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Surviving Constant Open Home Inspections

By George Hadgelias

There’s no two ways about it: open for inspections, whether that be for rental properties or when the owner decides to sell, are a major inconvenience for you as a tenant.

If the owner elects to sell the property privately, your residence could be on the market for months, meaning potentially dozens of open for inspections and the expectation that you’ll keep the property in consistently pristine condition each and every time.

So how do you, as a tenant, survive constant inspections? Here are some tips to help you through this potentially tough period.

Big clean, small clean

Owners and agents expect a clean and presentable property whenever buyers or future renters are being shown through, and, unfortunately, that task falls to you as the current tenant.

Legally, agents need to give you only 24 hours notice before an open for inspection, but Hocking Stuart Richmond agent Jo Leonardis says you can help yourself if you’re organised with your cleaning early.

“It’s normal for owners to conduct a couple of ‘opens’ per week, so tenants need to actually prepare for that during the campaign,” Leonardis says.

“They need to make sure the property is presentable and very tidy.”

Most agents recommend doing a major clean of the whole property at the start of a campaign, and then spot clean as required, rather than spending time cleaning large parts of the property each week.

Hide your valuables

While there will always be an agent in the property whenever it’s being inspected, they can’t be in every room at once, and you don’t want strangers eyeing off your most valued possessions.

“Make sure that any personal goods are tucked away, so any jewellery or anything of expense, just to minimise any risk,” Leonardis says.

Work with the agent and owner

You’re going to be seeing plenty of them, so it pays (often literally) to form a good relationship with your agent, who’s acting on behalf of the owner.

“Forming some sort of honest, nice relationship, where both parties can work together, is important,” Leonardis says.

“It works both ways. If you’ve got a concern with a particular open for inspection and need to be flexible with another time, that agent will work with you and help as much as possible.”

Leonardis says being cooperative goes a long way, and often leads to financial bonuses.

“From a vendor’s perspective, often they’ll give something back to the tenant – some sort of appreciation when the property sells,” she says.

“I know there’s a lot of owners that tell the tenants: ‘We know it’s going to be inconvenient, so we’re going to offer you a week’s free rent’.”

And if the eventual buyer is an investor and plans to rent out the property, a positive reference from the outgoing owner will go a long way to ensuring you can remain in the property, if you wish to.

Plan for your pets

Managing pets is an unavoidable part of open for inspections for many tenants.

Avoid any issues by making arrangements to have them out of the property when people are coming through.

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