Northland Property Investors' Association


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Inspections - how often is 'normal'?

A large part of a professional property manager’s workload is tied up in property inspections.

Anecdotally, we hear of many landlords who aren’t quite as ‘structured’ in their inspection regimes as property managers are.

There are many reasons for this.

Landlords can feel that coming in to check on their tenants every 3 (or 4 or 6) months is intrusive.

Tenants can often get offended by the ‘constant checking up’.

They also feel that they have a good relationship with their tenants & rely on them to advise of any maintenance in a timely manner.

All of these are valid reasons and understandable reasons for landlords’ choice to inspect less often.

A recent survey of the main insurance companies indicated that most of the major companies now require 3 monthly (or some as specific as ‘90 days’) minimum inspections.

(These can be changed part way through a renewal period, so vigilance on the policy holder is required)

Of course, this is only an issue should you wish to make a claim.

Feedback from IPMA members indicates that insurance companies are getting increasingly strict on this & will require full copies of credit/reference checks as well as all documented inspection reports for the full length of the tenancy BEFORE agreeing to accept a claim.

In one case (a partial meth contamination) an amount of $15.5K was on the line before the property manager sent all the relevant documents through.

That owner was certainly glad that all the ‘T’s were crossed & all the ‘I’s dotted!

So, start as you plan to go on with a tenancy. Let your tenants know how often you will be inspecting & that it is an insurance requirement. Make sure it is documented adequately in the Tenancy Agreement.

If you do a small job each time you visit (e.g clear the air con filter, change a light bulb, clear out the dishwasher filter, etc) & let them know you have, they will welcome your inspections rather than dread them.

Tags: inspections - insurance - tenants

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