In-going inspections are not always the most favoured task of any property management professional. However, they are a task that will help to cover you, the property, the owner and the tenant before and after the course of a tenancy.
There is now a variety of apps and software out there to help you power through those in-going inspections and provide the high level of detail and photos that is required. You may just need to trial some of them to figure out which one works seamlessly with your processes.
The in-going inspection sets the foundation for the tenancy and the condition of the property. We rely on this inspection at the end of the tenancy, so it is vitally important that we get this right from the beginning.
Take a look at your procedure for your in-going inspections and ensure that you have all bases covered, and even a checklist in place to make the process easier.
Some essential steps in this inspection are:
- Identify that the property is vacant – you cannot carry out an in-going inspection for a new tenancy of the property unless the property has been vacated and you have a clear view of all aspects of the property. Also ensure that all cleaning and repairs are complete.
- Ensure you have all copies required of keys, security swipes and remotes for each of the tenants, and a copy for the office.
- In any properties that may have pools, ensure they are completely compliant with state legislation, are registered, and have correct fencing, signage and security.
- In furnished properties, take an inventory of the furniture, including colour, brand, number of items, the condition of each item and the rooms they are located in.
- Check that smoke alarms and light globes are all working and that the property complies with window lock and blind cord safety regulations.
- Make sure all boxes on the report are complete where required and that there are descriptions and details recorded, including size of flaws such as scratches, burn marks and dents, and also fixtures such as hooks, screws and nails. Check that all appliances are in good working order and record their colour, model, make and serial number.
- Take as many photos as required to cover everything.
- Explain the condition report in full at the time of issue, and have the tenant sign off on a separate form, acknowledging receipt of the report with any other documents they receive. One area of non-compliance that we often find is that teams will have the tenant sign the office copy of the condition report, site unseen, and then give them a copy to complete.
- Follow up with the tenant within seven days after issue for their returned, signed report, and make comparisons to the original report completed by you. If there are any discrepancies in the reports, follow these up with the tenant and handle any identified repairs and maintenance. These should be also followed up with the owner.
A well-prepared in-going report will protect both the owner and the tenant against avoidable issues at the end of the tenancy and may just save you the additional stress.