Routine inspections are carried out to ensure the property is well cared for by the tenant and to check if there are any repair, maintenance or health and safety issues. The first routine inspection can be carried out at any time after the tenancy agreement has commenced, providing that the property manager/owner has provided a minimum 7 days' notice for entry, using an Entry notice (Form 9).
A routine inspection is not a housework inspection; the person inspecting the property should appreciate that people are living there. However, the tenant should have the property in good condition on the day of inspection and a list of items to consider is set out below.
As part of the maintenance inspection inside and outside the rental property, property managers/owners may also:
- check for any water leaks, evidence of pests, damage or deterioration to the property
- ensure any inclusions and property fixtures are working
- look at any future maintenance items that may need to be addressed.
Timeframes for routine inspections
Routine inspections cannot be carried out more than once every 3 months (unless the tenant agrees in writing).
The tenant must be given a minimum of 7 days' notice for entry, using an Entry notice (Form 9).
Entry can be at a specific time or a property manager/owner can give a 2-hour window (e.g. entry to occur between 9-11am).
For rooming accommodation residents, an Entry notice (Form R9) must be given with a minimum of 48 hours notice for entry to the residents rooms. Entry to common areas can happen at any reasonable time.
The tenant should inform the property manager/owner of any maintenance issues as soon as they occur. Most property managers/owners prefer non-urgent requests in writing.
When maintenance issues are reported, other inspections may be carried out in response to specific issues such as a leaking tap or stove element not working.
Routine inspection checklist
Many property managers provide checklists for routine inspections.
Things for the tenant to consider may include:
- cleaning and tidying the property
- routine cleaning (e.g. dusting, sweeping/vacuuming and cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces)
- removing any mould from surfaces
- repairing any damage
- lawn mowing and gardening
- tidying up outside areas (e.g. decks, patios).
Problems found during the inspection
If on inspecting the property a significant breach is found, the property manager/owner may issue the tenant a breach notice to rectify the issue.
A significant breach by a tenant involves any of the following:
- using the property for an illegal purpose
- exceeding the number of occupants allowed to live at the property
- keeping a pet at the property without the property owner/manager’s permission
- a matter caused by the tenant that will cost more than the equivalent of one weeks rent to fix.