Tips to prepare for a rental routine inspection

One of the nasty things about renting is that up to 4 times a year your property manager will come and do a routine inspection to see how you are caring for the property.

So to help you understand this more here is a list of what you need to consider doing prior to each inspection.

But first how many routine inspections can a property manager in Qld Australia do every 12 months ? The answer is 4. They can’t  legally do more than 4. Unless it’s a re inspection. But they can also choose to do less than 4.

How long do routine inspections take ?

They take us around 15 to 20 minutes. Yes they are fairly quick. It’s just quick visual look, we take some photos and make some basic notes.

How can you as a tenant prepare for for a routine inspection

Firstly this is your chance to show the property manager and landlord of the home how you care for the property. It is only 4 times a year so you need to make the home shine.

Gardens

When someone rents a home with a garden they are taking on the responsibility for caring for that lawn and garden. You really should not leave the garden care until each routine inspection. Instead you should be doing them regularly. But certainly the weekend before your inspection, you need to give them a good go over.

We find in summer lawns need to be done weekly, then over winter ever 4 weeks is fine.

Edges trimmed

Using a wiper snipper the edges should be cut, plus all the gardens paths and driveways.

Lawns mowed

Mowed and clippings picked up. It’s a balance of not too short or high. Mowers with catchers will make this job much easier.

Lawns weeded

Broadleaf weeder will kill the weeds in the lawn but not the grass. It’s important to get the mix right because if you don’t then you will kill the lawn too. Consider doing an area as a trial. It will take about 7 days before you see the results. Keep in mind you can’t do this in the rain or if it’s about to rain as it will just wash away

Shrubs pruned

Hedge trimmers make this so much easier and faster, or you can use manual clippers. Realise too that you need to dispose of all the green waste by using a council bin, taking it to the tip or burning it off if permitted
green lawn box and bottles and garden tools beside window

Gardens weeded

Zero will kill everything that it comes in contact with. So if you use this you will need to be very careful. You can pull the weeds out by hand. It’s my experience that if you leave weeds it becomes a big job so it’s better to just keep on top of them.

Condition of the grass

Cutting the grass is not enough. You need to maintain the grass. Which means removing weeds, keeping it trimmed, dealing with lawn grubs and keeping it fertilised. Sure Bunnings sells all this stuff, but go to Lyndsey Rural you can buy a large bag of fertiliser for under $40 that will will do a normal size yard, twice. It’s long lasting a 3 times a year is usually enough to keep the lawn looking great.
When we do a routine inspection, we will be looking for all these things. Taking photo and reporting on it all.

Outside

As a tenant you also need to care for the outside of the home, which often gets forgetting about. Here is a list of what property managers will be looking for.

Mould under the eves

Here in Qld Australia is hard to avoid mould. You need to keep an eye on this and get on top of it before it becomes a big issue. You can either spray this off with a high pressure hose, use a mould treatment or even 25% chlorine 75% water can work.

Pathways cleaned

These get dirty. You need to either high pressure wash or clean with a pathway detergent.

Fly screens and windows cleaned

These can get little nicks in them especially if you have dogs or cats. But they get dusty too. You need to take them down and hose them. If you’e created small nicks or even big ones at some stage you will need to replace them.

Cob Webs

Look for these on gutters, eves, around out door entertaining areas. Hardware stores still long stocks with a large brush on the end just for these. At the time of writing Bunnings sell for them for $5 and call them Cobweb extension brooms. 

Pools and Spa’s

If you have a pool or spa. Suck up all the leaves, and ensure the water is balanced. While we will not be checking the PH levels. No leaves and clean water is a good indication to us.

Kitchen and bathrooms

Oven

Have you cleaned the oven ? While we don’t expect this to sparkle on every inspection certainly you need to clean in once or twice a year with oven cleaner. It’s common I look in an over and it’s dirtier than I was expecting

zoomed in oven power button

Bench tops

These need to be wiped down, no dust and fairy tidy, but I also understand most peoples kitchens are fairly business with mixers and coffee machines.

