14 TOP Tricks Tenants Play at the Final Inspection

Thursday, December 07, 2023

As a property manager, 10% of final move-out or exit inspections are clean, straightforward forward and complication-free. However that leaves 90% that is a little complicated to somewhat downright time consuming, full of conflict, and stressful as tenants battle for their bond in the face of unsatisfactory issues not addressed at the property and monies left with rent owing, etc.

And tenants playing tricks are all part of the headaches we experience aside from the usual and well-scripted ‘but it’s cleaner now than when I first moved in’ tenant line.

These tips we collected as part of a Facebook competition (5th June 2017) and we thank everyone for their contribution to the tips and ideas.

#1- Look out for dodgy repairs.

After finding damage that has been repaired or showing a tenant some damage that needs to be rectified, doing a quick dodgy job may be on the cards! Make sure you check it properly to ensure it has been completed satisfactorily. Remember getting back their bond or security deposit is the top priority to them and spending time and money fixing their damage likely isn’t!

#2- ‘It’ll be done later!’

If things are not finished yet with cleaning and the rubbish/trash hasn’t been put out yet with “yeah- that’ll be done later” then make sure you come back to check it has been done. It may not have even been their intention in the first place to do anything about it!

#3- Look out for ‘cover-ups’.

  • That oven/griller/stovetop lined with alfoil? Well, it might be hiding a dirty, greasy mess underneath. Make sure you check!
  • ​That curtain of netting tied up in a knot looking like they needed to lift it from near the floor to clean the carpets? Undo the knot/tie to check it’s not hiding a hole to the curtain/netting instead?
  • ​Mat or rug on the floor or carpet? Make sure you always lift and check what’s underneath!
  • ​Check to see if felt pens/textas/crayons have been used to cover up scratches/damage to woodwork and benchtops.
  • ​Has that Venetian blind been turned so you can’t see the layer of grease or dust on the blades?
  • Toothpaste can also be used to cover up hook holes in walls.

Tenants can be really smart when it comes to covering up issues.

You need to be smarter!

#4- Lawn clippings can cover a thousand sins!

Has lawn clippings been dumped to cover up other things like dog faeces, weeds, and even rubbish/trash underneath?

#5- Leaving needful things!

Got a tenant wanting to leave behind items because the next tenant ‘may find them useful’? No thanks, please take them with you, and don’t leave it up to us to dump your unwanted junk!

#6- The blame game!

Placing blame on the previous property manager with ‘we told them this and that and they didn’t do anything!’

#7- But the carpets don’t need a clean!

Never accept excuses like ‘we didn’t need to get the carpets cleaned because we always wore socks all the time!’

(Yes PM’s there are some states in Australia where we cannot obligate the tenant to professionally clean the carpets at the tenancy end as they only need to leave them reasonably clean, despite being professionally cleaned when moving in!)

The same goes with an oven where a tenant says they’ve never used it!

Well, it’s caked in dust now and it needs a clean!

#8- Spending the bond/security deposit on your behalf!

Allowing the rent to fall into arrears and leave cleaning at the end because ‘the bond/security deposit’ can look after that.

#9- Technical details.

Saying ‘but that wasn’t picked up at the routine inspection so I cannot be responsible for that!’

#10- And the keys are… ummm where?

The tenant doesn’t have the keys because ‘they posted them to you yesterday!’

#11- DIY carpet cleaning… no thanks!

Nothing horrifies a quality property manager than a tenant saying ‘I cleaned the carpets myself using a DIY carpet cleaning machine hired at the local supermarket!’ Lots of education upfront with this one, (unless your legislation obligates the tenant to professionally steam clean the carpets).

#12- Switching off the power to hide something…

Has the tenant switched off the power to hide the fact that all the light globes are blown?

#13- Flipped out and covered up.

Got dirty shelves… no problem (says the tenant). Just turn them upside down!

#14- And the winner is (for creativity).

How about this one! Got a hole/tear in the wallpaper? No problem! Just take a photo of another part of the wall, colour prints it off, and stick that photo over the hole…genius!


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