Inspections are an inevitable part of the life of a renter.
Questions abound – what are inspectors looking for? Should I stay or go during an inspection?
Property Watch spoke to Illawarra experts to gain some tips that will hopefully help you pass your next rental inspection with flying colours.
Should I stay or go?
Shannen Hillard, property manager at Colliers Wollongong said she prefers the tenant to be present.
“It is a great opportunity to build a relationship with the tenant, but it will also ensure no maintenance issues the tenant might have are missed,” she said.
What are they looking for?
Ms Hillard said as property managers, they are “pretty much looking at routines” to ensure that the tenant is keeping the premises in good condition, no damages have been made, lawns and garden are kept tidy and the premise is being used correctly.
“The obvious things we look for are mould in the bathrooms/cupboards/bedrooms,” she said.
“This is usually an indication that the tenant isn’t ventilating the property as they should. We also look for any damage to walls or fittings and fixtures (bathroom and kitchen fittings).”
Donna Jones, business development manager at Ray White Shellharbour Oak Flats Group has worked as a property manager for 30 years.
“What we are looking for is to see that you are maintaining the property in the condition that it was leased to you,” she said.
How much do I need to tidy up?
“We understand people live there so it was not always be 100 per cent clean and perfect,” Ms Hillard said.
“However, going to an inspection and seeing a clean kitchen, bathroom and beds made also gives us a good idea that the tenant takes pride in the house/unit.”
Ms Jones said to clean the property regularly, not just the day before an inspection.
“Also have a tidy up on the day; as much as you can before the inspection,” she said.
“It is really appreciated if the inspector doesn’t have to step over your dirty laundry sitting on the bedroom floor, or look at last night’s dirty dinner dishes sitting on the kitchen sink.”
Mrs Jones also said to not forget the “out of sight stuff” like cleaning the top of ceiling fans and air conditioners, wiping the front of kitchen cupboard doors, and cleaning your light switches and dishwasher filter.
Any other suggestions?
Remember the inspection time and date. And be dressed neatly.
Ms Hillard said they usually send out plenty of reminders to tenants beforehand.
“Thankfully I’ve never walked into a situation where someone has been asleep or naked,” she said.
“We send them a text message the day before, so they’re not surprised when we arrive, and we don’t walk in on anything unexpected.”
Mrs Jones said if things are broken, even due to accidental damage, you’re better off telling your property manager about it upfront and working with them to get it fixed, rather than letting them discover it on inspection day.