How to do a Condition Report that is Argument Proof

How to do a Condition Report that is Argument Proof

How to do a Condition Report that is Argument Proof

How to do a Condition Report that is Argument Proof

When i first started as a property manager, I dreaded tenants moving out. I had to conduct the final inspection to determine what needed to be fixed, cleaned or taken out of the bond. The worst part was the disagreements with the tenants. It didn’t take me long to realise a good condition report meant less disagreements and a well left property.

A property condition report is simply a document which shows the condition of the property when the tenant moves in. At the end of the tenancy, this is the only thing that will give proof of what the property was like when the tenants moved in. The better this report, the better the tenants will leave your property in at end of the tenancy.

The Basic Property Condition Report Template

Like most people I started using a condition report form which is basically a checklist with space for comments. Each component of the house can be checked if it is clean, undamaged and working, and there is room on the form to make notes to further explain if you need too.

As simple as this form seems, it is very effective and it is the template we used to create the condition report which you can download in your Cubbi. Its takes about 2 hours to do the report the first time around. With a few adjustments you can use this same condition report for the next tenants.

If I am looking at a wall with no hooks or marks, I simply tick the boxes to indicate “Clean”, “Undamaged” and “Working”. However, if there were, let’s say a small hole in the plaster, I would not tick the “Undamaged” box, rather I would make a comment “1cm hole in plaster”.

Inventory List

A lot of property owners and managers like to keep an inventory of items that are to stay at the property in the comment section of the basic template. This doesn’t work for me for two reasons; first of all when I am doing the condition of the house I am concentrating on the condition, not what is in the room. Also, it clogs up important space on the condition report.

After finishing the condition report it only takes a 10 minutes to complete a separate inventory list of all the items that are not affixed to the property that are staying. List them room by room and don’t forget outside. Its best to type this up and reuse for the next tenancy as well.

Photos and Video

As important as the written report is, the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is still true. I used to take nearly 250 pictures for a 3 bedroom house (that is a LOT of words) but lately I have realised that is a little excessive. 10 snaps for each room is probably enough, especially if you follow them up with a short 10 minute video.

A video is a great backup for the report and the pictures, but do not fool yourself into thinking it is a substitute. I like to use the video to show the general condition of the house.

Be sure that the timestamp is turned on for both the photos and video. It is understandable to feel a little self conscious as you self narrate your walk through video, just remember that no one is going to see it but your tenant and possibly a tribunal member if the very unlikely happens. Your iphone or smartphone is perfect for the job.

Now What?

Once this is all done, I prefer to type up my condition report and inventory (better when it comes to reusing them for your next tenant). Print out a few copies and get your tenants to sign your copy to prove that you have given them your reports including photos and a video.

I like to use a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. It is very simple to give the tenants access to the file, and when they move out, its easy to go back and check.

This all sounds like a lot of work, and frankly, it is. I can do it in an afternoon but I have had years of practice, you may want to budget the better part of a day. However, it is worth the effort. There will be no arguments about the condition of the property it was like at the beginning plus your tenants are much more likely to leave it spotless when they leave because they’ll remember how thorough you were at the beginning of the lease. Don’t underestimate the power of a property condition report.

This article was based on questions that some of the property owners I work with have asked. If there is something about dealing with tenants or managing your property you would like to know more about, put your questions in the comments below. I would love to answer them in an upcoming blog.

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About Michael Gilbert

Michael is passionate about real estate. He has been living and breathing it for the past 8 years and loves helping people with anything property-related. Being a real estate agent has given Michael a real insight into what people want. His competitive nature keeps him going whether it’s on the soccer field or creating what he believes will be the greatest property management system ever.

  • Madonna O’Connor

    OMLord. Very much appreciate being informed as with your Pertinent information re:Fully Captured description of My Property in a comprehensive Proper Entry Condition Report. Consideration of at least 10 photos per room/ceiling and a Video back-up; and in my opinion over and above the info as supplied by Qld RTA legislative Form. Many . Many Thanks to Team RentMyEstate.Cheers always, Madonna O’Connor.