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.
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.
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.
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.
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 week’s rent to fix.