How to perform a routine inspection at your rental property
Routine inspections can be a sensitive subject.
When you perform a routine inspection you are entering your tenant’s home, so it is important to be respectful of your tenant’s home, belongings and time whilst you are at the property.
On the flip side, your insurer will require that you complete regular and thorough inspections to a certain standard, so it’s a case of striking the right balance between being kind to your tenant and protecting your investment.
Firstly, lets recap on some of the rules around routine inspections, before answering some common questions.
Routine Inspections 101
- Inspections can occur between 8am and 7pm for rental properties, and between 8am and 6pm for boarding houses.
- The maximum frequency for inspections is once every four weeks.
- Notice of an inspection must be given to the tenant at least 48 hours before the inspection, and not more than 14 days in advance.
- If a landlord is testing the property for methamphetamine, at least 48 hours’ notice needs to be given to the tenant. For a boarding house, 24 hours’ notice is required. The landlord needs to provide the test results in writing to each tenant within seven days of getting them.
Common questions we hear from Landlords
Does my tenant need to be present for the inspection?
No, but you should ask your tenant if they would like to be. If the tenant will not be there in person then its good practice to ask them to leave or note or shoot you an email will any specific things they would like you to take a look at.
How regularly should I carry out inspections? Italics and for the below questions?
Most insurance policies will require you to inspect your property on a quarterly basis, at a minimum – so it’s a good idea to take a look at the fine print on your policy.
Do I need to take photos and keep a record of my inspections?
Yes. Your insurer will require photos for any claim, as well as historic photos of the property on which you are making a claim. So it pays to be organised! Whilst it is legal to take photos during an inspection, you must endeavour not to photograph your tenant’s belongings.
What should I look for during the inspection?
This is the tricky part! At Waikato Real Estate we created our own 58-Point Inspection Checklist that we work through during each inspection.
Items on the checklist range from small things like checking curtain tracks are secure and curtains are mould-free; to larger items like the dishwasher where we check for damage or dents to the door, signs of rust, leaks and confirm that all trays and cutlery baskets are present.
If you are a DIY Landlord and looking for some guidance on how to carry out your inspections properly then please take a look at our 58-Point Inspection Checklist via the button below.