Why we are so fussy with our Ingoing Reports
One of the tasks we perform as your property manager, when a new tenant comes on board, is to complete an Ingoing Report, sometimes referred to as an Entry Condition Report or even a Property Condition Report, depending upon where you are located. Regardless of what it is called, this report is a crucial piece of the tenancy pie.
In fact, we probably don’t highlight this humble document often enough. Mainly because its significance doesn’t often come into play until a tenant is moving out, which can be sometimes years after the original report was completed.
Put simply, the Ingoing Report is a record of the condition of a property when a tenant moves in. It is the guide for how the property should be left, when they then move out.
Legally, a property owner is required to provide this report to a tenant upon the commencement of their tenancy. As your representative, we do this on your behalf. The tenant then has the opportunity to respond. If they disagree with the condition of the property as stated on the report, they must also make their own comments and return this report to us. There are very strict rules and timelines surrounding this. A tenant can’t move into a property and then 3 months later let us know they aren’t happy with the cleanliness of the bathroom when they moved in.
Likewise, just because we note something on the report, it doesn’t mean that there is not an obligation to have an item attended to. As an example, if we state a light is not working at the time of the report being completed, the fixture must still be repaired as part of the tenancy.
If a tenant does dispute what we have written on the report, we will immediately contact them and organise to inspect the property so we can put the issue to bed. Not addressing the problem then and there, can have serious consequences down the track. The old “he said, she said” situation never ends well.
Also, we are very mindful that a tenant’s previous experience may influence their responses and comments. They may wish to “cover their backside” because they feel they have been unfairly treated in the past which is why we need to take the time to ensure everyone is on the same page as soon as possible.
In our experience, the more detail we use in describing the condition the property is in at the beginning of a tenancy, the easier it is to compare with how the state the property is left in when the tenants vacate.
If there is a dispute about the condition of the property when the tenancy ends, the original Ingoing Report is going to be the first piece of evidence a member of the tribunal will refer to. In these situations a good condition report is “gold”.
It is interesting to note that photographs are regarded as “supporting” what is written in the report. The comments made are the key components of the document - we like to make sure we have plenty of both so as to cover all bases.
An Ingoing Report generally takes several hours (minimum) for a property manager to complete, depending upon the size of the property. Even utilising technology as much as we do, this process is still very hands on and because it is so important, deserves as much attention as we can give it.
One thing we like to do when a tenant does let us know they are going to be moving out, is send a copy of the original ingoing report for them to refer to. It is a gentle reminder as to what our expectations are around how the property should be left and even though we don’t have to legally do this, we find it is a great way to jog their memories.