Routine property inspections are an essential part of managing a property. If you use a rental management agency, you can ask a Property Inspection Manager to conduct inspections on your behalf.
You must bear in mind though, that extra charges may apply. Some agencies include a certain number of property inspections a year as part of their rental property management fee, while others will charge you extra for each inspection.
Rental property management fees will vary depending on your estate. In general, this is what you can expect to pay:
Property management Sydney
Property management in Sydney can cost anywhere between 5% and 12% of the rental income. Management fees are usually lower in the CBD. The lower the commission, the more likely you are to have to pay extra for an inspection. Routine inspection fees in Sydney normally range between $10 to $30.
Property management Brisbane
Property management in Brisbane is normally charged as a commission of the rental income which ranges from 8.5% to 9.9%. Some agencies offer the option to pay a flat fee to cover all rental property needs, including inspections.
You can read our article on property management for a full rundown on rental property management fees and services. You can find out how property management services in Australia differ from other countries.
What are the benefits of routine rental property inspections?
Organising regular property inspections has benefits for both the landlord and the tenant.
If you are landlord, property inspections will give you peace of mind that your investment is being looked after. This need will become even more pressing if you are thinking of renovating an apartment or house before putting it on the rental market.
At the same time, property inspections give tenants the chance to voice any concerns.
Benefits of rental inspections include:
- Ensure the upkeep of a property
- Monitor for any maintenance issues
- Check for damage
- Enable feedback from tenants to ensure they are enjoying their rental experience
- Check for health and safety issues.
- Check the condition of appliances
- identify any potential problems or lease violations, such as the presence of pets or more tenants than the ones disclosed on the lease agreement.
Many landlords do at least an annual routine rental inspection, however it is generally recommended that inspections are held every three months.
Legislation changes from state to state, so make sure you check the rules that apply to your area to ensure you are not in breach of your tenant’s rights by inspecting properties too regularly.
Landlords or property inspection managers must give tenants a minimum of seven days’ notice before completing a rental inspection.
Inspections should take place between 8 am and 6 pm. Generally speaking, tenants receive a specific time for the inspection, but sometimes it can be acceptable to provide a 2-hour window.
Any changes to these rules must be agreed to in writing by both the landlord and tenant.
Landlords or property inspection managers should also always do a rental inspection when the tenant moves out.
What a good property inspection manager should be looking for during an inspection
During a rental property inspection, a good property inspection manager will accurately record the state of the property and make notes of any issues.
The number one priority should be to check for damages. If a property inspection manager can spot any problems early on, it could potentially be easier and less expensive for the landlord to fix.
If they don’t discover damage after a tenant moves out, landlords could miss out on the chance to deduct the costs from the security deposit.
Rental inspection checklist
There are many different areas to consider when completing a rental property inspection. It is important for property inspection managers to conduct a thorough inspection, as a rushed job could mean that a landlord can miss on the chance of doing the repairs needed.
Things property inspection managers should be looking out for can be divided into two categories:
- Check for general condition and cleanliness, including walls, carpets, wooden floors, curtains
- Look for obvious signs of damage
- Search for any clues that may show that the unit is not being used according to the lease, such as the presence of pets
- Check for signs that appliances are being used with care
- Monitor wet areas for mould and potential water damage
- Check the condition of the kitchen including oven, stovetop, and other appliances
- Check tidiness of garden
Property owner responsibilities
- Check smoke detectors are in working order
- Ensure all doors and windows open, close and lock
- Ensure all kitchen and bathroom waste flows freely
- Check water temperature and pressure
- Ensure any exhaust fans are working properly
- Identify any leaking taps
- Check air-conditioning and water filters are clean
- Check the outdoors of the property (weatherboard, bricks, joinery and tiles) for any signs of deterioration
- Look under the house for dampness or wood rot
- Monitor for signs of pests, such as termite damage or rodents
- Check for signs of rust
You property inspection manager should keep a detailed record of the inspection, including notes with dates and pictures.
Inspection reports are evidence of the condition of your property and can serve as legal documents if a tenancy goes wrong.
Any maintenance issues identified should be attended to by the landlord in a timely manner. For example, a faulty hot water cylinder should be attended to immediately, but a leaky outdoor tap is not considered urgent.
If the property inspection identifies any issues caused by the tenant such as damage or cleanliness problems, the property inspection manager should issue the tenant with a Notice to Remedy.
This should be issued as soon as possible after the inspection and should clearly outline the problem.
The tenant should be given 14 days’ notice to rectify the issue before further action is taken.