About Rental Inspections

rental property inspection

Rental property inspections

If you’re either a tenant or a landlord, you should be familiar with incoming and outgoing rental inspections. They are required by law under the Rental Housing Act.

Landlords and tenants often disagree on who is liable for repairs or damages to a rental property. The best way to avoid conflict is to have a thorough inspection report done. Property inspections help landlords to protect the value of their investment. They provide peace of mind to tenants by ensuring the property is safe for habitation.

However, it’s important that both parties understand what is involved in rental property inspection and the responsibilities of each party.

What is a rental property inspection?

The primary purpose of a rental inspection is to evaluate and record the condition of the property, inside and out. Therefore, I will check the condition of the property, ensuring that services like plumbing and electrics are in working order. The secondary purpose of an inspection is to make sure tenants are keeping to the conditions of their lease.

What does a rental property inspector look for?

I will check the following key areas:

1) The general condition of the property

Upon arrival, I will carry out a quick appraisal of the general condition of the property. Specifically, I will check the condition of the paintwork, both inside and outside. I will the condition of windows, and ensure doors are in good working order and secured properly. In addition, I will check internal and external walls for cracks (which may require further examination).

2) Assess tenant living conditions

Furthermore, I will also assess the tenants living conditions. The state a tenant lives in is an indication as to their ability to look after the property. Generally, landlords want tenants who keep the place tidy, since tidy tenants are more likely to look after the property. While tenants aren’t evicted because they are untidy, landlords may not want to renew the rental agreement for such tenants.

3) Check for illegal activity

I do not search through the tenant’s personal belongings. However, I will check to make sure no illegal activity is being carried out without interfering with the tenants right to privacy.

4) Damp patches and mould

Tenants seldom mention the presence of mould because they are not aware of how serious and dangerous it can be. If mould is present, I will try to establish the cause of the mould or damp.

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Renting Out a Home

renting

6 Major Things to Know Before Renting Out a Home

By Kay Pascale

With the rising rate of short-term and long-term rentals, there’s a lack of knowledge when it comes to what exactly needs to be done. Different scenarios for renting out your home could yield different challenges. Overall, if you’re deciding to rent out a home to others, there are some basics you should know before you market the home to find a tenant.

1. Pay Attention to Your Home’s Exterior

If you don’t think the exterior of your home matters, think again. Houses are instantly judged just by how the outside looks. If a home looks clean and manicured from the outside, potential renters will remember it and have a more positive outlook before seeing the inside. Although keeping up your curb appeal may be demanding for you and your wallet, you can follow some simple tips to manage the toll nature may take on your home and achieve a beautiful look.

2. Understand Indoor Mechanics

The inside of your home goes a bit beyond just looking nice. You need to be prepared for questions about appliances, recent updates, home improvement projects, and how well the working parts are doing within the home. Specifically, air quality can be a huge question among potential renters. Become educated on indoor air quality and other mechanics of your home so that future tenants can feel safe inside.

Before renting out a house, know that there are some legal actions that need to be addressed if you’re becoming a landlord. Things like insurance and the Rental Housing Amendment Act are good places to start. There are also specific taxes that need to be considered and extra taxation claims to your personal account. Seeing a professional may be a good way to make sure your legal odds and ends are covered.

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Inspection Types

home inspections

Home Inspections in Gauteng

building and home inspections
The HOME DETECTIVE offers different types of home inspections to suit every client!

Home Inspections:

Because of my experience and training, I offer SEVEN different types of home inspections or property assessments to suit the needs of home buyers, home sellers, homeowners, business owners, landlords and those of you thinking of building or extending your home.

All my residential and commercial property inspections are in full accordance with InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice for residential and commercial properties, and InterNACHI’s Code of Ethics.

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1)    Comprehensive Home Inspections

This is the most popular home inspection. My Comprehensive Inspection and Report covers every aspect of the property, including all finishes.

There are 6 different types of comprehensive inspection depending on your inspection requirements. This can be inspections for previously owned homes, new homes or existing homes or properties.

a) Home-buyers inspection or buyers inspection

Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive transactions you can make.

A professional home inspection can help you optimise your investment by identifying issues before you finalise the purchase and price of your new home. This inspection will save you money in the long run and prevent the stress associated with such a large investment.

