Renting Safely 101: Preparing for an Inspection

As a Tenant in South Africa, and most other countries, it’s inevitable that you will have to experience at least one inspection of the home you’re renting. These cause tenants a lot of stress simply because many people don’t know or understand what is expected of them.

We’re here to show you that with a few simple steps you’ll ace your rental inspection securing either another year on your lease or your full deposit back. 

The Early Bird…

Landlords and agents are by law required to give you at least 24hrs warning for an upcoming inspection but most, you will find, will give you a week or two’s notice. As soon as you know the date for the inspection is locked down, start to do little things every day to prepare for it!

It’s much easier to spread the preparation over a number of days, rather than killing yourself the night before. Deep clean the bathrooms one day, the kitchen the next and if need be, plan to do repairs over the weekend!

Make a list and check it twice

Inspections are not just for the benefit of the Landlord, they’re also a great opportunity for you to feedback to the Landlord about any ongoing maintenance issues that you have that are outside of your responsibility.

For example, in a furnished rental, if the TV remote found itself smashed through the screen while watching the Protea’s choke on their last wicket or your children’s crayon ‘artwork’ is on the walls or you broke a window while moving something on the balcony, that’s your responsibility to repair.

However, if the water pressure in the shower is dismal, a plug point keeps tripping or there is a leak in the ceiling; these are all structural issues and are the Landlord’s responsibility to take care of. Just remember its your responsibility as a Tenant to inform the Landlord of the issues.

Get Small Kids And Pets Out Of the House For The Day

Inspections can be quite stressful on your pets or small children. Strangers walking in and around your home can be very unsettling for pets and if you need to show the Landlord around you might have to leave your child unattended. If possible ask someone to watch or take them for a walk during the inspection.


Clean The House And Any Outside Areas

If you love where you live, you’re happy with the rent and the Landlord is chilled and out of your hair, you should really be doing everything within your power to make sure they allow you to extend your lease – this means you need to show that you care for their property/investment.

If you don’t have the time to be on your hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen and the shower with a toothbrush you can always make use of a cleaning service to give the house a good once over before the inspection. 

The outside area (if you have a garden) should be an ongoing project for you during your lease period. If you are unable to manage the monthly maintenance of the garden (but wish to renew the rental agreement) it might be a good idea to make use of a gardening service.

Take A Deep Breath

Unless you’ve totally taken the piss and done damage to the structure, the rental inspection should only last about 10-15min and should involve the Landlord taking a walk around to check for any major damage or potential future issues.

Make sure your place is neat and tidy, there are no distractions during the inspection and all should be fine.