Property Inspections

At the beginning of the tenancy

No one likes paying for damage they didn’t cause, so having an accurate property inspection report is essential.   Go through the property inside and out and record any damage or ‘wear and tear’.   Record any marks or stains or cracks in the window etc - you are trying to create a picture in words of the state of the property.   The Property Inspection Report should be signed by both the landlord and tenant/s.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a very good sample property inspection report that is part of their ‘Residential Tenancies Agreement’ and we recommend that you use this or a similar inspection report form.

You will never notice everything the first time you do an inspection, so for the first few weeks of your tenancy keep a list that you can add to, and then send a copy of it to the landlord (keeping a copy for yourself of course).

If there is anything that you want the landlord to fix or repair, make that very clear and record any agreements to carry out work in writing.


During the tenancy

  • The landlord can do an inspection no more than once every four weeks, and they must give at least
    • 48 hours notice in writing to carry out a property inspection.
    • 24 hours notice in writing to carry out repairs and maintenance and/or to ensure compliance with smoke alarm legislation
  • The landlord must come between 8am and 7pm
  • The landlord can enter the premises in an emergency.
  • The tenant can choose to let the landlord come in without proper notice.

After carrying out an inspection if the landlord believes that the tenant has breached their responsibilities in some way, for example not keeping the premises in a reasonable standard, they might choose to send the tenant a '14 consecutive day notice to remedy'.  At the end of these 14 days the landlord can return to see if the breaches have been remedied.

Property inspections during tenancies can be very stressful for tenants, especially when they feel that the landlord is not respectful or is expecting too much.   It is important to remember that the landlord is entitled to keep an eye on their investment, and the tenant is entitled to have the peace, comfort and privacy of home.


At the end of the tenancy

Ideally the landlord and tenant should do the end of tenancy inspection together. Once the tenant moves out the landlord is not obliged to let them back in to finish any cleaning or carry out any repairs, so ask for an inspection the month before the tenancy ends so that there is time to fix any problems.   Move out before the last day so you can see the property empty and have time to address any issues before you hand back the keys.   Have a witness / someone with you when you do the end of tenancy inspection with the landlord.

If the landlord will not do a joint inspection or insists on doing one after your tenancy ends, then do your own inspection, including taking photos.

Do not rely on any verbal assurances by the landlord that the bond will be refunded, sometimes the owner will want to make a claim at a later date.   With this in mind, never sign a blank or incomplete bond refund form.   If you do agree about how the bond will be refunded, complete the bond refund form in full making sure that the ‘bond refund details’ section is complete.

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)