Due for an inspection? Rental inspections are a standard part of most tenancies, but they’re often a cause of stress for renters who don’t know what to expect.
Impress your property manager/landlord during their next visit and stay on top of basic expectations with this rental inspection checklist.
What is a routine inspection all about?
Your property manager or landlord may conduct a routine inspection to ensure that your rental property is being well-maintained and any necessary repairs are being reported.
These inspections are standard in Australia and typically occur multiple times throughout the year.
As part of their responsibility to the property owner, property managers conduct visits to:
- Ensure proper care of the rental property; and
- Report any maintenance issues.
According to the law, your property manager or landlord must give you sufficient notice before inspecting your home and cannot tell you they’re coming around the next day. Each state and territory has its own rules.
|State & Territory
|According to Fairtrading NSW, the minimum notice required to inspect the property is at least 7 days’ written notice each time.
|Up to 4 times in a 12-month period
|Consumer Affairs Victoria says rental providers or their agents must provide you with 7 days notice for a general (or routine) inspection.
|Inspections can only be made after the first 3 months of the agreement, then done every 6 months at the most.
|In QLD, you must be given a minimum of 7 days’ notice for entry, using an Entry notice. Access can be at a specific time or a 2-hour window.
|Inspections cannot be carried out more than once every 3 months unless you agree in writing.
|Over in WA, you should be given between 7 and 14 days’ notice of an upcoming inspection. Notice should specify whether the entry will be before or after noon.
|Your property manager/landlord has the right to conduct an inspection no more than 4 times a year.
|The SA Government says that your landlord must give you 7 to 14 days’ written notice for entry.
|Your landlord can inspect the property no more than once every 4 weeks, for up to 2 hours.
|Over in TAS, you must be given a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for entry.
|Inspections can’t be carried out more than once every 3 months unless you agree in writing, including once in the first month.
|Your landlord must arrange an inspection time at least 7 days in advance if you rent in the NT.
|Inspections can be a maximum of once every 3 months in the NT, or longer if you and your landlord agree to it in the lease.
|As a tenant in the ACT, you should get 7 days’ notice of a routine inspection.
|These should occur a maximum of twice every 12 months after the start of a tenancy. Your landlord can also conduct additional inspections in your tenancy’s first and last months.
No matter where you live, agreeing on a convenient inspection time with your property manager or landlord is important.
In most cases, you’re not required to be present during an inspection, but you’re welcome to attend.
An inspection will typically include the following checks:
- Ensure the property is being maintained and is in a clean and tidy condition;
- Check the grounds are being kept in a clean and tidy condition (things like mowing, weed removal and lawn watering);
- Ensure the property hasn’t been damaged in any way;
- Confirm there are no more people living in the home than what you specified on the rental agreement;
- Make sure no pets are living at the property unless they’re allowed to; and
- Identify any maintenance issues
What is the purpose of a routine rental inspection?
During rental inspections, the purpose is not to judge how clean your home is. Rather, the main goal is to identify any issues that need maintenance or repair and ensure that the property is being taken care of.
The property manager will take a walk-through of the rental property and note any problems they encounter, which they will review and document on the property condition report.
They will take note of any new damages they observe on the property or anything that could go against your rental agreement, such as hiding a cat when your agreement prohibits pets.
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What steps should I take to prepare for a routine rental inspection?
To ensure a smooth rental inspection, there are a few simple things you can do.
- Keep your property manager informed of any changes to your contact details, such as your mobile number, email address or bank details. This will ensure that you are kept up-to-date, and any issues that arise before or after the inspection can be easily communicated to you.
- If you have pets, make sure they are securely contained during the inspection or alternatively take them out while the inspection is taking place.
- It’s also a good idea to check for any maintenance or repair issues in the months leading up to the inspection and to fill out the necessary maintenance request forms.
Prepare your home with this routine rental inspection checklist
To make the most of your next rental inspection, it’s important to have a critical eye when examining your home.
Rent.com.au has created a helpful checklist to assist you in this process and ensure you’re fully prepared for your inspection.
Use this routine rental inspection checklist to help you succeed and get the most out of your rental property.
Your living room
|Do all your lights work? Switch them on and off to double-check. Give all light switches a once-over with a cloth to remove residue or leftover prints. Consider looking at the light fittings for loose cables and make a note if you spot anything. Dont forget to check for dust on any light pendants too!
|The condition of your walls is important. Look along the bottom edging of your wall for any rising dampness. If you’re renting, minor ‘wear and tear ‘-style cracks shouldn’t worry you, but note them down so you’re not hit with any surprises.
|While they’re a nice alternative to carpets, floorboards can quickly show signs of wear and can be expensive to fix. Check for creaks by walking over your floor, but also see if your floorboards have started coming up at the edges.
Your kitchen and bathroom
|Sinks and plumbing
|Checked your taps recently? It might seem harmless, but a dripping tap can add extra (unwanted) costs to your utility bills. It could be as simple as replacing a washer if you have a dripping tap. When you turn the taps on, listen for any strange sounds. It wouldn’t hurt to check under your sink for possible leaks.
|Kitchen appliances and fittings
|No one likes to clean their oven, but it’s a key spot your agent will check. Open your stove, run your finger over the range hood and give the stovetop an extensive scrub.
If there’s built-up grease around these areas, your property manager will probably tell you about it in your inspection report. If your microwave and fridge were included in your property, open them and check they’re clean.
|Tiles and surfaces
|It’s all about the shine when it comes to your next inspection. Clean away any residual debris and scrub hard. The same goes for your sink, mirror, shower and bathtub.
|Do an extra check around the toilet and bin areas. It’ll give you an idea of how much love you’re giving that area (and what needs improvement!).
|The hinges of your cupboards and joints of your shelves in your kitchen and bathroom can catch food residue and grime.
|Walls and floorboards
|Just as you did in the living room, look at the state of your walls and floorboards. This will give you a good indication of how much love your bedroom needs. Consider giving them a little extra TLC where you can.
|Windows and doors
|Open your windows and doors and let the air in. Check the handles and locks on everything where appropriate. Sliding doors and windows can easily fall into disrepair.
|Your landlord or property manager isn’t likely to poke around in your bedroom too much, but giving it a good once-over, throwing away any rubbish and wiping down exposed surfaces will give a good impression during your routine inspection.
Your property’s exterior
|Cobwebs can be a nuisance, but you must clear them before the inspection. Sweep around the exterior of your property and remove any cobwebs.
|Are the locks and handles functioning properly? How’s the fly screen looking? Dust or wipe down the doors if they need it.
|If your property comes with a garage, check the doors. Do they work properly? Ensure the whole space is kept relatively clean and well-organised.
|Gates and garden
|Now’s the time to look for any non-human residents your home might be housing. If your property has gates or a garden, look over them. Make sure your lawn is watered and that any weeds are removed.
As a tenant, it’s important to speak up about any issues with the property to your landlord or property manager to prevent future problems.
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.