THE TENANTS GUIDE TO REGULAR PROPERTY INSPECTIONS
It’s fair to say that a successful tenancy usually goes hand in hand with good cooperation between the tenant, property manager, and the home owner. Part of the mutual obligations include the tenant keeping the property clean and to an acceptable standard, and the property owner undertaking regular maintenance and repairs as required. Regular scheduled property inspections are part of every tenancy and form part of the tasks undertaken by property managers to ensure the owners valuable asset is being looked after.
The primary purpose of an inspection and its associated report is to record the condition of the property on the day it’s undertaken. Property inspections are only a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the property. In cases where the property owner requires a more thorough inspection covering other matters such as electrical or plumbing services for example, then an appropriately qualified person will need to be engaged.
Getting back the issue of regular property inspections, and you’ll find that most tenancies build in the initial inspection early in the tenancy period followed by other inspections every 17 weeks. The property manager will email the tenant in the approved RTA entry form advising of the inspection and providing at least the legislated minimum notification period.
Once the property is inspected, the property manager will provide a written report (and photos) to the home owner and advise the tenant of the outcome. The report will advise the condition of the property, record any maintenance requirements and make recommendations for future upgrades where appropriate.
It’s at this point that any remedial action required will be outlined to the tenant with reasonable timeframes provided to make the changes. For example, if the inspection reveals damage to a wall, the tenant will be provided time and opportunity to repair the damage to a good standard to avoid the need for the property manager to intervene and initiate repairs at the expense of the tenant. It’s also important for any remedial work to be undertaken around the time of the inspection and not at the end of the tenancy.
Ultimately, the tenant is entitled to peaceful possession of the property during the tenancy, but at the same time the property owner is entitled to ensure it is being kept and maintained to a good standard.
In the event a dispute arises out of a scheduled inspection, the property manager will attempt to resolve the matter with the tenant and owner through careful engagement and negotiation. This approach usually resolves most matters to the satisfaction of all parties.
Nobody starts a tenancy with the intention of having a dispute with the property manager or owner over the ongoing care of the home, but if one eventuates there are clear obligations on all parties in terms of resolving any issues, as well as clear and effective options for both landlord and tenant to pursue through the Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA) and ultimately QCAT.
This blog is intended to give you general information about regular property inspections undertaken as part of standard tenancy agreements. It is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the available options.
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This publication covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional finance or legal advice. McAdam & Turnbull Realty recommends that professional legal and/or finance advice should be obtained before taking any action on the basis of the general information presented in this publication.
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