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REIQ Journal : August 2008
40 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Stacey Holt, Best Practice Advisor, REIQ If the tenant fails to return the report during the statutory timeframe it is best practice that the agent write to the tenant to acknowledge the report has not been returned and advise that the report provided will be used to determine the bond refund at the end of the tenancy. The lessor is to be given a copy of the inspection report according to the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act (Real Estate Agency Practice Code of Conduct). The desired outcome for all parties is that the tenancy begins in agreement, not conflict; the importance of “beginning with the end in mind” was discussed at length during the forums. If the tenant returns an entry condition report that the property manager does not agree with, immediate action should be taken. The situation should be treated seriously and negotiated to not only act in the lessor’s best interests, but also to ensure the relationship with the tenant is sound and professional. The property manager must act promptly and seek advice from their lessor in relation to any maintenance or repair concerns that are addressed on the entry condition report. Best practice system two: Systems for recording maintenance requests In regards to repair and maintenance, property managers must ensure they have consistent systems to receive and record all requests from tenants. The REIQ has always recommended that all routine repairs and maintenance matters are reported in writing by the tenant to the agent. However, routine maintenance can, of course, be taken over the phone or in person. If maintenance requests are taken verbally it is strongly recommended that the agency system for recording them is used consistently and allows maintenance requests to be proven. Carter Newell recommends the use of a repair log book if maintenance issues are reported verbally. It is interesting to note that a number of licensees report through the REIQ CPD program that they are banning the use of “post it” notes or loose leaf paper in their agency, due to risk management with record keeping procedures. Staff are required to use the agency’s system, such as a repair maintenance form or specific spiral-bound notebooks. The remaining three best practice systems for property managers will be discussed in the September edition of the REIQ Journal. REIQ Journal August 2008