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A discussion about inspections.

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There is a minimum and maximum notice period for a landlord or property manager to issue to a tenant to advise a routine inspection is going to be conducted at the rental property.

There are several reasons why routine inspections are conducted and it’s not only to ensure the tenant is adhering to their obligations as per their tenancy agreement, but also a main reason is to protect the landlord’s asset and ensure the landlord are adhering to their obligations to maintaining the property in a reasonable state of repair.

Routine inspections are a good time to check on any maintenance issues to ensure minor issues do not blow up into big problems if they go unaddressed. It serves to keep the property in the best condition.

Here’s a tip for tenants to do at the commencement of the tenancy.

Check the frequency with which the landlord or property manager will conduct routine inspections. This way you will know they are due, so you can keep on top of things between inspections, especially if you have a busy lifestyle, or remain in a property for several years.

Whilst a tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property during the tenancy they must remember they are renting someone else’s property and are obligated maintain any part of the property to the same standard as applied at the commencement of the tenancy. This includes keeping the property clean, clear of rubbish, regularly mowing lawns, weeding and watering gardens, regular removal of cobwebs (externally and internally) and cleaning light shades (especially if they are heavily dusty and/or filled with insects). Window tracks should be cleaned as needed. It goes without saying that cook-tops, ovens, grillers and exhaust fans (including vents) need regular cleaning as well as bathrooms (even if they are not being used). Garages and sheds are to be swept and fresh oil removed regularly so stains don’t become permanent and costly to remove.

When a tenant originally views a property for rent they have the opportunity to assess whether or not they will be able to keep on top of the property including garden maintenance. This means they need to water lawns and gardens because if plants or lawns die (due to negligence) they must be replaced or reimbursed and this could be an expensive exercise.

Let’s think of the final inspection.

Most tenants will work like Trojans to get the rental property prepared for the final inspection. If they had maintained regular cleaning then this process may not be as labour intensive for them or potentially costly. A final inspection is just that: the tenancy has finished, and vacant possession has been given to the landlord. The landlord or property manager are not obligated to allow the tenant to come back to complete missed items. Generally a company will be engaged to complete these items on behalf of the tenant at their cost. Even after an amicable tenancy the final inspection can be a point of disagreement between the parties.

Routine inspections aren’t a surprise due to the notice period, so tenants should be well prepared as per their obligations. These inspections can often assist in the lead-up to the final inspection and reduce the risk of disagreement.

If you own an investment property and want peace of mind,
contact Lisa Akeroyd of Barossa Rental Specialists on
0414 335 660 to discuss your rental management strategy.

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