This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?
Inspection Sheets record the general state of repair and condition of the rental premises at the beginning and end of the tenancy. If an issue arises about damage or disrepair to the premises, the Condition Report is used as evidence by the Tribunal or Court to determine who is liable. This is important for determining how the Rental Bond should be paid out, or whether compensation should be paid to the landlord.
The tenant and landlord should each retain at least one copy of the Inspection Sheet during the tenancy. The same document is used at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
The standard form Inspection Sheet from Consumer and Business Services can be Downloaded for Free. It should be completed and signed by the tenant and landlord at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
Although an Inspection Sheet is required by law, a tenancy agreement is still valid even if a sheet has not been completed.
The landlord must complete and sign 2 copies of the Information Sheet before the tenant begins to occupy the premises. The landlord should inspect the premises thoroughly while completing the sheet to ensure it is as accurate as possible. Both copies must be provided to the tenant before they begin to occupy the premises.
The tenant should then conduct their own inspection and indicate on the Inspection Sheets whether they agree with landlord’s appraisal of the premises. The tenant should sign both copies of the Inspection Sheet and return one copy to the landlord. The tenant and landlord should both keep a copy of the signed Inspection Sheet during the course of the tenancy.
At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant should arrange to conduct a joint inspection of the premises and note on the Inspection Sheet any damage or lack of cleanliness that has occurred during the tenancy. Ideally, the tenant and landlord should agree on how the bond should be repaid while conducting the joint inspection. If the tenant and landlord do not agree on the condition of the premises or how the bond should be repaid, then they should indicate how they disagree on the Inspection Sheet. The Tribunal or Court will then determine based on the Inspection Sheet and other evidence how the bond will be repaid.
If the landlord and tenant cannot conduct a joint inspection of the premises at the end of the tenancy, then either may conduct an inspection alone and complete the Inspection Sheet. This will not be as persuasive for a Tribunal or Court. The landlord primarily bears the responsibility for organising the joint inspection, and the Tribunal or Court is unlikely to look favourably upon an Inspection Sheet completed by the landlord alone if they have not taken reasonable steps to arrange an inspection with the tenant.
In addition to the standard form Inspection Sheet, tenants and landlords can attach additional information to provide a more comprehensive account of the general condition of the premises.
For example, if a part of the premises is not included in the standard form Inspection Sheet, then either party may add an additional document recording the state of that part. Further, it is common and good practice for tenants and landlords to take pictures of the premises at either the beginning or end of the tenancy to provide a visual record in addition to the written sheet.
If additional information is attached by the tenant or landlord, the other party should indicate whether they agree that it is an accurate record of the condition of the premises.
Inspection Sheets are particularly important in co-tenancy arrangements as they help in attributing liability to individual co-tenants for any damage caused to the premises. Every time a co-tenant is removed from or added to a tenancy agreement, a new Inspection Sheet should be completed by the landlord, the continuing co-tenant(s), and the incoming or outgoing co-tenant(s).
By completing a new sheet each time there is a change in co-tenants, liability can be more accurately attributed to the responsible co-tenant, especially if the damage is only recognised a long time after a former co-tenant has left the premises.
If a tenancy agreement is renewed for the same premises between the tenant and landlord, a new Inspection Sheet must be completed before the second tenancy agreement begins. A new Inspection Sheet will provide a more relevant and recent appraisal of the premises and therefore reduce the likelihood of a dispute arising at a later point.
These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.