Importantly, with this purchase, you must remember to insert a home inspection contingency in the Offer To Purchase and negotiate a contingency period with the seller.

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b) New home Inspection or Snag Inspections

Also known as a punch or snag list

Before moving into a newly built home the need for a professional home inspection cannot be more important!

A home inspection (snag list) is performed to validate the finishes and condition of your home’s components. In addition, the snag list can be done prior to you taking occupation or during the 90-day patent defect period after you have taken occupation.

Follow up inspections are also provided if required.

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c) Maintenance Home Inspections

A Home Maintenance Inspection is just like the Comprehensive Home inspection you can have before you buy a home.

I will check out all the main systems of your home—roof, walls, foundation, air-conditioning, electrical, plumbing etc. In addition, I will flag anything that might be starting to malfunction.

I will uncover problems you have not noticed. I will detect the little signs that something is starting to go wrong. This may be small cracks, spots, uneven wear, or fixtures such as a geyser reaching the eventual end of it’s live. Furthermore, I will also make you aware of the regular maintenance you should be doing in your house.

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d) Home Sellers Inspection or Seller’s inspection 

A sellers inspection of your home can help you sell it easier, faster and potentially more profitable. It is also a great marketing tool!

Rather address issues at the front end than waiting until negotiations begin because it can result in lower offers, delayed closing or lower selling price.

Furthermore, a sellers inspection has the added advantage of being your seller’s disclosure!

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e) Rental Home Inspections

Having a Rental Inspection Report as part of a written tenancy agreement is advantageous to both the landlord and tenant.

Rental Housing, Unfair Practices Regulations and Consumer Protection Acts, dictate the practice around home inspections and the refund of the damages deposit.

Both the landlord and the tenant must undertake both ingoing and outgoing inspections as required by The Rental Housing. However, if either party is unable to attend, they may send an assigned representative on their behalf.

Landlords or rental agents who have not conducted a property inspection when the tenant takes occupation will not be able to take any action in the event that the rental unit has been damaged during the course of the rental period.

Generally, a landlord or rental management agent will be able to withhold the rental deposit to mitigate any financial cost of repairing any damage to the rental unit. However, if no property inspection was done beforehand, they will not be within their legal rights to do so and will have to absorb the full cost of the repair. Therefore, it is advisable for landlords to also undertake a midterm inspection approximately halfway through the tenancy agreement in order to monitor the state of the property and intervene early if there is any breach or damage.

If contracted, I provide the initial, midterm and follow-up inspections when tenants are leaving and new tenants are occupying the premises at a very affordable fee structure.

However, I only perform rental inspections in the Pretoria and Centurion area to keep them affordable to landlords.

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f) Commercial Property Inspections

Whether you are considering buying or renting a commercial property it advisable to have a Commercial Property Inspection. As part of your “due diligence”, I can provide you with a detailed evaluation of the condition of the building and its components. Furthermore, I will make recommendations regarding maintenance and improvements.

I offer commercial property inspections of:
  • apartment buildings
  • restaurants
  • office buildings
  • warehouse facilities
  • small manufacturing facilities
  • retail stores
  • shopping centres

My commercial property inspections include a comprehensive evaluation of all major components of the building. For example, this includes the structure, roof, electrical system, interior and exterior elements, heating & cooling systems, plumbing and more.

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2)    Critical home inspections

Critical Home inspections are for both buyers and sellers. The critical inspection costs about ¾ of the price of a comprehensive inspection.

A critical home inspection is for the budget-conscious, homebuyers and sellers who only require that the major components of the home be inspected! Consequently, I only focus on the critical components of a home which are the roof, structure (inside and outside), windows and doors, and electricity and plumbing installations.

A critical inspection includes unsafe, functional or structural issues which, in my opinion, requires prompt remedial attention to preserve the safety, functional or structural integrity of the home or major installation.

Such issues are frequently NOT plainly obvious to any observant layman after carefully viewing the property.

These include structural cracks in walls, ceilings and floors, or damp, roof leaks, illegal or unsafe geysers, windows or door issues and unsafe electrical and gas installations. In addition, I also report surface drainage, vegetation and foliage issues which may affect the structure adversely.

