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A property manager in Western Australia was recently attacked by a tenant at a final inspection in a case that provides a timely reminder for South Australian property managers and landlords.
In the West Australian incident, the property manager was conducting a final inspection and the tenant, who had a history of agitation, became frustrated when it was explained he could not collect bond monies on the day of vacating the property.
In WA legislation, tenants are able to be present at bond inspections and Kathryn Barry, property manager with The Professionals SA, said this is the same in South Australia too.
“More often than not they do not attend, but that is their choice,” Ms Barry said.
The WA case raises questions about how South Australian property managers and landlords handle situations where tenants may become aggressive.
Ms Barry said it is important to communicate well in advance to the tenant about what is required at the vacating of a property, such as standards of cleanliness expected. “We provide a checklist that the tenant can work through,” she said.
“When the tenancy commences, the tenants are given an Ingoing Inspection and they have 14 days to complete and comment on it, and return to our office. This Ingoing Inspection, along with photos, protects both the tenant and landlord from condition disputes later.
“Property Managers bring this Ingoing Inspection to the Final Inspection, along with all the Routine Inspection reports. The combination of these two reports indicates the condition of the property at termination of the lease. Any differences should be reported back to the tenant ASAP for rectification.
“If there is only a small amount of cleaning to be done, the tenant will often return to the property to rectify the situation, providing time allows.
“If there is more extensive work to be done, Property Managers will use their preferred contractors to remedy the situation. The tenant can then choose to pay the contractor’s invoice and be provided a full Bond refund after all invoices are paid; or: have the cost of the outstanding invoices deducted from the Bond.
“Standard practice for The Professionals team includes letting the tenant know as soon as possible after a final inspection, how it went. That day, or the next day, if possible,” she said.
Like the case outlined above in Western Australia, Bond monies are not held by the property manager in South Australia either. The Bond monies (usually six weeks’ rent) is held with Residential Tenancies.
“If any disputes arise regarding the disbursement of the Bond that cannot be resolved between the tenant, the Property Manager and the owner, then a hearing is scheduled with Residential Tenancies. The member hears evidence from both parties and makes a ruling,” Ms Barry said.
These are some of the problems that can arise for landlords who decide to manage their own investment property. At times like these, it is good to have Professionals property managers by your side.
If you would like more information about ingoing and outgoing inspections or any aspects of property management, please contact our team.