One of our most important functions as Property Managers is to regularly inspect the rental property and keep accurate and detailed records of the state of the dwelling and its surrounds. By making regular inspections we can ensure that the property is being looked after and that all the terms and conditions of the Tenancy Agreement are being met. It is also an opportunity for us to pick up any warning signals that all may not be well with the tenancy and to nip any potential problems in the bud. In addition inspections give the owners an overall ‘picture’ of developing maintenance or repair needs so that they can plan and budget for their implementation well in advance.
The frequency of inspections is determined in consultation with the owner and is set out in our appointment agreement. The Residential Tenancies Act does not permit more than one inspection per month; however we believe that three inspections per year are quite sufficient in most cases. Under our ‘Fully Comprehensive Scheme’ we automatically conduct three to four inspections per year at no extra charge to the owner. Under our ‘Standard Scheme’ the frequency of inspections has to be pre-agreed and we make a charge for each inspection. Quite often owners request only one inspection per year but we feel that this level is far too low for effective monitoring purposes. Many insurance policies will stipulate that inspections are to be carried out at Three monthly intervals so please check with your Insurance provider.
We operate a fully computerized Property Inspection system which allows us to schedule inspections in accordance with our management authority, issue inspection notices to the tenants at the correct time and print off detailed reports once the inspection information has been inputted. The owner’s printout will include any relevant comments that we have noted at the time of the inspection and on occasions we may also include a photograph should we believe it relevant. We also produce a tenant printout which the tenant signs as being a true and correct record of the state of the dwelling at the beginning of the tenancy.
The vast majority of properties that we manage are unfurnished and contain minimal landlord chattels such as carpets, blinds, drapes, curtains and curtain rods, electric lights and fittings, electric stove, washing line, and letter box. All of these chattels are included in our inspection reports so that we can keep track of them during our regular inspections.
Fully furnished properties however need to have a very detailed list of chattels drawn up at the time that we take over the property as Property Manager. By detailed we do mean right down to the number of knives, forks and spoons, cups and saucers, pots and pans, bed linen etc. This task is normally undertaken by the owner and the list is then ‘checked off’ with us to ensure that all chattels have been included. Should the owner require it, we will undertake to prepare this list for them at the charge shown on our schedule.