The Importance of Routine Rental Property Inspections

Whether you’re managing a rental privately, or using an agency, it pays to conduct effective routine rental property inspections.

Owning rental property in Perth is an opportunity for a great investment. Additionally, you can build wealth by increasing the value of your property over time. Many owners also enjoy a healthy income from rent (or negatively gear to create tax deductions if that’s their priority!) .

But how do you maximise these opportunities? We believe good management processes are the key, and that regular inspections are one of the most important ways to safeguard your property and grow its value.

Routine rental property inspections are essential
Routine rental property inspections are essential if you want to help protect your investment.

Why Perform Routine Rental Property Inspections?

Most experts agree that regularly inspecting a rental property reduces risks and enhances property value over time.

If the property is older, routine inspections often help to slow down deterioration. If it’s newer, they help to keep your property’s new sparkle!

When Should Your Property Be Inspected?

Routine rental property inspections are carried out at different times for different reasons. For example:

Initial inspection before a property is first let:

  • to ensure the property is habitable per the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
  • to create a Property Condition Report (PCR) – a legally required record of the property’s initial condition, given to all new tenants.

Up to four routine inspections during a 12-month tenancy, to:

  • identify maintenance needs early, so minor problems don’t turn into major repairs
  • resolve safety issues immediately
  • nip breaches in the bud early – e.g., unauthorised pets
  • give tenants feedback on areas for improvement e.g., garden maintenance.

A final inspection after tenants vacate, to:

  • complete a final PCR – a legally required record of the property’s final condition, given to all outgoing tenants
  • check for deterioration, beyond fair wear and tear
  • decide whether to release the bond.

To determine damage/habitability in an emergency.

To check repairs are complete.

NOTE: The RTA requires inspections be at a reasonable hour or a mutually agreed time.

For routine inspections, you must give tenants seven to 14 days’ notice, using Form 19 Notice of proposed entry to premises. Specify the inspection date and whether the inspection will be before or after 12 noon.

When carrying out or inspecting repairs, give 72 hours’ written notice. Written notice isn’t needed in an emergency.

Tenants may attend inspections. If a proposed time is inconvenient, you must try to negotiate a suitable time.

Is There Any Downside to Routine Rental Property Inspections?

If you manage the property yourself, the only downside is making time.

If your property is professionally managed, there may be a charge for each inspection (or it may be included in your management fee).

Either way, we recommend you don’t skimp on inspections because of time or costs (which are tax-deductible).

In our long careers managing rental properties, we’ve seen many owners saved from dire scenarios by a timely inspection!

Anything from termite infestation to illegal drug manufacture can happen while a property is rented – these scenarios are rare, but why risk serious damage to your property, just to save a few dollars?

NOTE: Find out what your insurer requires – sometimes failure to carry out regular inspections can jeopardize your cover.

What Should Be Included?

While inspecting a free-standing timber home is different from inspecting a unit, every routine inspection should include all MINIMUM content in the RTA mandatory Form 1 Property Condition Report.(Extra items can be added.)

This includes checking that:

  • kitchens including stoves, exhaust fans etc. are clean
  • bathrooms are clean, including toilet, shower-screen and tiles
  • windows and flyscreens are clean
  • carpets/polished floors are in good condition
  • air-conditioners are dust-free
  • gardens are weeded, lawns mown.

Ask for a copy of the PCR form used if you employ a property manager, and feel free to request extra items if there’s something unique about the property.

Make sure photographs will be supplied.

What Now?

Before deciding what to do, why not speak to an experienced property manager?

The team at We Love Rentals are happy to give you the benefit of their extensive experience.

Don’t get stressed about routine rental property inspections – ask our experts what works best for their other clients! They’ll be happy to help.

Email us or call (08) 6254 6300 for friendly, professional advice.

I am the licensee of We Love Rentals and provide support to the team whenever needed. I began my real estate career over two decades years ago. While I loved seeing people achieve their dream of a new home for their family, I kept thinking that there had to be a better way of doing real estate – one with respect for the long term benefit of the client and one that focuses on customer satisfaction.