Being a landlord comes with responsibility - but don't worry, that can be a good…
The benefits of routine rental property inspections are often untold.
They shouldn’t be a source of frustration but seen as an invaluable opportunity to ensure the upkeep of your investment property and that your tenant enjoys their rental experience.
Rental property inspections help landlords ensure their investment is being well cared for and to monitor for any maintenance or health and safety issues.
At the same time, landlords should respect that for the tenant, the rental property is their home. They too should have an opportunity to voice any concerns.
While legislation differs from state-to-state, generally it is recommended that rental inspections be held once every three months.
More often is not only a nuisance to your tenants but may also be a breach of your state’s residential tenancy laws.
Quarterly rental property inspections gives landlords an opportunity to build rapport with their tenants and identify any issues before they escalate and become costly.
Landlords must give tenants a minimum of seven days’ notice before completing a rental inspection. Visit your state’s residential tenancy authority website or speak with your property manager to obtain an entry notice form.
Generally landlords should provide a specific time for the rental inspection. Landlords should be courteous and considerate of their tenants, holding inspections between 8am and 6pm. Any changes to these rules – such as more regular inspections or unannounced visits – must be agreed to in writing by both the landlord and tenant.
Maintenance issues and repairs
Tenants may use the rental property inspection as an opportunity to raise concerns or request maintenance to the property.
If the tenant will not be present at the rental property inspection – they may be at work for example – landlords should contact them ahead of time to discuss any issues.
This could include identifying leaking taps or consumables to be replaced such as light globes or water filters.
If any tenant-related issues are identified during the rental property inspection, landlords must serve the tenant with a Notice to Remedy. This should outline the problem and by when it needs to be rectified. Examples include damage, unkempt gardens and additional cleaning requirements.
Rental inspection checklist
There are many different areas to consider when completing a rental property inspection. For example, landlords need to ensure that the tenant is maintaining the general upkeep and cleanliness of the property. The landlord also needs to monitor for issues outside of the tenants responsibility, many of which are age and weather-related.
- Check for general condition and cleanliness – for example, carpets, walls, doors, floors, curtains, kitchen including the oven, bathroom and toilet.
- Monitor wet areas for mould and potential water damage, including kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, ensuite and toilets.
- Check health and tidiness of garden, including lawns, trees and plants.
Property owner-specific matters:
- Ensure all doors and windows open, close and lock freely.
- Check for leaking taps (internally and externally) and ensure all kitchen and bathroom waste flows freely.
- Ensure exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchen are operational and free of dust and debris.
- Check air-conditioning and water filters are clean and blockage free.
- Check weatherboard, bricks and tiles for cracks and deterioration.
- Look under / around the house for dampness or wood rot.
- Check hot water service and cold water supply for leaks, temperature and pressure.
- Monitor for signs of termite damage and rust.
It is important that landlords issue their tenants with a Notice to Remedy as soon as possible after the rental property inspection. The tenant should be given 14 days’ notice to rectify the issue before further action is taken.
Any maintenance issues identified should be responded to in a timely manner. Leaky taps are not considered urgent, however broken windows and faulty appliances are for example.
By Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance Executive Manager
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it.
Insurance issued by Vero Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy.