How to prepare for a rental inspection
If you live in one of the 2.3 million rental properties in Australia, you’re going to experience a rental inspection at some stage – there are no two ways about it. Unfortunately, rental inspections cause significant undue stress for tenants. Tenants either don’t know what to expect or what’s expected of them.
Below, we’ve come up with a few quick tips that’ll help you pass your rental inspection and continue to impress your landlord, property manager, or owner.
Get ready to get your rental property in tip-top shape. Here’s how to prepare for a rental inspection.
1. Start early
Both private landlords and real estate agents are required by law to give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before a rental inspection. Most will provide you with more than one week’s notice.
Once you’ve got a date locked in, start preparing. Break down your to-do list so that you’re not tasked with one-hundred-and-one things to do on the morning of. Clean the garage one day and weed the garden the next. Give the bathroom a deep clean on Saturday and tackle the kitchen on Sunday.
2. Consider issues
Rental inspections aren’t just for landlords – they are an excellent opportunity for you to bring up any problems that aren’t your responsibility, such as neglected ongoing maintenance, a broken appliance, or a misbehaving light fitting.
3. Ensure your pets have somewhere to go
If you live in a pet-friendly rental property, you might like to organise somewhere for your furry friend to go during the rental inspection. Rental inspections can be stressful for pets – especially if their owner isn’t present.
If possible, arrange for your pets to hang out at a friend’s or family member’s place for the day. That way, you save them the stress of having to contend with an unfamiliar human rummaging around their home.
4. Don’t cut corners
If you are satisfied with your rental property, do everything you can to stay. This means going above and beyond – and not cutting any corners when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the property.
Scrub all the way to the corners of the shower screen. Clean the windows inside and out. Spot clean the carpets and walls and ensure the lawn is neat and mowed.
5. Make minor repairs
Dings and dents in walls, stubborn carpet stains, and blown lightbulbs – who should take responsibility? Although it’s a bit of a grey area, as a general rule of thumb, if it’s your fault, you should fix it.
For example, it’s not on your landlord if your removalist hits the wall when installing your new sofa. Similarly, it’s not their fault that you spilt a cup of coffee on the carpet. If there’s a problem with the structure of the building – for example, things like electrical systems and plumbing – the landlord is responsible for making repairs.
It’s also a wise idea to check for any special terms in your rental agreement.
6. Look after the garden
If your rental property has a garden, look after it. Remember, landscaping is a significant investment for property owners. They will favour tenants that demonstrate a willingness to keep the outdoor space clean, trimmed, watered, and maintained.
7. Stress less
The purpose of a rental inspection isn’t to scold you or kick you out, so don’t freak out. Typically, the entire process will last just ten minutes. The agent will quickly walk through the property to check for any significant damage or potential issues.
As long as the home is clean and accessible, you should be good to go.
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