An integral part of Property Management is ensuring properties are kept well maintained. As well as helping to minimise unexpected house repairs and emergencies, well-maintained properties are attractive to tenants in the rental market, ensuring a wider pool of applicants to choose from when leases comes up for renewal and properties are readvertised on the wider market.
In order to ensure your property is well maintained, a good agent will regularly inspect your property. Aside from inspecting premises at the beginning and end of tenancies, it is imperative the agent arranges periodic checks to ensure the premises are being well cared for by the tenants during the agreed tenancy.
The Rental Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (RTRA) regulates the frequency and notice required for inspections to take place. These laws ensure adequate privacy for tenants, in balance with fair access for owners and agents to ensure properties are kept in tip-top condition.
In order to inspect a property, the RTRA provides that the Property Manager must give seven days’ notice to tenants. Furthermore, visits must be no more frequent than every three months. An exception to this occurs if tenants agree for more frequent visits – which may be advisable in extenuating circumstances.
While the purpose of an inspection isn’t based on determining general housework standards, it’s advisable from a tenant’s perspective to ensure the property is well presented and in good condition on the day of the inspection. The sufficient notice period required by the RTRA (seven days) helps ensure there’s significant time for a tenant to organise the property prior to an inspection, and to organise to be there during the inspection if they prefer.
After an inspection, a vigilant agent will pass on any concerns about potential repairs or general upkeep to the property owner and tenant, in order to facilitate an open line of communication throughout the tenancy and get a head start on maintenance issues that may become more concerning down the track.