The importance of entry condition reports
Preparing an Entry condition report (Form 1a) can seem like just another task on the long list of things you need to do at the start of the tenancy.
It is important to take the time to fill out the form carefully at the start of the tenancy to avoid future problems.
The Entry condition report is the official record of the state of the rental property when a tenancy begins and may be used as evidence in a dispute about the bond or the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy agreement.
On or before the tenancy’s start date, the property manager/owner must prepare the report, marking each item as clean, working or undamaged, as appropriate.
The property manager/owner should note any additional items, sign the report, and give you a copy.
Tenants have 3 days to add comments, sign the report and return it to the property manager/owner, who then has 14 days to provide a copy of the final report which has been signed by both tenant and property manager/owner.
Failure of either the tenant or property manager/owner to complete each of these steps within the given timeframe is an offence under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).
Disputes about the standard of the property should be dealt with at the start of the tenancy – addressing these concerns at the end of the tenancy is often a more complicated process.
It is a good idea to keep a copy of the Entry condition report and compare it to the Exit condition report (Form 14a) at the end of your tenancy.
The RTA’s Tenancy essentials video Entry condition report – tenants will help tenants through the process.
RTA CEO Darren Barlow said photographs or videos were the best ways to support what is written on the Entry condition report.
"It’s best to complete the report room by room, taking photos of areas that are marked or damaged," he said.