One agency has practically eliminated rental bond disputes by developing a painstaking process for preparing in-going conditions reports.
Doyle Spillane director Joe Iemma said many agencies make the mistake of doing basic checklists for new properties when they should spend up to five hours on the task.
Mr Iemma told Residential Property Manager a two-bedroom property condition report warrants 10 to 15 pages of descriptive writing, as well as photographs and a video walk-through.
“When we are describing a wall it is, say, a rendered, concrete wall with antique white paint and plastered ceiling boards – so it is more descriptive,” he said.
Such a detailed inspection takes one of Doyle Spillane’s leasing consultants about four or five hours to complete.
“What it does is it makes our property managers’ jobs much easier when tenants vacate, "Mr Iemma said
“I think I have been involved about once in five years in a rental bond dispute based on damage or condition, because how can they argue?”
Mr Iemma said attention to detail also helped PMs avoid arguments with people moving out.
“It saves you time at the end of the day. I don’t mind putting that extra time at the start because it is going to benefit you in the long run.”
He said the Sydney agency has had to tweak its business structure because of the time it takes to complete an in-going condition report.
“Our property managers don’t do that initial in-going condition report, because if you took four or five hours out of their day they wouldn’t have time to do it all,” he said.
“That's why we have leasing consultants – that is almost becoming a role in itself, someone who goes out and does these inspections.”
[Related: Innovative bond makes payments easier for PMs]