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The Entry Condition Report – Important for Landlords and Tenants

By Rebecca Cosgrove

It’s not uncommon to see both tenants and landlords cringe at the sight of a property entry condition report. With page after page of boxes to tick and comments to make it’s no wonder the motivation to complete the report can be lacking at times. However, for tenants, landlords, and property managers, the entry condition report is a vitally important document that protects the interests of all parties! So, in today’s feature we’re going to explore some details around the report as it relates to tenancies in Queensland, and to help landlords and tenants understand their obligations.

The entry condition report – general tenancies (form 1a) is completed at the start of every new tenancy and is designed to allow the property owner and the new tenant to record any existing damage and the overall condition (state of repair) of the property and its fixtures, features, furnishings (if applicable) and any included appliances. The report is used for houses, units, townhouses, villas and other such residential premises.

Matters relating to tenancies including the entry condition report are governed by the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRA Act). Under the RTRA Act the entry condition report must be completed within defined time frames at the beginning and conclusion of a tenancy. Completing the report at the commencement of a tenancy sets the benchmark in terms of the property’s condition that will be used to determine any liability on the part of the tenant when they move out.

At the conclusion of a tenancy an inspection is undertaken by the property manager, or the owner in the case of self-management, to determine whether any damage has occurred that would be considered over and above normal ‘fair wear and tear’. The term ‘fair wear and tear’ is another important factor in this discussion. Defining it and discerning between ‘fair wear and tear’ and careless damage can be a challenge, so it’s important to keep the communication channels open with your property manager who can advise accordingly.

There are a couple of other key points to note about the entry condition report:

1) The entry condition report protects both tenant and landlord alike because it sets out in writing the base condition of the property and its fixtures and features at the time the tenant moved in. Therefore, if a dispute arises, the report can provide evidence to support or dismiss any allegations about damage.
2) This is an important point! The entry condition report doesn’t remove the responsibility of the landlord to provide a well serviced home that’s in good repair, nor does it abrogate the tenants responsibility to maintain it in good condition and not cause careless (or deliberate) damage.

This blog is not a comprehensive analysis of the entry condition report or the associated legislation governing it. However, it’s intended to give a broad understanding of the benefits around a properly completed report. Ray White Toowoomba Property Management recommends all owners engage productively with their designated property manager around issues of property damage and condition reports.  The Ray White Toowoomba property management team led by Peta Ford are focused on tailoring rental and tenancy solutions to meet the needs of property owners and tenants alike.

NB: This publication and others displayed on the web and social media covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional financial or legal advice. Ray White Property Management recommends obtaining professional legal and/or finance advice before taking any action on the basis of the information presented in this publication.

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