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4 tips for preparing for a rental inspection

By Rikki Cook

A few things are certain in life – like taxes and, of course, rental inspections! While these may seem like a frustrating process, inspections are necessary for both renters and landlords to ensure the property is well looked after, safe and comfortable.

So, next time an inspection is due for your Alexandra Hills property what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of the process?

1. Know your rights

Before we discuss the inspection itself, let’s talk about rightful entry. If a landlord attempts to arrange a property inspection within three months of the last one, you don’t have to agree to it. That said, if it’s not a problem for you, make sure the agreement is in writing to ensure a legal paper trail exists.

Furthermore, your landlord needs to give you seven days notice before they can enter your home. The notice must be given via the Residential Tenancies Authority’s Entry notice (Form 9) and should outline the date and a maximum two-hour window for the inspection.

Inspections cannot occur without prior notice – so if your landlord decides to pop by, you don’t have to grant entry even though they own the property. It’s understandable your home may not always be in tip-top shape, especially if you’re busy with a career and kids, so the notice period gives you time to tidy up. An inspection should never be about catching you out – rather, ensuring you know how the property should be kept at the best of times and addressing any maintenance issues.

2. Make any necessary arrangements

You are not legally required to be present for a rental inspection – but you might like to be.

Once you receive notice of entry from your landlord, it might be worth arranging time off work or a work-from-home day in order to attend the inspection. This means you can talk face-to-face with your landlord about any issues in the house, which can do wonders for communication.

If you can’t make it to the inspection, that’s okay. However, if you have a dog who would normally be alone at home during the day, you should ask a friend to take them for the day or let them visit work with you. Although landlords and property managers alike will be respectful to your pets, having relative strangers enter the home may be stressful for both parties.

3. Prepare a list of issues to discuss

There might not be any problems with your rental home. However, in older properties especially, complications can arise over time that require attention from your landlord. Urgent or dangerous issues should be communicated immediately, but you’re probably fine to leave smaller issues until the inspection.

Form a list of these little problems around the home and talk them through it at the inspection. If you can’t attend, just leave it for your landlord in an easy-to-find spot (on the kitchen counter, for example) and let them know where to look via email. Problems you might leave for the inspection include exterior cleaning or a faulty extractor fan in your bathroom – anything that was not your fault and isn’t a simple fix.

4. Take your time to clean

Finally, don’t freak out about your inspection! You have seven days to prepare. Create a list of things you need to clean up and work through that as a household over the course of the week. Working as a team, you should have no problem getting your home looking brand-new in time for the inspection.

Remember to prioritise tasks which might affect the structure of the home such as dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning showers and sinks – as these will be of greater concern to your landlord than a pile of laundry.

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