• Arielle Welch

A Quick Guide to Property Inspections

Regular rental inspections are essential for the upkeep of a property. If rental inspections are not completed routinely then major problems are more likely to arise when they could have been prevented. In this guide you will learn when rental inspections should be completed, how often during tenancies and the best tips for making sure your inspections are thorough.

When should Rental Inspections be performed?

When someone moves into the property:

This inspection is important for assessing the base level of the apartment before a new tenant moves into the property. This should be done after the tenant has signed the lease but before they pick up the keys and start moving their things in. Doing an inspection then will also help the new tenants to feel more assured that they will not be charged for any damages that are already at the property.

After someone moves out of the property:

This inspection needs to be done as soon as the tenant moves their things out of the property. This inspection is vital as you need to assess the differences from when they moved in to when they moved out. It is important to gather this information quickly in order to release the bond back to the tenant in a timely manner.

Routinely during the tenancy:

These inspections are important for up-keeping the property and preventing major maintenance issues that are caused by neglect. It is also a good time to check in with the tenants and see if there are any issues they have encountered while living in the property. During this inspection it is important to check for overall cleanliness, mould and dampness, if appliances are working, if the heating and A/C is working as it should along with other things.

How often should you inspect the property during a tenancy?

In New Zealand, a property cannot be inspected more than once every four weeks. Even so, this frequency can feel like an intrusion and can damage the relationship between landlord and tenants. Therefore, it is common practice for inspections to be completed once every 12 weeks unless the tenants have given reason to inspect more often.

Tips for carrying out successful inspections

Give advance notice:

Tenants have the right to privacy in their rental properties, so it is essential to give notice before showing up. In New Zealand, you must give tenants at least 48 hours’ notice for a property inspection but no more than 14 days.

Follow Covid-19 guidelines:

During these times, it is good practice to maintain social distance from tenants and of course sanitise your hands before entering the property. It is a good idea to have a facemask handy also in case it is the tenant’s preference for those entering the property to cover their face.

Avoid touching personal items:

While this can be unavoidable in some cases, it is best to be as careful as possible when it comes to the personal property of your tenants. For example, it may be okay to check the inside of the fridge if the fridge is a provided furnishing to check it is still functioning but it is not such a good idea to check through other drawers and cupboards that are filled with personal belongings. It is best to avoid photographing personal items if you can help it also.

Document any and all issues:

If issues are discovered during the inspection then it is best to note them down with photographic evidence when possible so you can formally address the problems in writing with your tenants. Avoid confronting your tenants in person with an issue as it is important to have all important correspondence documented in case of any tenancy disputes.

As you can see, inspections are a vital part of property management. When carried out efficiently, inspections are bound to prevent a lot of costly maintenance issues, which is why they are essential for the upkeep of a rental property.