You should check the condition of the property with your tenant when they start renting the property from you, to avoid problems later.
The residential tenancy agreement includes a property inspection report form. Here you can record the condition of various areas of the property and list any furniture or chattels.
It is a good idea to record the condition of your property with a digital camera at this time.
Building rapport with the prospective tenant is also important during this inspection. Some landlords ask if there is anything the tenant has seen that they think should be recorded on the property inspection report form. This way, the landlord shows they are trying to help the tenant and will not be blaming them for something they didn’t do.
When the tenancy finishes, you can use the completed form to check the property has not been damaged. If damage is written down on an inspection form when a tenancy starts, then a tenant cannot be blamed for it at the tenancy’s end. Also, any new deliberate or careless damage is easily identified.
Both landlord and tenant should sign, date and keep a copy of this form.
Having a properly filled-in property inspection form as part of a written tenancy agreement can be very useful evidence if problems or disputes arise later on, or if a Tenancy Tribunal decision is asked for.
A note about P labs
Unfortunately, in a few cases, the property may have been used for illegal drug manufacture by previous tenants. Download our information sheet Rental properties used in the manufacture of methamphetamine (P), which explains what action landlords and tenants should take if they suspect a property has been used a P lab.