Rental inspections are a regular part of the renting process, yet even seasoned tenants can easily become stressed out by them.
To avoid that, it’s useful to know what to expect and how to best prepare for a rental inspection so everything goes smoothly and your landlord can give you a pass.
Let’s find out all about it below!
What is a rental inspection
Rental inspections are exactly what they sound like–a check-up on the property’s state so that both tenant and landlord are updated on its status.
The exchange of information also helps landlords see for themselves if any issues need to be fixed. This allows problems to be solved early before they become costly, which benefits both parties.
Rental inspections ensure that both landlord and tenant work together towards keeping the property in good working order. This process can eliminate any nagging issues periodically and provide peace of mind for both parties.
What do you do before a rental inspection
When getting your home ready for inspection, the original property’s condition report is a really good place to start. Re-reading it will give you a pretty good idea of what your landlord will expect and look for.
The first thing you can do if you are anxious about the inspection is to write a checklist. Write down all steps needed to prepare the property and any concerns that come to mind. Fill out any required maintenance forms before the inspection to save time.
If you’ve recently changed your mobile number, bank account or email address, you must contact your property manager and inform them of the changes.
Here’s a primer on what you will likely need to focus on:
- Determine the general condition and overall cleanliness of the property;
- Check wet areas for mould and water damage;
- Determine the general condition and tidiness of the garden, lawn, and trees;
- Check whether electricity and appliances are working properly. Inspect exhaust fans and clean them if necessary;
- Ensure your oven meets general cleanliness standards.
Generally, leaving your pets with a friend or a relative is best, so they don’t get in the way.
Can you refuse or reschedule a rental inspection
So long as the inspections are not interfering with the tenant’s fair use of the property, landlords are allowed to do multiple inspections throughout the year.
Generally, a tenant can’t refuse a rental inspection. The landlord is required by law to give notice at least 24-48 hours before the inspection. If the proposed date isn’t convenient, a rescheduling request is possible. However, doing that multiple times violates the landlord’s rights and will surely result in eviction.
It’s best when clear expectations are defined, so each party knows their roles. That eliminates a lot of the anxiety and helps a landlord give a pass for the inspection.
How to prepare your home for a rental inspection
Cleaning your home before the event is an excellent way to make a good impression. With some prior planning and focus on key areas, you will achieve great results and most likely receive a pass from your landlord.
Make an effort to tidy up
Property managers are primarily looking to see if there’s any damage to the property. If there’s lots of stuff lying around, it will only get in the way, so ensure you do your best to tidy up.
- Putting all items in their proper places;
- Decluttering everything you no longer seem to need;
- Disposing of any rubbish lying around.
Clean your home
Making the place look spotless is one of the best ways to make an excellent impression. While not all rooms will receive the same amount of attention, property managers will most likely focus on the kitchen and the bathroom.
So, where do you begin?
For starters, cleaning the windows will make the property look fantastic. Next, wipe all doors and handles as well, and vacuum the entire place. Don’t forget to wipe all the dust with a dry microfiber towel and remove any cobwebs from wall corners, ceilings, or light fixtures.
The kitchen is often the first area that property inspectors pay particular attention to. It can really set the tone for the entire inspection. That’s why it’s important to be cleaned well and to smell good.
Here’s how to clean your kitchen for inspection:
- Throw away any expired foods and scraps;
- Ensure there aren’t any dirty dishes in the sink;
- Clean the oven and the dishwasher, and the fridge;
- Remove any grease or oil stains from the wall and appliances;
- Unclog drains, clean the sink, and wash off mineral deposits from the faucets.
Next, focus on the bathroom. Pay particular attention to the area around the toilet. Use a vinegar and soda mixture to spray any mouldy areas. You can then scrub with a damp microfiber cloth. After you’re done, rinse the area thoroughly with water.
Here’s a primer on how to get the bathroom ready for inspection:
- Scrub the toilet, shower, and sink;
- Clean your shower curtain;
- Use a microfiber towel to clean your bathroom mirror spotless;
- Sort and clean bathroom shelving. Toss away any expired products.
Cleaning your entire place by yourself can be hard. If you’re switching homes soon, hiring professionals to conduct a thorough end of tenancy cleaning makes much more sense. Not only will that save you time and effort, but it will also ensure you get your security deposit back, as professional cleaning doesn’t leave any excuse for landlords to keep your cash.
Check the plumbing
Most plumbing problems become visible as they arise. Yet a thorough check can help locate a problem when it’s still small, and no major damage has been done to the property.
Here’s what to look for:
- Check all taps and showerheads to ensure nothing is leaking;
- Turn off the water and inspect the metre. If it moves while there shouldn’t be any water moving, there’s likely a leak.
Tidy up the garden
Even if gardening is not your forte, ensure the garden is in good shape before the inspection to make a good impression.
Here’s a checklist of what to do:
- Mow the lawn;
- Rake any fallen leaves off the lawn;
- Remove any weeds;
- Sweep the patio;
- Remove cobwebs;
- Clean any outdoor furniture;
- Check if any pests have made nests in the area.
Rental inspections may not be the most pleasant events, but everything will most likely be alright if you’ve done all the above steps. Also, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, as this is the best opportunity to fix any nagging issues with the property.