Conducting a comprehensive and competent routine inspection is a crucial aspect of property management. Avoid these mistakes during inspections to keep your property management game strong.

Letting inspections wear you down

When you’re cramming too many into a day, shortcuts and mistakes happen. Keep your energy levels in check and set realistic limits. Take control of your schedule and avoid burnout by spacing out inspections to a manageable level.

Getting caught in the “desk inspection” trap

Many property managers sacrifice thoroughness for speed and skip important areas during inspections. This can lead to missed warning signs, unauthorised pets, and potential repair issues. Once this habit starts, it can spiral out of control until nothing is being properly inspected.

From the “kitchen inspection” to the “kerb-side inspection” and even the lazy “desk inspection,” this slippery slope can be hard to climb back up. Don’t let complacency take over and compromise the quality of your inspections. Stay vigilant and focused to avoid missing anything important.

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Forgetting the ingoing condition report and photos

These are crucial for maintaining a property’s original condition, minus fair wear and tear. How can you ensure this if you’re not referencing them? Luckily, technology makes it easier than ever to access these records on-the-go with an iPad or by bringing the file with you. Don’t neglect this step and risk costly damages.

Letting special conditions be your blind spot

Overlooking ‘no pet’ policies or other tenancy-specific rules can cause major problems later on. This often happens when a new property manager is assigned or when a relief manager steps in without knowing the property’s specifics.

Imagine complimenting a tenant on their furry friend when you didn’t know pets were forbidden! Stay on top of the game and avoid this embarrassing mistake.

Letting reported repairs fall through the cracks

It’s all too common for property managers to find themselves stuck in a frustrating cycle of repeating the same reported issues at every inspection, with nothing getting done. Don’t rely on email alone – take action by calling the owner a few days after the inspection to discuss what needs to be done and get their instructions.

And why not take things a step further by using screen recording software to create a video message that clearly demonstrates the issue at hand? With tools like, it’s easier than ever to create a private, easy-to-watch clip that gets the point across.

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Overlooking outside issues

The average property manager only spends 20 minutes on an inspection and often neglects things like eaves, facias, guttering, flyscreens, and more. If you think it’s not your job or you don’t have time, make sure to schedule regular maintenance inspections with a tradesperson every 6-12 months. Otherwise, you’ll regret it when these issues come back to haunt you!

Not thanking your tenants

Don’t forget to thank your tenants! They put in a lot of effort to prepare for inspections, and not acknowledging it could lead to a bad attitude towards you. Imagine spending hours cleaning and making sure everything looks perfect, only for the property manager to leave without a single word of feedback.

Make it a habit to thank your tenants at every opportunity. Good tenants make your life easier, and it’s essential to show them that you appreciate their efforts.

Not giving written feedback to the tenant

Leaving a note is a great start, but take it to the next level by snapping a photo as a record and saving it in their file.

Not addressing tenant damage or issues

Don’t ignore tenant damage or issues. Address them immediately or you’ll regret it later. If you let it slide, you risk losing your claim in court or tribunal. Don’t give the tenant a chance to shirk responsibility by overlooking or ignoring damage during the inspection.

#10 – Not booking in geographic clusters

Don’t waste time and money driving all over town for property inspections. Book them based on location, not just date. By scheduling inspections in geographic clusters, you can save time and maximise efficiency. Don’t be a slave to arbitrary time frames, be smart with your scheduling and get more done in less time.

Booking too many inspections

Don’t overload yourself with too many inspections in one go! It’s crucial to remember that the number of properties you can inspect in a given time depends on several factors like location, size, and complexity. Instead of rushing through them, take time to think about how many you can handle without compromising on the quality of your work. And always be prepared for unforeseen issues that might require extra attention.

Not accessing all areas

Don’t fall for excuses like “I lost the key” or “I’m using that room for storage.” These could be lies, and you may miss crucial information about the property. Always reschedule the inspection if you can’t access all areas. Consider bringing a colleague if you feel unsafe. To avoid these situations, make it clear to tenants from the start that you will inspect all rooms and areas during inspections.

Not ensuring your gadgets are powered up

Don’t be caught out with dead gadgets during inspections. Always make sure your camera, smartphone, iPad and other tools are fully charged beforehand. A great property manager is always ready for action.

Not re-confirming the inspection beforehand.

Don’t assume your tenants will remember the date and time of the inspection just because you’ve given them notice. Send an SMS reminder a couple of days before the inspection to ensure everyone on the lease is aware and ready. And while you’re at it, include a link to your checklist for their convenience.

Being ‘too heavy-handed.’

Tenants only need to keep the property reasonably clean, not in military-like condition. If the place is untidy but clean, don’t stress. Don’t go on a rampage if the morning dishes are in the sink or the bed is unmade. Only address issues that can affect the rental property. Remember, the goal is not to impress the Queen – well, King.

Sending out an untrained person to do the inspection

Don’t send an untrained person to do a routine inspection! You’ll miss major issues and let poor tenant performance slide. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Overlooking poor tenant performance

Don’t turn a blind eye to poor tenant performance. Dirty carpets, grubby walls, and other unacceptable areas need to be addressed immediately. Waiting until the tenant leaves could result in no bond available to use. Remember these sayings – “What will the tenant leave for me to clean up today if they abscond tomorrow?” and “Poor routine inspection today, poor vacate inspection tomorrow.” Act today to avoid problems tomorrow!

Not ensuring your keys are up to date

Don’t let outdated keys waste your time! Make sure to keep them up to date and always on hand to avoid being unable to access the property during an inspection.

Not respecting the tenant’s home.

Tenants are people, not second-class citizens. Remember, to them, it’s not just a rental, it’s their home. Treat them with respect, attend to their concerns promptly, and remember that they are your partner in the rental property. Without them, you wouldn’t have a job!

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