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Property Inspections: Your Rights And Responsibilities

Mark Taylor , Principal/Licensee in Charge | 14 August 2019

Property inspections are a key part of renting out your investment property so it’s important that you understand your rights and responsibilities. We take you through the legal elements of property inspections, as well as what we’re looking for in an ins

As a landlord, you have rights and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining your property while still respecting the rights of your tenants. Routine property inspections are a key part of this. If your property is managed professionally, your property manager will take care of property inspections on your behalf, removing the stress and knowing exactly what to look for.

Rights And Responsibilities For Rental Inspections

While you have the right to enter your property at certain times and for certain reasons, there are laws that restrict how much you can access the property to respect the rights of your tenants. According to NSW Fair Trading, tenants have a basic right to 'quiet enjoyment' of the premises when renting and, as their landlord, you’re responsible for making sure neither you nor anyone under your control affect their 'reasonable peace, comfort and privacy'.  

Property Inspections: How Much Notice Do You Need To Give?

The amount of notice you have to give to your tenant depends on the reason for entry. The full list of reasons can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website. To do a routine property inspection, you must give at least seven days notice in writing and you can legally inspect the premises no more than four times in a year. 

Accessing The Property For An Inspection

According to law, tenants can’t deny or hinder your right to enter the property if you’ve given the required amount of notice. They also don’t need to be present for you to enter the property. You can enter the property using your set of keys, but you generally can’t access the property on Sundays, public holidays and outside the hours of 8am to 8pm. 

What To Look For In A Rental Inspection: General Upkeep

One of the reasons for the inspection is to check that your tenants are taking care of your property. Making an effort to ensure it’s well presented at the inspection can be a good sign that your tenants are invested in looking after the property. Some things to look for include:

Overall cleanliness, such as vacuumed floors, wiped benches and generally tidy rooms

  • Mowed lawns and weeded gardens 
  • No rubbish or debris left in the yard or outside bins
  • No mould or other significant damage to the property

Proactive Maintenance And Repairs 

Urgent repairs usually arise unexpectedly, but rental inspections are a great opportunity to identify any non-urgent work that will improve your tenant’s experience living in your property and keep them in there for longer. 

Some common repairs to look for include:

  • Broken windows 
  • Faulty taps or leaking plumbing
  • Damage to walls, such as cracked plaster or chipped paint
  • Problems with air-conditioning or heating units
  • Faulty light fixtures
  • Broken tiles or damage to carpets and floorboards

The inspection is also a chance to speak to the tenant about any issues they have or ways to improve the property. Research shows that more than 1 in 7 renters are afraid to ask their landlord for repairs for fear of having their rent increased or being evicted from the property. The inspection is a good opportunity to have these open conversations. 

By engaging the services of a professional property manager, property inspections and subsequent feedback received from tenants will be reported and communicated to the landlord so that any concerns can be addressed and the best possible outcome achieved.

For more information about the laws of property inspections or how we can conduct them for your property, get in touch with our team of specialists today.

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