By Philip Webb
Over the past few weeks, the real estate industry has welcomed a gradual easing of restrictions, which have included increased numbers at open for inspections and auctions.
However, one crucial part of the industry has once again been left in the dark – along with the moratorium on evictions and rent increases, landlords are still awaiting the ban on routine inspections to be lifted.
Whilst there is an exemption that allows landlords to conduct final inspections and condition reports, the average tenancy is 2.5 years, meaning that most landlords have been unable to physically inspect their properties for months on end.
This a huge risk for landlords, as there may be small maintenance issues that tenants are living with and not reporting, which can turn into bigger issues.
For example, if one of the stairs is wobbly and a tenant slips, where does the landlord stand from a liability standpoint?
If a tenant fails to notice or report growing mould damage that then spreads throughout the house, who is responsible for the damages?
Routine inspection is a landlord’s right for these reasons, and they must be allowed to resume. The Victorian government has now allowed Melbourne residents to conduct fire preparations at holiday homes for safety reasons, so we are hoping to see landlords afforded the similar right of inspecting their properties for potential safety and damage issues.