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Inspection Report Disclaimer helps clarify responsibilities

3 June 2016

Property managers face an increasing number of responsibilities in day-to-day practice.

As a result REINSW and the industry insurer Realcover have collaborated to provide members with a Disclaimer to raise awareness with owners that agents are not experts on building and structural issues. To download the Disclaimer click here.

This Disclaimer could be included in an agent’s standard letter that accompanies property inspection reports.

It provides an opportunity to initiate a discussion between the agent and owner on how to best manage building and structural issues that can impact their investment.

Whilst the Disclaimer may raise awareness of critical issues that property managers are not qualified to comment on, it does not absolve property managers or their staff from their statutory or common law obligations, responsibilities and duties.

It provides an opportunity to initiate a discussion between the agent and owner on how to best manage building and structural issues that can impact their investment. 

Disclaimer endorsed by property managers

REINSW spoke to two property managers who worked on the development of the Disclaimer to get their opinions.

Sandra McGee - Property Management Manager of Starr Partners

Woodrow Weight Award recipient

“I feel the Disclaimer developed by REINSW and Realcover is fantastic.

“It has been developed in conjunction with the very experienced property managers on the REINSW Property Management Committee. It’s purpose is to give all property managers much needed support in the face of the increasing number of risks that we encounter in our day-to-day roles.

"Often owners will mistakenly assume that in our role we are responsible for issues which fall outside of our expertise.

“These are issues that the Government of the day, sadly, is adding to the list of material fact issues for all rental properties. Owners then expect us to go and inspect these issues at a property and give advice on something that falls way out of our expertise, responsibility and role.

“This is why it is important for property managers to take the initiative to let owners know that our role is to manage the tenancy. Our role is not to offer advice on asbestos or structural issues etc. which we are not qualified to comment on.

“The Disclaimer makes this very clear and I feel it will help improve the relationship between the owner and property manager by making it clear what our role is and that they, the owners, are responsible for employing the correct tradesperson, engineer etc. to inspect the property when needed.

“I strongly recommend that all property managers use the Disclaimer as it will help raise awareness with owners of what we are responsible for.”

Lyn Kimball – Director/Office Manager of Fitzpatricks Real Estate

“We have always used a Disclaimer in our inspection reports but it was very lightweight in comparison to the REINSW and Realcover Disclaimer which we now use.

“It covers the minefield and diversity of property issues that can often be blamed on the property manager and helps the landlord understand what we are not accountable for.

“The Disclaimer is vital for property managers to use because it raises awareness with the landlord that we manage the tenancy and not issues which fall outside of our role or area of expertise.”