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Be in the know about what it takes for a successful routine inspection

A routine rental inspection can fly by without a tenant even realising. Often a stress free experience, the right amount of preparation is the key to ensuring that the process goes smoothly for all involved.

What is a routine inspection?

A routine inspection is a visual check of a rental property that a property manager will complete to ensure the tenants are following the conditions of their lease and maintaining the property.

A property manager will look to make sure that your rental is in a reasonably clean state and is undamaged.

A good property manager will appreciate that the property they are inspecting is someone’s home though. In this regard, there is no need to sterilise every inch and corner; a tidy and well-kept effort should be enough.

When can they happen?

In Queensland, routine inspections cannot be performed more than once every three months. A tenant must be given at least seven days’ notice before the inspection occurs.

Privacy and access laws in New South Wales state that a property can be inspected four times in a 12-month period. Seven days written notice must be given to the tenant.

In Victoria, an inspection requires 24 hours’ written notice and can only occur between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm on any day except public holidays.

Routine rental inspections can happen every six months. The owner cannot enter for an inspection within the first three months of a tenancy though.

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What you need to do?

Preparing for your routine inspection is a process. By taking it step by step you can tackle any individual problems and make sure you get on top of them in time.

1. Starting early

As with anything in life, preparation is the key. Getting an early start to ensure that your home will be ready for inspection is the key to success.

Once you know the date of the inspection, you can plan a schedule around what tasks you need to do. Clean your kitchen one day, vacuum the living area the next.

If the property has a garden, it can be worthwhile getting started on that early. Gardening, while often a relaxing process, can be a very time consuming and energy sapping activity.

Another key step for the process that should be tackled early is ensuring that the property manager’s office has your current phone numbers and email address. This is so they can contact you and give the appropriate notice.

If you are allowed pets and have them, it is wise to make sure they are secured and safe. It can be a good idea to let somebody look after them for the day if you can.

2. List any issues

A primary benefit of a routine inspection is that it allows for an investor to check in on their asset and make sure that it is being maintained.

They also allow for a tenant to bring up any issues that they have with the property. These can include:

  • Reporting structural damage
  • External structure condition
  • Problems with amenities like toilet and sink clogs.

It is worth noting that any structural damage that has been caused by a tenant is their responsibility, not the property owner’s.

Be sure to make a list of any issues that you do have before the property is inspected so that any repairs or upkeep can be actioned quickly.

3. Fix minor problems

There are always going to be minor issues that a tenant can take care of themselves, particularly if they are responsible for causing them.

Minor bumps to walls, scratches to paint and any build-up of grime are things that a tenant can possibly deal with to make a routine inspection go smoother.

4. Proper clean

Kitchen and bathroom grit, sweeping and vacuuming, dusting and everything that comes between should be at the top of your list when preparing for a routine inspection.

While it may not need to shine like a diamond, a well cleaned property will impress a property manager while the inspection is taking place. This can put you in good stead with them if you would like to maintain living there and want the lease agreement renewed.

A tenant should be cleaning on a regular basis and should not need to be prompted to do so by a routine inspection though.

5. Don’t stress

Routine inspections are a natural way for an investors and property managers to see how the property is going. If a tenant has done nothing wrong and hasn’t damaged the property in any way there will be nothing to worry about.

In most cases, an inspection won’t take longer than 10 minutes. Property managers are busy at the best of times and only really do a quick check on the condition of the property to see if it is being maintained.

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