Food Lying around

Sometimes I will do a routine inspection to find the tenant has gone to work and food has been left out. Or they have made sandwich and the breadboard and knife is still out. Keep in mind I am looking how you care for the home. This is not a great idea to do on an inspection day.

Rubbish Bin

Should be either empty or clean with the lid closed

Shower areas

These can get mouldy fast. Tenants need to keep an eye on this and deal with it as it arises and certainly ensure the shower areas are mould free by the time an inspection is due

Toilets

Clean, wipes and smelling like I can drink from it would be nice.

Your living rooms and bedrooms

Smells

Wonder why all property managers noses are massive ? We not only look. We smell. So bake some cookie or bread. Have some incense burning. We smell for mould, for animal, for sweet, for dust smell smell smell. You need your home to smell nice and clean. Please.

Doors

Is there damage on the back of a door from a pet trying to get out ? If you have an outside dog it’s common for us to find scratches on the back of doors, where the outside dog somehow got stuck inside as was trying to get out.

Floors

What is the condition of the carpet. Is it stained, is it due for a professional clean, does it smell. If it needs a clean call Richard from Tree Top Carpet Cleaning on 0434 298 498 he does a great job at a fair price.

If you have wooden floors or tiles, have you washed these with streak free tile cleaner. Does the tile grout need to be cleaned ? Have you scratched or marked the floors with chairs ?

person standing with sneakers on a wooden floor

Walls

Any digs or marks on the walls. Are the walls dirty ? If you have a pet have they put dirt along the wall at their height e.g, your knee height. Is the skirting board dirty or dusty ? Probably.  So you need to dust the skirting board and you need to consider sugar soaping the walls.

Lights

Do they have cobwebs ? Do all the globes work. Are there dead insets in the light covers ? Which is very common

Fans

Dusty ? Probably the top of the blade needs to be wiped too.

Mould

Mould forms in all sorts of places. Mainly bathrooms and ensuite, but also corners of rooms not aired properly. Tenant are responsible to air a property to keep mould away. Mould can also form around windows if not kept clean and air rated.

Filters

Exhaust fans in ensuite and bathrooms need to be cleaned ever so often. If you do not clean these the fans can over load, will not remove all the humidity and mould will form. But also airconditioning filters. Tenants are responsible for keeping these clean. Just twice a year remove them and clean them. It will make the system operate and reduce the chance of it failing due to an overload.

Fire Alarms

Please if your alarm is beeping, let your property manager know. Don’t just pull it down. I see tenants do this. It means the property is then not compliant with legislation and we then need to call out a specialist to get it back to compliance.

infographic on Tips to prepare for a rental routine inspection

Illegal items

I recently saw a bong. Please do not leave these out. I do not want to know about them. I will not be going through your cupboards or drawers but if it’s on the TV cabinet I’ll see it & I will not appreciate it. Same goes with anything else that might be illegal. Bewared, while I will turn a blind eye to a bong if it’s anything serious, then I would be reporting it to the authorities. Luckily my recent discovery is the most serious I’ve even had.

Pets

If you have an outside pet. When I do an inspection please make sure it is not inside. A photo will be taken and it will go to the owner. Same with the pets food bowls too.

Maintenance

It surprised me how many tenants like to show me maintenance while I am at the property. I am not really there for that. It’s even more surprising they tell me it’s been like that for 8 weeks. Really we prefer you just log maintenance as it happens and we prefer you do that through our portal. I am mainly there to check the condition of the house and I have a limited time to do this.

What are the main things tenants miss?

Mould inside and out. You can’t leave mould and you need to deal with it as it arises.

Filters: Not cleaning exhaust and air conditioner filters

Dusk: Not wiping dust, especially from window sills & fans

Garden Care: Only mowing and not weeding or trimming the plants.

Conclusion

Seems like a lot to consider. But it’s only 4 times a year and all we are really asking is that you are caring for the property to a standard that is require to be a good tenant. If you keep the home clean and tidy and all times, Keep on top of mould and dusk then every thing will be wonderful. I will see you on your next routine inspection.

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