Time and time again when we’ve taken over properties for landlords, we’ve been alarmed by Entry Condition Reports (ECRs) that are so lacking in detail the owners wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if there’s damage to the property when the tenant exits.
We’ve seen properties we’ve taken over with little to no comments, entire rooms missed, an inadequate number of images, and sometimes even signatures missing.
It’s a crucial opportunity for a landlord to review and understand fully the condition of their property, giving the opportunity to make improvements to maintain or promote the property value.
While the process of going around the property taking images and making notes can be quite tedious, your ECR is actually the backbone of your rental agreement, and one of the most critical documents in guaranteeing your property will be looked after and returned in the same condition in which it was rented.
We came up with some FAQs about your Entry Condition Report and what to look for when choosing a new property manager…
1. What does a thorough ECR look like? A good Entry Condition Report should be based on the following: 100-200 images for an average one bedder (around 30 images per room); if your property is furnished, 80-100 images per room should be taken for the inventory list; for a house, 400-600 images is the norm as the ECR will be requiring external images as well. Your ECR should always list thorough explanations to match the photos – it can also state potential hazards / maintenance. For example (kitchen handle slightly loose, could come off during the tenancy however strong enough for now)
2. When choosing a new property manager, how can I be sure to get a good ECR? It’s important to ask your property manager how they conduct their Entry Condition Report. Does their method seem logical & organised? How many images do they take of each room? If they’re thorough in their explanation, it’ll help you to ascertain your potential outcome.
3. What can happen if my ECR is inadequate? An ECR is the backbone of all lease agreements. With a poorly executed ECR nothing will stand up in court if there were issues during the tenancy. It can also lead to the deterioration of the property when issues are undocumented, potentially resulting in costly repairs; that if addressed correctly, could have been minimized or avoided.
What we’ve noticed is onsite managers and larger franchises often use inexperienced staff to complete the ECRs to save time and money (it takes many hours’ work to conduct a thorough ECR and then complete the admin side of the documentation).
Unfortunately, some landlords are kept totally in the dark because at the other end, the exit report is also of the same poor standard, leaving them with a deteriorating asset, which could have been easily avoided if they’d chosen better property management.