Why Property Inspections are Important to Both Tenant and Property Owner

If you find yourself in the renting space you need to be aware of three different property inspections:

  • Incoming Inspection
  • Mid-term Inspection
  • Outgoing Inspection

In South Africa, we are somewhat reluctant about the second (mid-term inspection) obligation, and mostly this is passed over by the property owner, manager or agent. The incoming and outgoing inspections are however compulsory according to the Rental Housing Act, and for a good reason. Property inspections when done right delivers the final supporting documents protecting both tenant and property owner in events that can turn into nightmares.

Incoming Inspection — After signing the lease agreement, it is vital for the new tenant and property owner to do a joint inspection of the property. This inspection intends to compile a detailed report, containing relevant information (pictures and notes) with regards to the condition of the property. With this report both property owner and tenant are on the same page with regards to the state of the property inside out, aiming to avoid future disputes regarding property damages and maintenance. After moving in the tenant has another seven days to add to the inspection report if he/she discovers problems that were not reported during the incoming inspection. The property owner should also approve the revised document.

How does this document look? Private Property highlights four main aspects that the inspection report should document:

  • Any nails in a wall
  • Any defaults, defects, or marks/stains
  • Any particular fittings or features and their condition
  • Photographic evidence of any faults, as well as the general state of the entire property

The great news for both property owners and tenants are that you can now conduct the property inspection with the ease of your smartphone, using the Preferental Inspection App. Property inspections don’t have to be the hassle of completing forms, uploading, naming, and scanning pictures to store it somewhere for the lease period. This inspection application guides you from start to finish, saving your images and notes online for easy access.

Regular or mid-term inspection — Further advantages of property inspections for property owners is the fact that the inspection actually tracks the condition of your property, keeping you up to date with any new wear and tear or damages. An annual property check-up assists you to maintain the shape and not end up with nasty surprises.

If you decide on a check-up once every few months or during the year, then be sure to let your tenants know beforehand and that they are comfortable with the date and time of your visit to their home. The mid-term inspection does not have to be long and draining; it can be a quick overview of the unit while in the tenancy agreement period. It is essential that all notes and supporting pictures are documented as well.

Outgoing Inspection — Generally a property owner or manager will be able to withhold the rental deposit until the outgoing inspection has been done to allocate to the repairing cost of damages to the unit. These damages will be determined by comparing the incoming and outgoing inspection report. If no property inspection were done beforehand, the property owner or manager would not be in their legal rights to withhold the deposit or take any action against the tenant for damages claimed to be the tenant’s fault since they don’t have evidence that the damages were not pre-existing.

Whether you are a property owner or tenant, property inspections are of great value to you, and there is no reason for it to be an uncomfortable and drawn-out event anymore. Be sure to have a look at the inspections app Preferental offers at no additional charge.