Get your property condition reports correct - Landlords bulletin 46
4 September 2020
Property condition reports (PCRs) are important for any residential tenancy. They describe the condition of the property. A landlord/lessor needs to prepare a PCR at the start and end of a tenancy. PCRs can help with disputes about damage at the end of a tenancy.
What should be included?
Find the minimum content on our Property Condition Report webpage. You can add extra items such as, fences and gates, a swimming pool or furniture for a furnished property. Everything that is captured on the PCR must remain at the property.
When to issue a PCR
Within seven days after the tenant moves in, you must give them two signed and dated copies of the completed PCR. Not doing this is an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and may incur a penalty of $5 000.
The tenant then has seven days to make any edits and return one signed copy to you. The tenant should keep the second copy for their records. If the tenant does not return an edited copy to you within the timeframe they are taken to accept the PCR. Be aware that any notice or document that is provided by mail will need to allow time for delivery by ordinary post. Please refer to our website for further information about delivery methods including the counting of days, service options and estimated delivery times.
At the end of the tenancy you must give the outgoing tenant a reasonable opportunity to attend the final inspection. A final PCR needs to be prepared and provided to the tenant within 14 days of the end of the tenancy.
If a tenant takes over a lease from another tenant, you must issue:
- an outgoing PCR for the departing tenant; and
- an ingoing PCR for the new tenant
How to provide a PCR
Consumer Protection complaints show that when PCRs are not adequately completed, disagreements can happen at the end of the tenancy.
Some landlords use a summary document to identify areas of concern. This summary document cannot be a substitute for the PCR but it may be attached.
Some tips to help:
- Complete the PCR as close as possible to the date your tenant moves in, so it is current.
- If a final PCR for a previous tenant is accurate, you could simply update it by including any maintenance that was carried out between tenancies.
- Include photos with your PCR. Ensure they are good enough quality so everyone involved can accurately see the condition of the property. Panoramic as well as close-up images may assist to identify the location of damage or imperfections.
- Check any PCRs completed by a third party or software application – it is your responsibility to make sure they are compliant.
- If the tenant edits the ingoing PCR contact them promptly to clarify anything you’re unsure of rather than wait until the end of the tenancy. Some things may need maintenance, for example a dripping tap. Others may not, for example a small tear in a curtain that does not affect its functionality.
- Give your tenant a receipt as proof of the date that the ingoing PCR was returned. Keep a copy of the receipt for your own records.
- Be reasonable about providing your tenant with an opportunity to be present at the final property inspection.
Read more about property condition reports on the Consumer Protection website.
Need some assistance?
Contact 1300 304 054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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