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How to prepare for a rental inspection

By George Hadgelias

Most Australians will rent a home at some point in their lives and, if you do, its inevitable that youre going to experience a rental inspection … or several.

Rental inspections can cause tenants a lot of unnecessary stress simply because many people dont know what to expect or whats expected of them.

Here are a few easy ways to prepare for your rental inspection, so you pass with flying colours and continue to impress your landlord.

1. Start preparing early

Landlords and agents are required by law to provide at least 24 hours notice before an inspection but most will give you at least one week notice.

As soon as you know when your rental inspection is booked in, start to do little things to prepare for it. Clean the shower one day, sweep the front porch another.

Its much easier to clean incrementally, rather than spend an entire evening exhausting yourself scrubbing the place from top to bottom.

2.Make arrangements for your pets

Rental inspections can be very stressful for pets, especially if youre not present while the landlord or agent is there.

Arrange for your pets to visit a friend or family member for the day and save them the stress of having strangers trampling around inside their house.

3. List issues to discuss

Rental inspections arent only for the benefit of the landlord, theyre also an excellent opportunity for you to let them know about any ongoing maintenance problems that you have that are not your responsibility.

For example, if the toilet keeps blocking or if theres a dodgy light fitting that keeps blowing light bulbs – these are structural problems that need be taken care of by the landlord and as a tenant its your responsibility to inform of them of these issue.

However if you smash a window because you were playing indoor football, thats your responsibility. 

4. Clean properly

If you like where you live, youre happy with the rent and the landlords are practically non-existent (dream renter’s scenario) then you should be doing everything within your power to stay there – which means doing a brilliant cleaning job on the property youre renting.

This means scrubbing in the corners of the shower screen, giving all the windows a good clean, spot cleaning the carpets and maintaining the garden.

You dont need to be on your hands knees scrubbing at the kitchen tiling with a toothbrush but both a landlord and an agent will be impressed if you keep their property extra clean and it will certainly influence a decision to keep you on as a tenant.

5. Do any necessary minor repairs

This one’s about things like dings in walls, carpet stains or blown lightbulbs.

There seems to be a bit of a grey area with whose responsibility it is to fix things in the home but a good rule of thumb is that if its your fault’ you need to fix it.

Its not the landlords problem that you slammed your couch into her wall and its also not her problem that you spilled a glass of red wine on the carpet. If theres a problem with the structure of the building, like plumbing or electrics, the landlord needs to take care of that.

6. If there’s a garden, look after it

Gardens and landscaping are a huge investment of time and money for landlords, which is why theyre often so strict about the maintenance of the gardens on their properties.

Landlords will strongly favour tenants who do a good job of maintaining the landscaping, so make sure you keep everything watered, fed, happy and trimmed so it looks good for the rental inspection.

7. Dont freak out

Rental inspections are not designed for the landlord or real estate agent to berate you and kick you out of their house.

Most rental inspections last about 10 minutes and consist of the agent doing a quick turn around the property to check for any major damage or potential problems.

Its honestly not a big deal and definitely not worth getting stressed over. Clean your place up, make sure they can get inside the property and just chill out.

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