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What Happens If You Don’t Carry Out House Inspections?
Carrying out regular rental inspections is essential for landlords and property managers. Voiding your insurance, risking fines and expensive repair jobs are all possible consequences of not carrying out routine inspections.
Ensure You Meet Insurance Company Requirements
Landlords face the possibility of voiding their insurance policies if they fail to carry out regular inspections. Most insurance providers require landlords to inspect their property every three to six months as a term of their insurance cover.
Having evidence of regular inspections is particularly important in cases of intentional damage, when your insurer is likely to ask to see copies of your property inspections. To ensure compliance, it is important to thoroughly document inspections. You should keep a record of the inspection date, along with notes and photographs of the property inspection.
Read more in our article: How Often Do Insurance Companies Require Property Inspections?
Avoid Non-compliance Fines
If you fail to complete regular inspections it is possible that your rental property may fall below legal standards. It’s worth noting that even if your property has already met the required Healthy Home Standards it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure it stays up to standard.
If a tenant believes their landlord hasn't complied with the Standards, they can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a mediation and/or hearing. The Tenancy Tribunal has the ability to order a landlord to undertake work and impose a financial penalty of up to $4,000 that is normally payable to the tenant.
Landlords must also ensure their properties are maintained in a reasonable state of repair to fulfil their obligations under The Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
Pick Up Health and Safety Hazards
Without regular inspections, health and safety hazards may go unnoticed. Regular inspections allow landlords to safeguard their biggest investment, their rental property, as well as ensuring they meet their responsibilities as a landlord.
In line with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, landlords must take all reasonably practicable steps to deal with issues in a competent manner. As PCBUs (‘a person conducting a business or undertaking’), landlords and property managers owe a duty of care to ensuring the health and safety of their tenants, contractors and others affected by any work on their property.
Read more about Health and Safety in Residential Property Investment.
Avoid Expensive Repairs
Tackling repairs in a timely manner will help ensure that they are completed before issues become too serious. If inspections are missed maintenance issues may be ignored. When left, maintenance problems and are likely to worsen, becoming more expensive to deal with and ultimately depreciating the value of your property. Inspections are the perfect time to not only pick up maintenance issues yourself, but for tenants to bring any issues of specific concern to your attention.
Find out Who is Responsible For Maintenance and Repairs in a Rental Property.
Identify Unforeseen Tenant Issues
Without regular inspections, landlords might fail to pick up when tenants are not abiding by their tenancy agreements. During routine inspections, the landlord or their property manager can assess the condition of the premises and ensure no alterations have been made outside the terms of the contract.
Safeguard Your Property Investment
For all the reasons listed above, regular inspections are a good idea for safeguarding your property investment. Remember, however, to always be mindful of your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of their property. Ensure you give the correct notice for inspections – at least 48 hours’ notice – and try to keep inspections to a half-hour maximum. It’s also respectful to avoid including the tenant’s personal items when taking inspection photos.
To ensure the process is as pain-free as possible, consider engaging the services of a professional property management company such as Crockers. We’re experts in understanding the legal protocols around property inspections and will ensure your record-keeping is up to standard. We’d love to hear from you.