What should I look for at a routine inspection?

Routine inspections are meant to be quick and painless. Don’t look for every little thing that appears out of place - use this list as a guide.

The routine inspection checklist:

Safety first

Many tenants get used to their living environment and simply don’t see what could be really dangerous. Check the following:

  • Smoke alarms. (Make sure there’s a working smoke alarm between the kitchen and each bedroom - read more specifics here. If you have a compliance certificate you can leave it up to your smoke alarm company.)
  • Security. (All locks should be working and keys supplied.)
  • Balconies. (Structurally sound.)
  • Walls. (No cracks.)
  • Floors. (All level.)
  • Electrical wires. (No exposed wires.)
  • Trees. (No dangerous overhanging branches.)

Tenant cleanliness

The property should be clean and presentable - a few dishes won’t harm your property. Focus on things that can reduce appliance lifespan if they aren’t clean, like:

  • Oven 
  • Range hoods 
  • Exhaust fans
  • Air conditioners. (Check the filters.)
  • Cobwebs – both inside and out. (They attract pests.)
  • Bathroom/shower floor and tiles. (Soap scum, etc.)
  • Lawns. (Tenants need to keep the edges trimmed and lawns mowed.)
  • Garden. (Tenants need to water and weed the garden.)
  • Gutters. (Cubbi recommends sharing the costs for cleaning gutters because of all the safety issues involved.) 

Tenant damage

Just a quick one: only note major damage that wasn’t there when the tenants moved in. Some minor scuffs on the wall aren’t a big deal. 

  • Tiles. (No major cracks.)
  • Carpets. (No major stains.)
  • Floorboards. (No major dents, scratches or holes in floorboards.)
  • Walls and doors. (No major marks or holes.)

Landlord maintenance (responsibility)

Your tenant might choose to put up with something and never mention it. But catching cheap repairs before they become expensive ones should be on your radar.

  • Garden. (General pruning is your responsibility.)
  • Gutters. (Any leaks, rust or anything falling off.) 
  • Oven and other appliances leased with the property. (Do they still work?)
  • Air conditioner. (Does it need a service?)
  • Heaters. (Gas appliances should be serviced every 6-12 months)
  • Plumbing. (Leaking taps, toilets or showers.)
  • Door handles/ knobs. (Are any loose?)

Need more help on how to conduct your inspection?