The refund of a tenant’s deposit is the most strongly contested aspect of residential rentals, with most tenants believing that any damages claimed fall under fair wear and tear, and most landlords insisting on retaining as much as possible. This is according to Vivien Marks, ex Rental Tribunal practitioner and co-owner of the Assessment Centre for Real Estate Agents. “Professionally conducted ingoing and outgoing inspections are essential to provide genuine proof of damages which should avoid possible costly and unpleasant legal situations.”
Property law specialist, Ilse Pretorius, says “viewing” a dwelling is not the same as “inspecting” it for the purposes set out in the Rental Housing Amendment Act – that is, inspecting it for possible defects.
“The inspection is, therefore, not just a visit to ‘show’ the dwelling to the tenant,” says Pretorius. “A formal joint inspection, with both the landlord and tenant present, must be done before the tenant moves into the dwelling, and again towards the expiry of the lease. These are peremptory provisions in the act.”
With ingoing and outgoing inspections a legal requirement for every property rental, property inspections have become a large part of every letting agent and/or landlord’s duties, often demanding hours of tedious work, admin and coordination.
To help streamline and take the animosity out of the landlord-tenant relationship, South African start-up Property Sprout searched globally for an inspection software to do just that.
The company found eight-year-old Property Inspect, one of the most innovative, yet user-friendly products in the market which has been put to the test in both the UK and US inspection markets. Known as InventoryBase in the UK, the full-service software and mobile app not only makes creating ingoing, outgoing and midterm inspection reports extremely quick and simple, but also offers a highly effective management system that allows real-time diary scheduling and monitoring of all inspections activity from one centralised dashboard.
South African property professionals and landlords now have the opportunity to enjoy a radically improved property inspection product, called Property Inspect – a complete, end-to-end inspections software solution developed with the real needs of property managers, letting agents and inspection clerks in mind.
The integrated solution comes at an opportune time for the fast-growing South African property sector, protecting letting agents, landlords and tenants from the damage disasters and deposit disputes that they face on a daily basis.