About Rental Inspections

rental property inspection

Rental property inspections

If you’re either a tenant or a landlord, you should be familiar with incoming and outgoing rental inspections. They are required by law under the Rental Housing Act.

Landlords and tenants often disagree on who is liable for repairs or damages to a rental property. The best way to avoid conflict is to have a thorough inspection report done. Property inspections help landlords to protect the value of their investment. They provide peace of mind to tenants by ensuring the property is safe for habitation.

However, it’s important that both parties understand what is involved in rental property inspection and the responsibilities of each party.

What is a rental property inspection?

The primary purpose of a rental inspection is to evaluate and record the condition of the property, inside and out. Therefore, I will check the condition of the property, ensuring that services like plumbing and electrics are in working order. The secondary purpose of an inspection is to make sure tenants are keeping to the conditions of their lease.

What does a rental property inspector look for?

I will check the following key areas:

1) The general condition of the property

Upon arrival, I will carry out a quick appraisal of the general condition of the property. Specifically, I will check the condition of the paintwork, both inside and outside. I will the condition of windows, and ensure doors are in good working order and secured properly. In addition, I will check internal and external walls for cracks (which may require further examination).

2) Assess tenant living conditions

Furthermore, I will also assess the tenants living conditions. The state a tenant lives in is an indication as to their ability to look after the property. Generally, landlords want tenants who keep the place tidy, since tidy tenants are more likely to look after the property. While tenants aren’t evicted because they are untidy, landlords may not want to renew the rental agreement for such tenants.

3) Check for illegal activity

I do not search through the tenant’s personal belongings. However, I will check to make sure no illegal activity is being carried out without interfering with the tenants right to privacy.

4) Damp patches and mould

Tenants seldom mention the presence of mould because they are not aware of how serious and dangerous it can be. If mould is present, I will try to establish the cause of the mould or damp.

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Damp Walls

Damp Walls In Your Home

gutters

I posted on my blog, in November last year, about damp walls that arise as a result not having gutters on your home to control the flow of rainwater off your roof.

On Saturday I inspected a four-year-old property that had a one tile overhang on the roof, no gutters but had paving surrounding the house.

However, the external walls of the house were in a desperate state because of the three most destructive mistakes architects, developers, builders and homeowners make!

As a result, I’m going to repeat part of the issues mentioned in my blog again!

Damp walls caused by no gutters

Gutters collect the rainwater runoff from the roof, discharging it into downpipes which conveys the rainwater away from the house in a controlled manner. In addition, they also protect the timber roof structure at the eaves of the house. Furthermore, gutters protect the exterior walls, windows and doors of the house and its foundation from damp and potential damage.

damp walls

The splashing up against the walls was the most serious cause of the penetrating damp on the walls of the house. Moreover, the crazing cracking (spiderweb-like fine cracking) in the plasterwork was the main indicator of the penetrating damp caused splashing up of rainwater. No cracking was observed higher up on the walls.

Even if your house has a reduced overhang at the eaves, gutters will still provide the required protection against heavy rain and wind storms your house may be subjected to.

Insufficient roof overhang at the eaves

Roofs with no gutters which have a two-tile overhang (600mm in the case of a metal roof) or less will allow water to pour from the roof close to the walls, windows and doors and the foundation.

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Section Title Schemes

Responsibilities of Owners and Body Corporates

Body corporates

I do a fair amount of inspections in sectional title schemes. Often, owners ask me if body corporates will pay for repairs inside their units. Obviously, their concern is about damage caused by external factors such as rainstorms, burst geysers, and so on.

Each case is usually based on its merits. Usually, the body corporate’s trustees use their discretion when deciding to whom they allocate the cost of repairs and replacement. However, there are many grey areas and differences between the owner’s and body corporate’s liability and responsibility.

The Body Corporate’s obligations

Body corporates are responsible for the repairs and maintenance and upkeep of the common properties.

Furthermore, the body corporate maintains all pipes, ducts, wiring, etc., for the common property and services to more than one unit.

Your obligations as an owner of a section

You must maintain and keep your section in a good state. Moreover, you must also keep any part of the common property to which you have the right neat and tidy. These are exclusive use areas such as gardens, patios, balconies, parking areas, garages, etc.

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Boundary Walls

Preventing and Repairing Cracks in Boundary Walls

Damaged boundary walls around your property can spoil the whole look and feel of your property. Furthermore, cracked and leaning walls can also pose a danger to passers-by should the wall fall over.

boundary wall
This was a wall that was butt jointed against the neighbour’s wall. The danger here is that when the wall falls over portions of the wall will be spread over the pavement and possibly into the road. If a pedestrian is close by serious injury could result!

This article explains the correct way to repair boundary walls and install expansion joints!

Firstly, if your walls have ugly cracks and broken plasterwork and brickwork at the expansion joints do not plaster them up as shown in the photos below!

boundary wall
This expansion joint was chopped open and plastered up. The joint will crack at the joint again. This is a waste of time and money and will cause more problems than before!

Furthermore, the work done on these boundary walls will result in more cracking in the walls!

Many boundary walls and retaining walls may fail prematurely due to the lack of provision for movement. However, this is usually not a fault in the materials used, but usually a lack of proper design. Even when the design is correct, the construction of the boundary wall and expansion joints are often faulty.

What is an expansion joint?

It is a separation between two portions of the same structure. A butt joint in a boundary wall is not an expansion joint!

Expansion joints in boundary walls

When building a boundary wall, an expansion joint is a separation designed to relieve stress on building materials caused by movement induced by thermal expansion and contraction. They are therefore specifically provided in boundary walls to avoid cracks occurring in the wall.

Temperature changes and seasonal changes mostly cause the movement in the boundary walls. However, expansion joints also permit movement due to ground settlement, seismic events and expansive soils.

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Weekend Projects

Weekend Projects to Increase Resale Value

by Kay Pascale

resale-value

If you’re trying to increase the resale value of your home, there are probably more than a few side projects you want to finish before putting the house on the market for all to see. While some of these, like any kind of roof maintenance, are true renovations that likely require the help and vision of an expert, there remain some weekend projects that you can complete in a single weekend. Here are a few tips to help increase the resale value of your house.

Fix Outdoor Landscaping to Improve Curb Appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see when they walk up to your home is the landscaping. Do trees and bushes look overgrown? Is the lawn too long, or are there unsightly stumps and plants littering the yard? A little prevention in the form of weeding, gardening, watering, and trimming will have the front of your house looking immaculate and inviting to potential buyers. According to Home-Dzine, your lawn is probably one of the first things someone will notice about your house. Therefore, keep your grass trimmed, remove dead branches, and plant some flowers for a pop of colour.

Clean Your Gutters

Power washing the walls and the driveway is a great way to make your home look well cared for. This allows your house to stand out in a positive way from the rest of the houses on your street. Moreover, Gutters are often overlooked when cleaning up the outside of a home because you can’t see them from ground level. But rest assured it will make a big difference.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

Repairs can easily be completed in the span of a weekend. In addition, to ensure that there are no visible red flags, have a walkthrough or seller’s inspection. This will pinpoint any areas that need to be worked on prior to selling the home. Things that may be simply annoying to you might be deal-breakers for a buyer. In particular, leaky taps, mould damage, or a faulty light switch could be the difference between that SOLD sign and spending weeks or even months languishing on the market.

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