If you’ve ever had to rent a property or have been a landlord, you’d be familiar with completing and signing off on a condition report before the move-in date and again when the renter vacates. What are your strongest memories of this? Lots of paper? Lost forms? Grainy or non-existent photos? Discrepancies and disagreements between all parties? If you’ve answered yes to any of those, you are not alone.
Thanks to the rise of technology and the move to an increasingly paperless existence, the humble but very important condition report has also moved with the times. Agencies are investing more time and money into making this process as hiccup-free and fair as possible, and at Dynamic Residential, we’re no different.
In this blog, we look at two things. Firstly, what makes a perfect condition blog and why it’s important.
Secondly, we look at how our team is leading the way in providing clients, both rental providers and renters, with clear, robust and fully electronic condition reports helping fill vacancies faster.
Why having a good & thorough condition report is important
Ultimately, a property condition report is there to help protect both the renter and the rental provider. Without a properly executed document, it won’t take long until it catches up with you. Picture this; you’re a landlord, and your renters move out, leaving your precious investment filthy and needing repairs. Easy, you’d take their bond to cover the costs. But if there’s either no condition report or an incomplete one, there’s no way to prove this was the renter’s fault.
Without a condition report detailing what the premises were like at the start of the tenancy, it’s almost impossible to seek reimbursement for damage or unreasonable wear and tear on a property. And who then wears the cost for cleaning, repairs and replacements, which can easily add up to thousands? You, the rental provider.
What makes a good property condition report
A comprehensive, well-structured condition report completed within good time will save stress at the beginning and the end of a tenancy. No last-minute scrambling to find the paperwork, arguing about undocumented issues, or even worse, paying for repairs you don’t believe you should have to.
They are legal documents governed by each state and territory’s laws within Australia. Therefore, they should be treated as such and must include the minimum required by each jurisdiction.
Written clearly & includes details
A good condition report will be structured according to each room/area with a line item for each surface type including a detailed description of each. Simply using the ‘yes’ or ‘no’, ‘damaged’ or ‘undamaged’ tick boxes is not sufficient.
Includes clear images
Unfortunately, words don’t tell the whole story; our views and those of another are subjective and vary differently. It’s human nature! What might look fine to a renter won’t to you. Or, what was there when the renter moved in might have been replaced by something different (and cheaper) by the time they moved out.
Having clear, high-res images for every relevant inclusion is vital to ensuring all parties agree on the home’s original condition and contents. If time permits, the photos should be saved electronically and named individually by room to assist in proving which room they came from. But it does take a lot of time and still won’t protect you fully from future disputes.
Includes a full video walk around
A video property condition report can alleviate the potential issues mentioned above. Along with detailed descriptions and exhaustive high-res images, supplying a video walkthrough of each room fitting and surface will give a true sense of the property’s condition.
It doesn’t need to be professionally filmed; camera phones are now so high-tech that they can film with clarity and precision. Ensuring you capture every angle and aspect of the premises proves the state of the property on video. This means you’ll cover all your bases as a rental provider before your renter moves in or out.
Dynamic Residential has a dedicated Conditions Report team
Say goodbye to last-minute fumbling and lost paperwork. We’re proud to innovate in this space and offer a new approach to customer care and legal documentation. Here’s how:
We take the time
We have a team dedicated to the sole function of managing all condition reports to ensure the proper time and care is taken. At other agencies a time poor Property Manager will often rush through the report and potentially miss important items.
You’re not the expert, right? That’s okay; you shouldn’t have to stress about ensuring everything is included quickly! We ask the questions, so you don’t need to, and we take the time to detail everything. We look for the things a renter or landlord may not even think of and include them in each report—yet another way to cover all bases and raise fewer questions down the track.
As we suggested above, we take extensive photos of each room from every angle. Using only the latest equipment and software, these are high-res images that are evidence of the condition of your property and are cataloged for easy reference to each room and item.
We boast innovative, industry-leading inspection software that captures the history of the property’s condition, so nothing gets missed. The beauty of this software is vast, but perhaps best, it ensures both parties are provided with every opportunity (with frequent reminders) to include their comments and avoid disputes. No more chasing up renters for their bare minimum input.
Comparing the original condition to the final condition of the property is key
Accurately comparing the initial condition to the condition of a property at the end of the lease is vital in ensuring a fair conclusion to a tenancy for all parties. This functionality and other helpful features provide speed, transparency and reliability in this crucial part of the rental journey. Here’s how our condition report process works:
- We apply report history and notes to future inspection reports (including the vacating inspection). This makes it easy to compare the ingoing and outgoing condition of the property.
- We can see the photos taken during a previous inspection or from an earlier report.
- Photos have a location tag so we can take a new picture of the same location from the same angle, taking out any guesswork.
- Everything is saved electronically—no more lost reports.
- Reports are emailed to renters to complete electronically. They are required to include any of their own notes and additional photos.
Automated reminders are sent to renters to complete and sign the report within five days. Records of these follow-ups and reminders are kept and can be used as evidence at the end of the tenancy if required.
The benefits of using software to assist with the conditions report process are huge
- Immediate delivery allows the renter more time to review, add comments and photos, and approve and sign electronically. In our experience, more time means more renters complete their condition reports before the deadline.
- Hard copies or emailed copies that need to be printed out and scanned or returned by hand are a significant pain point for all parties involved (trust us). Fewer people now have access to printers, and it adds considerable time to the process and sometimes deters the renter from completing them at all.
- The more chance a renter has to review a report (thanks to easy access and automated reminders) leads to fewer disputes later.
- Having a thorough, transparent, and instantly retrievable report provides all parties with better evidence to support any potential VCAT claims.
If you’re looking to rent your investment property or need a property management firm that is well-equipped and ready to make your life that bit easier with innovative solutions and a consultative approach, get in touch with the Dynamic Residential team today.