It may all just seem too much. Will the paperwork never end? With the application forms, tenancy agreements and bond registrations, it may seem like the forms, statements and other paperwork will go on forever when you’re moving into a new rental in Hobart. And just when you think it’s over, there’s the entry condition report to distract you from the real work at hand – like unpacking boxes and settling in to your new home. Baxton Property Management in Hobart knows the importance of this document and stresses why it should never be viewed by either rental property owners or their tenants as just another annoying and time-consuming document.
The entry condition report is vital to those on both sides of the rental agreement because it is the definitive statement on the condition of the property when the lease starts. And it can become valuable evidence should disputes arise between the landlord and tenant at any point in the duration of the tenant’s stay on the property. It can also affect the repayment of the security bond at the end of the tenancy.
Importance of the Condition Report
If carried out properly, a detailed report on the state of repair and general condition of the property when the tenant moves in, removes the chances of their being held accountable for damage caused by previous tenants.
This leaves them with a clean slate with regard to the most important obligation of their tenancy. This is the legal requirement, in terms of the Residential Tenancy Act, that tenants keep the rental clean and tidy, and return it to the owner at the end of the lease in the same condition it was in when the lease started, subject only to reasonable wear and tear deterioration. It’s also a basis from which the landlord can fulfil the legal obligation to keep the premises in the same state of repair for the tenancy period.
The entry condition report stands as proof of exactly what “the same condition” or “same state of repair” means, something it would be hard to do without an accurate record (including date-marked photographs where possible) showing what condition the property was in to begin with.
How well tenants are shown to have carried out their obligation can influence their ability to recover their security bond in full when the lease ends. From the landlord’s perspective it is also the deciding factor as to whether claims can be made against that bond for damages caused by the tenant before it is paid out.
The Entry Condition Report Process
The landlord (or property manager) and the tenant must both be involved in the process of producing an accurate condition report, because of its importance to both of them. And once it’s done, both parties need to ensure they keep a copy of it in a safe place in case disputes arise later.
Templates are available to make condition reports easier, but they, and the requirements, differ from state to state. The Tasmanian “Residential Tenancy Condition Report” allows for space for both the entry and termination of tenancy reports, making it easier to compare the two when the lease expires and it’s time to claim the bond.
It’s in the landlord’s best interests to ensure that the property is clean, neat and tidy and in a reasonable state of repair before completing and signing the entry condition report. He or she then give two copies of it to the tenant, either before or on the day he or she moves in. The tenant then checks all entries made by the landlord or property manager and does their own check of the premises before adding any extra comments, signing the documents and returning one to the landlord. The tenant has only two days after receiving the documents to do this.
Checking off the Boxes
The standard forms or templates include check-boxes to reply with a positive or negative to “clean”, “undamaged” and “working”. As these are very vague and subjective terms, Baxton advises both landlords and tenants to take advantage of the comment space available to provide more specific information when needed.
Baxton Property Management is quick to point out how important it is that tenants do their own condition check of the rental property before signing the report, in case anything was omitted in the landlord’s report which might lead to disputes further down the line. Landlords are also advised to take the condition report seriously for the same reason before ticking the boxes. With over a hundred years of collective experience in property management, Baxton is aware of the problems shoddy or incomplete entry condition reports can cause during and at the end of a tenancy. For further information on tenancy in Hobart, visit the Baxton blog.
Syndicated by Baxton Media; the Market Influencers.
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