If you own a rental property in Australia, you’ll quickly realise that periodic home inspections are integral to safeguarding your investment and securing profitability. They offer key opportunities throughout the lease term to ensure the property is well-maintained by tenants, that the tenants themselves are satisfied with their living conditions, and that you can be proactive towards any upgrades or repairs before they worsen.
Whether you’re a seasoned landlord with properties dotting Australia’s cityscapes, or just venturing into the realm of property investment, this guide from our experts at Instyle aims to demystify home inspections, offering practical insights tailored to Australian property owners.
What are Home Inspections?
A home inspection is a methodical, visual examination of a rental property, identifying any areas that could potentially morph into significant issues if left unchecked. A skilled inspector assesses everything from the property’s structural stability to the efficiency of its plumbing and electrical systems, and even potential pest infestations.
In Australia’s vibrant and competitive property market, these inspections help landlords proactively address issues before they expand into expensive repairs and maintenance costs that could nibble away at rental yields. They also act as pre-emptive measures to ensure that rental properties adhere to all standards and obligations enforced by the Australian government, particularly around health and safety. By catching and rectifying issues early, you assure tenants that their welfare is of paramount concern, fostering a healthier landlord-tenant relationship.
What are the Legalities Surrounding Home Inspections?
A common misconception is that landlords can visit and enter the property whenever they choose to conduct an inspection, given that the property is in their name. In reality, once the lease agreement has been signed, the tenant has the right to privacy and security within their new home. Legislation pertaining to rental property standards varies across Australia’s states and territories, and landlords are obligated to comply, with the law stating in Adelaide that a landlord (or their property manager) can inspect their property under the following conditions:
- Inspections should not exceed one every four weeks.
- A 7 to 14-day written notice is required prior to the visit.
- The visit should not last longer than a duration of two hours.
- If a breach notice has been served, the landlord has the right to enter the property to verify if the tenant has rectified the issue.
- A written notice of between 7 and 14 days is necessary to inspect whether a previously noted breach has been addressed and resolved.
Tenants have the right to stay on the property during the home inspection process, and the landlord is required to accommodate their schedule. This means that the entry time should be arranged with consideration for the convenience of both the tenant and the person making the entry. The only time these stipulations will not apply is in emergencies, when checking to see if a previously identified breach has been resolved, or when inspecting to determine whether the property has been abandoned.
Benefits of Having an Experienced Property Manager Conduct Your Home Inspections
Property managers offer expert eyes that identify emerging issues, potentially saving you substantial repair costs or legal ramifications. Their grasp of Australian tenancy laws ensures your inspections adhere to state-specific regulations, lifting the weight of landlord obligations off your shoulders.
They also understand local property dynamics, guiding you to enhance your rental value. Coupled with the convenience they bring—coordinating inspections, reporting findings, and following up on repairs—they offer an efficiency that’s hard to match.
With an established property manager, you also gain access to a network of trusted maintenance professionals for any swift, cost-effective fixes.
Learn More on Home Inspections for Your Property with the Experts in the Industry
Speak with our specialists at InStyle Property Management today for more information on organising periodic home inspections and management of your rental property. We can help you ensure a seamless, profitable experience for your investment.