When thinking of routine inspections, the general assumption is that the only reason they are carried out is to check up on tenants. But in reality, making sure a tenant is properly looking after a property is only one of the reasons inspections are carried out.
One key purpose is ensuring maintenance and repairs are being undertaken appropriately. A property manager needs to verify that the tenant is reporting required repairs in a timely manner – some of these can be carried out under warranty, in the case of a brand new or refurbished property, costing you little or nothing at all – as well as be able to recommend any seasonal maintenance issues or capital works. In reality, the inspections are only truly valuable if they are used to make sure the property is not falling into disrepair, whether through fair wear and tear or deliberate damage.
The regularity with which periodic inspections are allowed varies around the country. Here in Victoria only two inspections are permitted within every 12 month period, whereas somewhere like South Australia, inspections are permitted on a monthly basis. Inspections twice a year should be enough to keep on top of any issues.
An inspection a few months out from a lease expiry date is always a good idea, as we always do in our office. It is a good opportunity for your property manager to review the rent being charged and consider a rent increase if the local rental market supports this. Generally, a routine inspection will allow you to consider “is my property achieving maximum possible rent, based on its condition and the market value of the area?”
If you have any regular ongoing maintenance included in the rental, such as garden maintenance, means that there are also scheduled visits to your property by maintenance crews. These tradespeople are usually in regular contact with your property manager and will provide another dimension to the reporting of any issues affecting your property and they way your tenants take care of it.
It is always a good idea for your to attend at least one routine inspection a year so you are able to see for yourself how fair wear and tear is affecting the property’s condition. If you would like to attend you next one, please be sure to contact your property manger. Between the expert knowledge of your property manager and our more intimate knowledge of the property, your investment should be well protected and profitable for years to come.