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How to handle your first end of tenancy inspection

Photo: Lake Wanaka View by Jason Pratt

Your tenants are moving out, and it’s time to assess how they left the property before you agree to refund the bond. As tenants are expected to keep a property reasonably clean beyond any normal wear and tear, your final inspection should take place after your tenant has cleaned inside and out, and has moved all of their belongings out of the home.

First steps

You can choose to do your inspection without the tenant present (which may give you more space to do a thorough check), or you and the tenant can go through the final inspection together. Either way, you should send your tenants an exit letter and cleaning checklist before you conduct your inspection. This letter will inform them that a final inspection will be conducted before bond is released, and it will let them know exactly what you’ll be looking for so they can be sure to clean thoroughly. If you don’t conduct the inspection together, both you and your tenant should do your own, taking photos as evidence.

Tip: You should bring any key tenancy documents with you to your final inspection, including the tenancy agreement and the initial property inspection report in case you need to reference them.

What to check for

Determine if there is damage on any chattels, and check for any rubbish left behind. Take photos and make a detailed list of any items left behind, and then follow the legal procedure for dealing with abandoned goods.

If there are outdoor areas of the property, check that they have been left clean and tidy.

You may want to conduct a methamphetamine test on your property. This should normally be done before and after tenancies, which makes the final inspection an ideal time to test. Testing is important because if your property is contaminated with “P” and you rent it out, you’ll be in breach of the Tenancy Act.

Now that you’ve assessed the property you’ll be able to schedule any maintenance or cleaning needed before your next tenants move in.

Don't forget!

When the inspection is complete get your final inspection report signed by both the landlord and tenant. If you are a myRent user you can upload this final inspection report to your dashboard for storage and have it e-signed by your tenant if your inspections were conducted separately.

Refunding the bond

After your final inspection, if there is no outstanding rent due or property damage, you need to refund your tenant’s bond. Keep in mind- your tenant isn’t responsible for normal wear and tear, but bond can be withheld if there is intentional or careless damage.

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