One of the most important actions that must be taken with an investment property is to have it regularly inspected. Inspections must also be done at the right times. It’s vital that investors make sure routine inspections are actually being carried out by their property manager, and are being done at the appropriate time.
Routine inspections are the best way for property managers to check over a property and find out whether or not –
- is it being well maintained;
- the people nominated on the tenancy agreement are the only people living there;
- the tenants have pets that have not been approved;
- the tenants have pets inside that shouldn’t be; and so on.
An experienced property manager, with a well-trained eye, is alert to all these issues and will be able to quickly spot whether or not the tenants are looking after the property properly or violating any of the terms of the rental agreement.
Routine inspections are also important from a maintenance perspective. While most tenants will report all types of repairs and maintenance straight away, some tenants will simply put up with minor things that could possibly end up being detrimental to the property. So a routine inspection is a great opportunity to check on unreported maintenance items. It’s also a great opportunity to note future maintenance requirements, especially in older properties, e.g.
- Are the carpets wearing?
- Is the paintwork starting to deteriorate?
- Are the kitchen and bathroom old and dated?
- Does the guttering need attention? etc
But most of all, routine inspections should be done as soon as it’s legally possible. At Investors Direct Property Management (I.D.P.M.), we conduct the first routine inspection approximately three months after the tenants have moved in, with the second inspection six months later.
Victorian legislation allows two routine inspection in a 12 month period, so it’s really important that two inspections are arranged during every 12 month tenancy. It’s just as important to know that the property is being well maintained, that’s why I.D.P.M. carries out the first inspection as early as we can, with each and every tenancy.
We are regularly taking over management of properties from other agencies and the first thing we arrange is a routine inspection. Quite often we are being told that this is the first inspection the tenants have had in 9, 12 or even 18 months! We’ve even had properties transferred to us where we have discovered no routine inspections have been done at all! This just shouldn’t happen.
Not carrying out routine inspections is quite a dangerous practice for any property manager, as well as being totally unprofessional. (Some obviously don’t understand another issue for them is it’s probably going to affect their Professional Indemnity insurance in the event of a claim!) But the main thing is that they are simply not doing their job. They aren’t doing what they are paid to do.
Routine inspections are also important from the tenant’s perspective as well. Tenants need to know that we care how the property is being looked after or if any maintenance is required. We also need to know if they are going to renew their lease or vacate the property at the end of the lease. We need to have a good working relationship with tenants, so that we can effectively manage any process or situation with them.
We provide a written report, with appropriate photos, after each routine inspection. On that report we advise of any maintenance required and with our new investment properties, we include any warranty maintenance items that we’ve already attended to, as well. It’s essential that our landlord clients with brand new properties, know that any warranty items that have occurred, have been provided to the builder and completed.
So – when did your property manager last conduct a routine inspection on your investment property? If you don’t know, perhaps you should call them and remind them or better still call us at Investors Direct Property Management on 9868 7511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure it happens!