Other external elements such as boundary and yard walls, the site, swimming pools driveways, walkways, carports, garden sheds etc. do not form part of the critical inspection. Furthermore, the internal wall, floor and ceiling finishes are only inspected for signs of damp or staining from moisture intrusion or for structural issues. Furthermore, cupboards and counters are only inspected for moisture intrusion.

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3) Walk Through Inspections

A walkthrough is not a formal home inspection.  It is an informal inspection. As a result, I perform a visual walkthrough inspection of the home and provide you with comments summarizing my observations. Furthermore, my comments will be nothing more than a subjective summary of my initial observations during the walk-through.

What is involved in a walkthrough inspection?

A walkthrough requires, on average, about the same time as a comprehensive inspection (1½ to 3 hours depending on house size). Moreover, you can ask questions and take notes while I explain the defects.

Because a walkthrough is less formal, I do not adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. If you are present at the walkthrough I do not generate a written report of any kind.  I simply communicate my observations orally to you. You make your own notes during the inspection. In this way, you save time and money because there is no written report at the end of the inspection.

Furthermore, because it is an informal inspection, an inspection of this type is also very affordable.

However, you will need to sign an InterNACHI Walk-Though Inspection Agreement before the walkthrough. This is to protect me against liability as a result of deviating from the requirements of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for Home Inspections.

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4) Itemised Limited Home Inspections (Single Component Inspections)

I often receive calls from clients who are looking for a home inspection for a single component in the home. For instance, this can be roof leaks, bulging ceilings, or damp problems and so on.

A single component inspection is also the cheapest inspection, starting from R1500.00 depending on where you are in my inspection area. Moreover, if you want more components inspected at the same time, this will only cost an additional R750.00 per component

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5) Building progress inspections

If you are building your own home or alterations and extensions are being constructed this is the inspection for you.

Building progress inspection can be performed on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly basis or at the start and finish of specific construction activities such as brickwork, roof erection, plastering etc.

Furthermore, pricing is negotiable depending on the number of inspections you require.

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6) Muti unit inspections

A multi-unit inspection is normally for more than 4 units and is regarded as a commercial property inspection.

For this type of inspection the following options are available:

a) Critical area inspection

  • Plumbing for leaks, drainage and hot water.
  • A representative number of windows and doors
  • Structure (exterior and interior) including roof from the ground and at least one point at the eaves on a ladder (where applicable and practical).
  • Stove and other fixtures (air conditions etc.) not forming part of an Electrical CoC.
  • Presence damp and mould in ceilings and walls.
  • Safety hazards.

The units’ common areas are not inspected unless it is specifically requested!

b) Sampling comprehensive inspections

A sampling formula of comprehensive inspections of a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in, where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. This will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).

A comprehensive report on the units will be provided for every unit inspected. The units’ common areas are inspected.

c) Sampling critical area inspections

A sampling formula of the type of inspection detailed in the critical area inspection option with a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. In addition, this will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).

I will not inspect common areas in this case!

d) Your choice of specific items and number of units

Your choice of specific items and/or the number of units you wish to have inspected.

NOTE: I do not recommend options b, d or c as unsafe, damaged or problem units can slip through the net that may be expensive to bring to standard.

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7)   Damp and Mould Home Inspections

It is advisable to carry out mould inspection when you suspect you might have a mould problem in your property. Moreover, I strongly recommended that you have your property professionally inspected when you experience sleep loss, breathing difficulties (shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or respiratory irritation). Also, you may also experience neurological difficulties (headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea).

If your house is already suffering from obvious mould contamination such as parts of the wall or ceiling, an inspection is essential. My mould inspection will identify and confirm the true extent of the problem and provide a recommendation on how to rectify it.

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8)    Termite Inspection

If there are signs of termites in your garden or you are in a known termite problem area you should regularly have your home inspected for a termite infestation.

They might be in your built-in cupboards, the floor skirtings or in your roof. Therefore, my termite inspection will identify and confirm the extent of the problem and damage. I will provide recommendations on how to rectify it.

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 Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®

SEE WHERE I INSPECT IN GAUTENG!

THE HOME DETECTIVE » Rental Home Inspections

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