At the start of every tenancy you need to fill out a condition report. This records the general condition of the property, on a room by room basis, including fittings and fixtures. Fill it out with as much detail and accuracy as possible. The report will be a key piece of evidence at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute about replacing missing items, paying for cleaning or damages.
The condition report needs to be filled out before the tenant moves in. You need to give two copies of the report to the tenant either before or at the time they sign the tenancy agreement. Follow the 'How to complete' instructions on the first page of the report.
It is often minor damage which causes disputes so make sure all damage, however minor, is noted and suitably described. You may wish to take photos or videos and date these, to back–up the written condition report.
You should complete the report by doing a physical inspection, not by memory. The report should reflect the age and state of the premises. For example, if the property is not new and not recently renovated, existing damage or wear and tear needs to be noted.
The report may be adapted to suit individual premises, eg. by adding extra rooms for larger properties. If required, attach more pages and be sure to sign and date them. Note the number of extra pages on the original report.
A condition report must be completed whether or not a rental bond is taken. However, a condition report is not needed if the same parties renew a tenancy agreement or if a new co-tenant or occupant moves in.
The tenant must complete their part of the condition report and return a copy to you within 7 days of receiving it. If the tenants have added anything you disagree with, you can apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal for an order to amend the comments.
If the tenant fails to return a copy, you may send them a reminder letter or you can apply to the Tribunal for an order directing the tenant to complete and return the report. If they still do not return it, in the event of a bond dispute, the Tribunal will most likely accept your report unless the tenant has other evidence to the contrary.
Keep the condition report for the duration of the tenancy as you will need to complete it when the tenancy ends. Place it where it won't be accidentally lost or destroyed.
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