Why so many rental inspections?
As a tenant, rental inspections can feel like a bit of an inconvenience, not to mention slightly stressful.
But did you know rental inspections aren’t just conducted in the interests of the landlord, they’re actually of benefit to the tenant too.
So, here’s an insight into the real purpose of rental inspections and why they need to occur regularly.
Routine inspections and the law
Under a lease agreement, rental inspections are a necessary part of the tenancy process. They allow a property manager or landlord to visit the property and make sure it remains in good condition, is neat, tidy and generally well-cared for.
Although the law varies from state-to-state, there are generally a number of conditions which apply to these inspections.
The leasing agency must give adequate notice for a routine inspection (usually around 14 days in writing) and there are a maximum number of inspections they can conduct within set periods each year. In Victoria for example, routine inspections can be carried out every six months, but in Queensland and New South Wales it’s quarterly.
Inspections are carried out within business hours and the tenant can be there if they wish, but it’s not necessary for them to attend.
What are property managers looking for?
In a nutshell, these inspections are undertaken to ensure the property is clean, tidy and well cared for and that the tenant is adhering to their lease conditions.
That means the property will manager conduct a visual inspection of each room and area of the property.
These inspections are also designed to flag any potential maintenance issues or problems which might be emerging, so the property manager might look at trees which are overhanging the house, or check to see whether the gutters might be in need of a clean.
They might also note the paint is looking tired and suggest to the landlord it could use a spruce up.
A rental inspection checklist
As a general guide, when preparing for an inspection, the tenant should ensure the property is neat, tidy and clean.
- A routine clean (e.g. dusting, sweeping/vacuuming and cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces)
- Removing any mould from surfaces
- Ensuring fans and air conditioners are free of dust
- Lawn mowing and gardening
- Tidying up outside areas (e.g. decks, patios)
An opportunity for the tenant
As we mentioned earlier, a routine inspection isn’t just about looking after the landlord. It also assists in ensuring the tenant has a comfortable and safe property to reside in, and helps protect their rights under the lease.
For example, a routine inspection might illustrate to the property manager that a window no longer closes as it should, due to the house settling over time.
They can flag this as an issue which needs attention long before the glass window pane breaks and there’s a question over who is responsible for the damage.
That means routine inspections are an opportunity for the tenant to indicate any items which they believe need attention, might make them more comfortable in the property, or perhaps should be looked at in the future.
It’s important to remember, most maintenance issues should be reported in writing at the time a problem emerges, but a routine inspection can offer an additional chance to work with the property manager to improve or maintain the condition of the home or unit.
If you’re looking for property managers who will work with you to navigate the ins and outs of renting a property, our Eview agents can assist. Call us on 1300 438 439.