Housing and Tenancy

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Condition reports

If a tenant pays a bond before they enter into occupation, the landlord must give 2 copies of a condition report which details the condition of the premises. The condition report should be signed by the landlord. Failure to provide the report is an offence under the Act.

Case study

At the start of the tenancy, Sarah noticed a burn mark on the carpet in her bedroom. Despite this, the condition report didn't make any mention of the mark and Sarah did not write any comments about this on the report. When the tenancy ended, the landlord claimed compensation for the damage and relied upon the condition report which provided 'proof' that the carpet was in good condition when Sarah moved in.

Why are condition reports important?

Condition reports are important because they provide 'conclusive evidence' about the condition or repair of rented premises. Conclusive evidence means that the Tribunal must find that the facts within the condition report are proved. It is therefore very important for tenants / residents to inspect the premises and note issues with the premises on the condition report.

Section 36 of the Act states the condition report provides conclusive evidence of the state of repair or general condition of the rented premises.

What are the key issues in relation to a condition report?

  1. Condition reports are 'conclusive evidence' of the state of repair of rented premises at the start of the tenancy.
  2. Condition reports are important where there is damage to the rented premises. Landlords may rely on these reports where they want to claim compensation for damage to premises.
  3. Tenants should not accept the condition report prepared by the landlord. Tenants must examine the rented premises and make sure to list every single repair issue on the condition report and return it within 3 business days of entering occupation. 

How do I challenge a condition report?

Section 36 states that the presumption that a condition report provides 'conclusive evidence' of the state of repair of the property does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • where issues arise that could not have been reasonably discovered on a reasonable inspection of the premises; and
  • where the tenant lists problems with the property on the condition report.

Challenging condition reports

  1. Condition reports are conclusive evidence at the commencement of the tenancy.
  2. Where the tenancy has been continuing for a considerable period, it is possible to argue the report is out of date and does not take into account fair wear and tear.
  3. The condition report does not cover matters that could not reasonably be detected on a reasonable inspection of premises.
  4. A condition report is not conclusive evidence if the tenant has noted their disagreement on the report at the start of the tenancy.
  5. Is it possible to challenge the representation made by the condition report? Is there any ambiguity in the report?
  6. Has the condition report been signed by both landlord and tenant?