How often should I carry out property inspections?

Question from Rebekah updated on 2nd July 2010:

I have heard that a P Lab can be set up and dismantled in a pretty short time, and that there are a lot more of them being set up in rental properties than in past years. How often should I carry out property inspections to make sure my properties are safe?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

It is recommended landlords conduct regular property inspections so any concerns or maintenance issues can be dealt with as they arise. This will also ensure any problems are detected and addressed early on. For the purpose of a property inspection, a landlord can enter the premises providing: 

• the landlord gives the tenant a minimum of 48 hours notice of the inspection 

• the inspection is within 14 days of giving the notice 

• the inspection is carried out between the hours of 8am and 7pm on the day specified 

• the inspection is not carried out within 4 weeks of any previous inspection

Providing the landlord complies with the above requirements they can inspect the premises as frequently as they choose to. If notice of an inspection is to be given in writing, service time needs to be allowed for delivering the notice to the tenant. If the landlord hands the letter to the tenant, the 48 hour period takes effect immediately.

However if the landlord drops it in the tenant’s letterbox they must allow an extra two working days, and if posted to the tenant they must allow an extra four working days. As running a methamphetamine lab is an unlawful activity, you should contact the police if you suspect your property is being used for this purpose.

More information is available at To discuss your situation further, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.


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