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How to Handle the First Interim Property Inspection

Photo: Neighborhoods - Wellington by Joshua Eckert

Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect tenant for your rental property and they’ve started to settle in! Now it’s time to conduct the first interim property inspection.

If you check the condition of the property with your tenant throughout the tenancy you can avoid problems later on. Some insurance policies require inspections to be conducted every 3 months, so be sure to clearly check your inspection requirements or stick to the 3 month rule just to be safe. There are some key things you should be doing and looking for during the first interim inspection.

Conducting the first interim inspection

  • Give your tenants proper notice for the inspection time. This means giving a minimum 48 hours and maximum 14 days notice. While they don’t necessarily need to be present for the inspection, some will prefer to be there to go over the property condition together. Check out this article if you’re wondering when you have the right to enter your rental property.
  • Arrive early. It shows your tenant that you respect each other’s time.
  • Take photos! This is essential. Photos can prove the condition of a property far better than a written report alone. If there are damages at the end of the tenancy, having photos from the inspections will be your best evidence.

Key things to check

  • Check for leaks - feel the pipes under the vanity unit, kitchen sink, and laundry tub. Tenants often won’t notice these leaks.
  • Check the shower and bath/vanity taps, and any other sources of incoming water.
  • Test all smoke alarms.

Consider your tenant

  • Ask the tenants if there are any issues that need to be fixed, or if there is anything they’d like recorded. Not only will this help you stay on top of maintenance, but it will also show your tenant that you are proactive and not looking to blame them for anything they didn’t do.
  • Remember that the inspection needs to be fair and reasonable. If you have any concerns with the condition of the property they should be noted so that your tenant understands that their bond isn’t going to be held beyond reason when they move out.

Final touches

  • Both you and your tenant should sign and date an inspection report and keep copies for your records.
  • Here’s a handy interim inspection template you can use. If you’re a myRent user we recommend you upload these signed forms to your dashboard for safe storage, and so both you and tenants can access them anytime. Additionally, if your tenants need to sign these forms they will receive a prompt to do so.
  • Consider leaving behind a small favor or a bikkie for your tenant to say thank you.

What if my rental property is in another city?

If you’re not in the same city as your rental property, your inspections become a little trickier, and you’ll need to get creative about getting them done. If your insurance policy allows it you may want to do less regular inspections during a tenancy. Ask a family member, friend, or neighbour to help you out by conducting inspections. If you don’t have a friend in the area, you might also consider contacting a speciality company to help with inspections, using a service like Airtasker, or posting on a landlord facebook group to find the extra help you need.

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