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Protecting Yourself Against Damage Claims

We are often asked how we deal with damage that may exist in a home prior to a tenant moving in. There could be many reasons that damage may exist in a situation like this. Let’s face it, even when you move into a home you have purchased there could be damage that requires attention.

Sometimes it may be that the damage was unable to be repaired during the transition period between old and new occupants. It could be an outstanding issue that cannot be repaired. Perhaps the property owner has elected to wait for it to be repaired due to lack of funds, urgency or tax liabilities, amongst others.

E-Property Rentals have created a fool proof system to ensure that when you move into one of our managed properties, all parties agree on its condition at that time.

Entry Condition Report

Conducting an Entry Condition Report prior to a tenant taking up residence is a mandatory action required by the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).

This report asks for the condition of each room, plumbing, electrical outlets, carpets and other floor coverings, window treatments, air conditioning units and other inclusions of the property and therefore the tenancy agreement.

We are very thorough in this report. Details of every room and its appointments are clearly recorded. Included in this report is full photographic information to support and back up any future claims – by both parties.

This means that a property owner cannot blame or claim prior damage made to a property. Likewise, a tenant cannot blame damage they have made to a previous occupant.

This report is agreed upon by us as the property owner’s agent and you as the new occupant or tenant.

Follow Up

Should you be in a position where you find you are moving into a property that has some damage it may be that this work is scheduled. In this situation we will advise you of what is to be done, as well as a timeframe that you could expect this to be completed.

As part of the tenancy agreement, a suitable amount of notice will be supplied to you as to when you may expect a tradesman’s entry of the property may be required.

Once completed we will make a notation of this work on the file. Our regular quarterly inspections will then resume as normal and will reflect the current conditions, damage, or maintenance that may be required during your habitation.

Exit Condition Reports – How Important Are They?

An exit condition report works on the same principal as the original condition report you fill out before moving into a rental premises. The exit condition report shows the condition of the premises when a tenant leaves the property. Before you leave the premises it is best to fill in an exit condition report to protect yourself from having to pay for damage that you did not cause. This is an important step to moving out, once you have filled in the report, make sure you lock the place up properly and hand your keys back to your property manager.

Exit Inspection of the Property

Once you hand your keys in to your professional Brisbane property managers, they can then go through the premises and do their own report on the condition of the rental premises. When they have done this they will then either release your bond or if something wasn’t satisfactory or there was damage to the premises they will keep the bond to put towards the repair of the damage.

To ensure that you get your bond back you must ensure any damage is fixed yourself and the place is clean. Most real estates insist that you must have the place sprayed for vermin (only if you have pets) and if there are carpets, then they must be cleaned by professionals. It is usually written into your lease so make sure you check what is on your lease and do what needs to be done in order to make sure your bond can be released to you.

It is important to do the exit condition report before you leave; this protects you as a tenant and also protects the property manager or agent. If you are unhappy with the decision by them, you can appeal that decision with the RTA and get them to overturn the decision if it is incorrect (the RTA will mediate and advise of the legislation, but can’t make rulings on the bond). The original condition report and the exit condition report are your safeguard, so make sure you always keep a copy of these to ensure that you are protected.

Before going to the RTA though, it is always good to try and resolve any issues with your Brisbane real estate agent. The RTA is there though if the issues cannot be resolved. It is for your own protection that the entry and exit condition reports are filled out, so make sure you do them, otherwise it could lead to difficulties later on down the track.

If you are about to move out of a rental premises, make sure you get an exit report to fill out to protect yourself from losing your bond. Fix any damage that may have been caused while living there and ensure the home is left in the same condition as what you moved into it.