requirement) Any actual notice
Tennessee “Reasonable” notice generally, 24 hours for property showings Any actual notice
Texas “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Utah 24 hours (but tenants can’t sue if a landlord fails to provide adequate notice) Any actual notice
Vermont 48 hours Any actual notice
Virginia 72 hours Any actual notice
Washington 2 days (1 day for property showings) Written notice only
West Virginia “Reasonable” notice Any actual notice
Wisconsin 12 hours Written notice only, personally delivered to the tenant if possible
Wyoming “Reasonable” notice Any


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Send a Reminder

While not required, sending tenants a reminder text or email about the inspection is a good idea. This can go a long way to help maintain a positive and professional landlord-tenant relationship.


Hello, (Tenant Name), as a reminder I will be inspecting the unit today at 12:30. The inspection should take about 30 minutes. Thanks!