Xenia's property management quick tip - Regular inspections

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Xenia, 14th Jan, 2016.

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  1. Xenia

    Xenia Well-Known Member

    16th Oct, 2015
    Once a good tenant is sourced, regular inspections need to be conducted on the premises every three to four months to ensure that the tenant is maintaining the property.

    Inspections cannot be done more than once every 3 months by an agent or landlord and tenants need to be given appropriate notice before entering the premises. Tenants need to be given the date and a 2 hour time frame for inspections - ie Thursday 28th January from 9 am to 11 am and in South Australia tenants need to be notified no less than one week in advance and no more than 3 weeks in advance. It's important to schedule the time frame correctly if notice letters are sent by mail as it can take up to 6 days for mail to be delivered. In our office, tenants are notified by letter, email and sms to ensure they have received the notification and that we have it all in writing.

    Once a date is set, the specified person ie the property manager or inspector may enter the premises using office keys whether the tenant is home or not. Note that it is illegal to enter premises outside of the specified time for the purpose of conducting routine inspections if appropriate notice has not been given to the tenant. (entering for the purpose of emergency maintenance is handled differently and falls under a different section of tenancy legislation).

    During a routine inspection, the property manager enters takes photos and comments on every room including the garage and shed areas. The camera is generally aimed at walls, floors and property fixtures and generally not at tenants belongings. Tenants do have a right to ask that no photos are taken.

    Property managers look and report back to the landlord on the general condition of the property, how the tenant is keeping the property inside and maintaining the gardens.

    Tenants are given a report if gardens are not maintained or house is not kept clean and specifically told how to rectify the problems. Depending on what has been found, a breach notice can also be issued to rectify. Ie grounds neglected for months can be a breach issue.

    Property managers/inspectors also look for maintenance issues that may be missed by the tenants. Evidence of low levels of salt damp in the walls adjacent the bathroom is a common area not reported by tenants and signifies an internal leak in the bathroom that can be easily missed in the early stages.

    Regular inspections enable an investor to increase the value of their property by ensuring a great tenant who will look after the property and also by keeping on top of maintenance issues and keeping the property looking great.
  2. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

    23rd Jun, 2015
    Mt Druuiitt
    Regular inspections mean regular minor repairs eg. Tenant : "Oh, the toilet roll centre spring isn't like it used to be, not springy enough".....lol....or....."there's a bad smell in the bathroom"........ Me : "yeah, it's you".

    If it's a long term tenant and they are paying on time, then I don't bother. I just sometimes do my own inspection by driving by late at night and having a peep through the window if it's warranted.

    Ooohh look at the time, might do a quick check! lol.
    HUGH72 and BigKahuna like this.
  3. chibs

    chibs Well-Known Member

    16th Jul, 2015
    Great tips, Xenia. Thanks for sharing.

    This is not enforced though, is it ? Nothing stopping them from not rectifying the problems.
  4. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

    3rd Jun, 2015
    Adelaide and Gold Coast
    Good post overall, you may just want to fix up a couple of very minor errors.
    Section 72 1c of the SA Act actually allows:
    - monthly inspections, not that anyone would do this. Quarterly is most common in SA with 2, 3 or 4 per year being common in other states.
    - 1 to 2 weeks in advance, not 3

    Also, tenants have the right to request photos don't include their belongings, but not none be taken during an inspection. Maybe this is what you meant already?

    Overall, good job :)

    Depends on severity really. Can send remedy notices asking things be rectified and arrange reinspection to check that it has. Worse case scenario is fixing it at the end using bond. If its challenged then a tribunal will decide.
    Last edited: 14th Jan, 2016
  5. Xenia

    Xenia Well-Known Member

    16th Oct, 2015
    Hi Chibs - remedying a breach in a contract can't be enforced.

    In a nut shell, you can't "make" someone do the right thing, you can only tell them they are doing the wrong thing.

    Most tenants will remedy, pull out the weeds, mow the lawn ect...

    If they don't, then the onus is on the landlord on what to do about it and there are various options that will depend on what the breach is.

    We have one house where the kids broke the back screen door - took it off the hinges and it is lying in the back yard.

    We've asked them to put it back.

    On the next inspection, it was still not reinstalled.

    It's not worth the expense of ending a lease over a screen door and the expense is lower than the bond amount so in this case we will reinstall the screen door at end of lease and put it through as bond claim.

    Inspections allow us to pinpoint when it was done and we have evidence that the tenant was given the opportunity to rectify but did not.
    chibs and Perthguy like this.