Many Australians own residential rental properties in WA and generally want these properties to be well maintained to attract the best possible tenants, rental income, and future market value. While regular tenancy inspections by property managers is critical to ensure that tenants are meeting their obligations, detailed building maintenance inspections can also be a crucial component of a successful residential property investing.
This document sets out to explore this issue and the solutions provided by Houspect WA.
2 What is a maintenance inspection on a residential property on WA?
At Houspect WA we conduct residential property maintenance inspections on investment properties. The objective is to undertake a thorough visual inspection of all accessible areas on the entire property to identify issues that may emerge over the coming three years.
Crucially these inspections are undertaken by a WA Registered Builders who have personally built and renovated residential properties. Our inspectors, all have a minimum of 20 years construction experience, so they know what they are looking for. In essence, our inspectors are skilled and very experience in residential construction and maintenance. The lens that they apply to your property will be very different to that of most property managers.
Our inspector’s area aiming to identify:
- Major structural and non-structural defects
- Significant maintenance items that can be identified during the inspection which need to be addressed over the coming three years
- Safety issues
There is no point in just having a maintenance list without understanding how much these maintenance items will likely cost and when it will be required to be undertaken. So, when they identify issues that require work our inspectors will:
- Photograph the issue
- Provide an indication of when work on the items needs to be undertaken
- Within 1 year
- Within 2 years
- Within 3 years
- And provide you with a high-level indicative builders estimate as two what the cost are likely to be to remediate the item.
The goal here is to provide you with clarity on what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and an indication of what the likely cost will be. This can be invaluable from a property management, cash flow and tax planning perspective.
3 What do we inspect?
To conduct a maintenance inspection on a residential rental property we ideally want to inspect everything where safe WA OHS access is available. This would generally include:
- Roof cover and roof plumbing
- External walls doors and windows
- Sub floors where they exist
- Roof spaces (underside of roof covers, roof frames, ceilings, and fire walls)
- All internal rooms
- External structures such a verandas patio, gazebos alfresco’ s sheds fences retaining walls
- We will also look for safety issues and items including the number of RCD’s and number and location of smoke alarms.
4 What we cannot inspect
Our inspections are conducted in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4349.0. Further, WA laws state that only Licenced Plumbers, Electricians and Gas Fitters can inspect and test plumbing, electrical and gas items. So, while our inspectors will turn lights on, run taps and flush toilets, there are limits on what they can do on these fronts.
There are also very strong laws in WA in relation to Occupational Health and Safety. So, our inspectors can only inspect areas where the Laws and Standards deem it safe to do so.
5 Our inspectors are independent, unbiased and we do not accept commissions or payments from other trades
Our goal is to provide a clear, concise, and independent view on issues associated with your investment property. To ensure that there is no bias or conflicts of interest we will not undertake any of the work we identify in our reports, nor will we recommended individual trade suppliers to undertake the work identified. This ensures that you receive independent and unbiased views without any potential bias or conflict created by the potential for secondary or alternative income.
6 Our reports provide substantial detail
Our goal is to describe each key element of the property:
And then describe any issues that need to be addressed:
When then allocate indicative costings and provide a referenced planned expenditure budget:
7 Need more information
If you would like to explore obtaining a detailed maintenance report on your residential investment property, then contact us to obtain a detailed quote and an example residential maintenance inspection report.
Owning a residential investment property can provide substantial rewards. Effective property management and regular tenancy inspections are of the keys to success. Taking a proactive approach to understanding the future maintenance requirements of the property can be a key to successful investing.
Houspect WA provides comprehensive independent unbiased residential property building maintenance inspection reports. Call Houspect WA for a detailed quote on your investment property – phone 08 9240 8855.
9 Important Note
The above general information was considered correct in September 2023. Circumstance will change over time. It is recommended that all readers seek their own professional and or legal or accounting advice prior to acting on the information contained in this note.
Build, Buy, Invest in property with confidence.