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Responses received from real estate investors when asked when they last inspected their properties can be interesting as one can guess from their contorted facial expressions that they most likely have never “formally” inspected their properties since the move in date.
A routine inspection could be described as a “safe and clean inspection” Indeed, you are checking for the following:
1 - Safety: Are your smoke detectors working and none have been tampered with?
2- Unreported damage or maintenance: Is the slowly dripping tap the tenant thought it was not worth bothering you with, irreversibly damaging your benchtop and the cabinet shelf underneath it?
3- Any unauthorised modification or damage: It is always better to have the discussion with the tenant about a remedy close to the time of occurrence than wait to discover it all at the end of the tenancy. Any P lab operation?
4- Potential tenancy agreement breaches: Is a pet kept on a property when it is not allowed? Are 5 people living in your studio apartment that is designed and safe for 2 residents at the most?
5- Ventilation and cleanliness: Does the place feel fresh and adequately ventilated so the curtains do not get mouldy and the paint work in bathrooms does not deteriorate faster than they should? Rubbish that is not dealt with in a timely manner could encourage rodents or other nuisance onto the property.
How often should these inspections be carried out?
The Residential Tenancy Act allows a landlord to inspect every 4 weeks at the most. Unless you have reasons to be concerned, this may be excessive. 6 months should be a minimum and in most cases 3 months is adequate to demonstrate reasonable care is taken to ensure the property remains in a safe and reasonably clean condition. This frequency is backed up by most insurance companies policies, contact them to check. In the event of a claim, the insurers will ask how often you have formally inspected the property and will expect you to provide a written condition report ideally with supportive photos.
Show you care and your tenants will care too!
Sounds onerous? You don’t like dealing with a lot of paperwork or with potentially confrontational situations? Simply call us and we will look after you, your tenants and your property.