The Property Condition Report
What is a property condition report?
A property condition report (PCR) is a report that describes the condition of your rented home. Property condition reports are usually filled in at the beginning and at the end of a tenancy. A blank, sample PCR has been attached to the end of this chapter.
Always keep a copy of any Property Condition Report.
Are property conditions reports compulsory?
NO, property condition reports are not compulsory. In Western Australia owners/agents do not have to do a PCR or give their tenants a copy. However, it is common practice for a PCR to be completed and provided.
There are no laws about property condition reports in Western Australia. In some other states tenancy laws require a report to be done within a certain time after a new tenant moves into premises.
You should ask for a copy of the PCR if you believe one exists for your premises. You have a right to a copy because it affects your legal contract (tenancy agreement) with the owner of your rental premises.
Any request for a copy of a PCR should be in writing and you should keep a copy of your letter. See Writing a Letter to the Owner/Agent for more information about writing letters.
You should do your own Property Condition Report if one hasn’t been done already by the Owner/Agent.
Why are property condition reports important?
In the case of a dispute over whether you or the owner/agent has looked after the place properly, a property condition report will be proof of the condition the premises are or were in.
The owner is required by law to provide the rented premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness and repair (section 42, Residential Tenancies Act).You are required to:
- Keep the place in a reasonable state of cleanliness during the tenancy (s.38(1)(a);
- Not to cause or permit any damage (s.38(1)(c)); and tell the owner if there is any damage (s.38 (1)(b));
- Leave the premises in the same condition they were in at the start of your tenancy less “fair wear and tear”.
What is fair wear and tear?
There is no definition of fair wear and tear in the Residential Tenancies Act. However, it is usually said to mean something that happens through ordinary use.
For example, carpet naturally becomes worn from walking on it; varnish wears off stair railings; flywire naturally deteriorates in the sun, and so on.
Any argument over what is fair wear and tear should be decided on the individual circumstances of your case. However, you can argue that you are only responsible if you intentionally (on purpose) or negligently (not taking enough care) caused or permitted damage to occur. See Fair Wear and Tear for more information.
When should a property condition report be done?
A property condition report should be given to you with the keys or within a very short time of moving in to a rented place. You will usually be given a certain time to add your comments and return it to the owner/agent – two weeks is often the time allowed.
A property condition report should also be done at the end of the tenancy. The differences between the ingoing and outgoing property condition reports can be used to work out who should be responsible for any work that needs doing at the place, and who should pay for this work.
A property condition report may also be done during a tenancy. For example, a real estate agent might do one as part of a regular property inspection; or you could do one to show that work is needed at your place. Always ask for, or give the owner/agent a copy of any report done during the tenancy.
Moving is a very busy time for most people but it is VERY important that you take the time do a Property Condition Report.
What if my owner/agent has not given me a property condition report?
There are two things you can do:
- 1. Write to the owner/agent and ask for a copy of the property condition report. Keep a copy of this letter. See Writing a Letter to the Owner/Agent for more information.
- 2. Don’t wait! Do your own PCR. Use the blank PCR at the end of this information sheet (attach extra pages if you need more room) OR simply write the whole thing on blank pages.
This gives you more room to describe the place and even add sketches (for example the size and shape of a chip out of the wall). At the start of the report write out the address of the rental premises, the names of the owner
and your name.
Make headings for every room in the place, including passages.
Some tips for doing a property condition report:
Do your inspection with an independent witness. This can be any adult who will not be and has not been living at your place and would be prepared to act as your witness if needed.
Both you and your witness should sign and date the PCR.
Always keep a copy of the PCR for your records. Give a copy to the owner/agent, and ask them to sign, date and return it to you. Don’t forget to include the condition of any built in cupboards. Also include the outside and yards (back, front, sides), sheds, garages, letterbox, driveway, etc. (Use the attached PCR as a guide to the things you should cover.)
Look out for:
- Cracks, chips, holes, peeling paint, mould or water stains.
- Worn or stained floorcoverings.
- Dust, grease, grime, dirt, oil, cobwebs.
- Dripping taps, deteriorated flywire.
- Weeds, dry patches, dying plants, overgrowth.
- Problems with hot water, stove, oven, reticulation.
- Problems with locks, doors or windows.
- Signs of mice or cockroaches.
SAMPLE FORMS ATTACHED: