Good Property Managers ... Do Regular Routine Inspections
What? - A routine inspection is when the property manager notifies the tenant that he/she is going to visit the property to check on its condition. A good property manager will give the tenant a week's notice even though in law it may be possible to give the tenant less notice.
At my company we believe in giving the tenant a week as we want the tenant(s) to have a weekend to make sure the property is cleaned properly and presented at its best. I say we are trying to catch them doing the right thing, not springing an inspection on them to catch them doing the wrong thing.
When? - Different Australian states allow different numbers of routine inspections each year. In Victoria for example only one per six month's period is allowed with the first not before the initial three months of a tenancy has passed. A good property manager will schedule the first inspection at the three-month mark and the second inspection at the nine-month mark. Many property managers do not think this through and schedule the first inspection at the six-month mark, which means the second one, may be when they are about to end the tenancy at he end of a one-year lease.
It is far better to schedule the second inspection at the nine-month mark as if the tenant needs to do any upgrade of cleaning there is time before the tenant leaves. If extra cleaning is needed at the end of a tenancy it means there can be time lost between one tenant leaving and the new tenant moving in. That means a loss of rent for the landlord.
How? - A good property manager will have a planned inspection routine and will automatically inspect the traditional problem spots for example shower screens, toilets and stoves/ovens. As well as the inside of the property, he/she will look at common areas in a strata complex, the outside spaces and storage areas.
A good property manager knows that an untidy apartment does not damage the property. However, if things like wet towels are left on carpet then to protect the landlord's chattels the property manager will caution the tenant about such behaviour.
A good property manager will take photographs to show how the property is being cared for. These photographs should not include the tenant's possessions as tenants may object. These photographs are dated and filed by the property manager and copies can be sent to the landlord.
Who? - After the inspection a good property manager commends the tenant on the care being taken with the property or if that is not the case follows up with written notification of what needs to be done by the tenant to remedy any lack of care. A photograph being sent to the property manager can verify the completion of the remedy.
A good property manager will communicate with the landlord and report on the inspection. At our company we believe it is better to speak with the landlord rather than send a standard tick the box form.
Make sure you choose a good property manager.