Renting out a property can be a great extra source of income, but things don’t always go to plan, and if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect yourself legally then it can cause headaches and leave you out of pocket. Equally, tenants may feel unfairly treated if the bond is withheld, which is why a condition report is so important as evidence of the state of a property.
What is a condition report?
A condition report is a document that records the general condition of the property or room at both the beginning and the end of a tenancy and is required by law in all states and territories of Australia. There is a standard form condition report for each state/territory, so you must use the relevant form depending on where the property is located.
Both landlords and tenants can attach extra information to the standard form report if it helps to provide more evidence about the state of the property. Photographs, video recordings and additional written notes are just some examples, though this extra information should be signed off on to demonstrate that both parties agree.
Why is it important?
The report is extremely important, particularly at the end of the tenancy, in case dispute arises over payment of the bond, and which party is responsible for cleaning, damage, etc. When there is a dispute, the condition report is one of the main forms of evidence used in Court or by a Tribunal, so it can help prevent either the landlord or tenants from being treated unfairly.
Condition reports are also important for co-tenancy shared accommodation since they help landlords attribute damage to individual tenants.
Advice for landlords
It’s a good idea for a landlord to take photographs of the property and include them in the report, so that, should any damage be made to the property during the rental period, you will have evidence of this and be able to withhold part or all of the bond. If a bond has been paid, give your tenant two signed copies of the condition report.
Advice for tenants
Tenants should also take photographs, particularly if there is any pre-existing damage to the property before you move in so that if the landlord attempts to withhold part or all of the bond for damage you will have legal recourse. Inspect your room or property closely and make sure the description in the condition report is fair and accurate. Return one of the signed copies to your landlord at the beginning of your tenancy.