Friday, May 18, 2012

Routine inspections

Do you perform regular inspections on your property and if not should you? The simple answer is YES, regular inspections should be carried out on your investment to ensure the tenant is maintaining the property to an acceptable standard.
First and foremost you need to know what the landlord and tenants rights are in relation to conducting inspections. “Routine or periodic inspections can be carried out no more than once every 28 days, at a time previously arranged with the tenant, or after giving the appropriate written notice. When providing written notice the landlord is required to specify the exact time of entry. An agent, on the other hand, is able to give the tenant a 2 hour time frame. A time frame longer than 2 hours would be unreasonable.”  (Residential Tenancies Act 1995)
One of the biggest issues that may arise when organizing a time with the tenant is agreeing on an acceptable time. For private landlords finding a mutually acceptable time may be hard, particularly if working fulltime and needing to do an inspection out of business hours the tenants may not agree on that time.
What are you looking for at inspections? When performing routine inspections you need to remember that the tenant has a right to privacy, they have belongings in the property and you need to be respectful that it is their home. Keep it basic with attention paid to the property’s structural condition and gardens. You cannot tell the tenant how to live in your property or where to place furniture so look past it and only focus on the structure of the property.
This is where a property manager can be very helpful, they are objective to your property,  can easily look past the way the tenant lives and the furniture positioning to discover if the tenant is maintaining the property to an acceptable standard.
Property managers have the flexibility to inspect your property at various times of the day, which allows tenants to find a time that suits them. Property managers also have the time to do more regular inspections within the legal requirements. With someone performing these on your behalf you can still be notified of how the property is being maintained with professionals who know exactly what to look for and the legalities of what is permitted and not permitted.  They can also update you as a landlord on any maintenance that is your responsibility that may have cause for concern. The tenants are advised if they are keeping the property in a reasonable or satisfactory condition and informing them of cleaning requirements.
If you are serious about your investment you need to ensure that the property is being maintained well and the best way to ensure this is by performing regular inspections whether it be by yourself or with a professional property manager.

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