A Tenant’s Guide to Routine Inspections

Ever wondered why your Property Manager or Landlord carries out inspections of the property you are renting during your tenancy?  Ever wondered how often and how many inspections can be carried out during your tenancy?  Ever wondered how to best prepare for an inspection of the property?

What is a routine inspection and why are they carried out? 
A routine inspection is an inspection carried out by the Property Manager or Landlord throughout the period of your tenancy.  These inspections are carried out for a number of reasons.  A basic rundown of some of these are outlined below:

  • To ensure the property is being cared for in accordance with your Residential Tenancy Agreement, for example, that the property is being kept clean and tidy and free from any damages
  • To ensure the property complies with the requirements under the Acts and Regulations
  • To ensure the installed smoke alarm/s have not been removed or tampered with
  • To inspect completed maintenance recently carried out
  • To check for any repairs or maintenance required, for example dripping taps, fixtures or fittings not working, etc. (Please note, if any repairs or maintenance issues present themselves at any stage during your tenancy, it is best that you advise your Property Manager, or Landlord if privately managed, as soon as practicable so they can action accordingly to prevent a small issue becoming large.)
  • To note any upgrades or maintenance that may be required in the future, for example, carpet becoming worn, paint starting to peel, etc.

How often can a routine inspection be carried out? 
Under the current legislation, the Landlord or Landlord’s Agent can carry out 4 inspections per 12 month period for the purpose of a routine inspection in NSW.  A minimum of 7 days notice is required to be given to you for the purpose of a routine inspection to be carried out.

There are other reasons that inspections can be carried out during your tenancy in addition to routine inspections including but not limited to:

  • To assess the need for repairs and maintenance
  • To show a potential tenant through the property during the last 14 days of your tenancy
  • To show a potential purchaser through the property if it is listed for sale
  • To carry out a valuation of the property

The required notice period and frequency of these vary to that of a routine inspection.

How can you best prepare for a routine inspection?
Preparing for a routine inspection is simple.  We’ve outlined below a nice easy checklist for you to refer to.

  • When you receive the inspection notice, check the date and time that the inspection is scheduled for.  If you want to be present at the inspection and the date/time on the inspection notice doesn’t suit, get in touch with your Property Manager (or Landlord if privately managed) as soon as practicable to arrange a time that suits both you and them.  If the date/time is suitable for you to be at the inspection, or you don’t wish to be present at the inspection, mark on your calendar or in your diary when the inspection is booked for.  Diarising it means that you won’t forget and can be prepared.
  • Ensure the property is clean and tidy for the inspection.
  • Write a list of any concerns you have (if any) so you can remember to show your Property Manager or Landlord whilst they are there.  If you can’t be present at the inspection and you have some concerns that you’d like them to look at specifically whilst there, send them an email to let them know of these.