All new and existing tenants will always have a list of questions they want to ask. Some questions are more common than others so here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from tenants:
What information is required when applying for a rental property?
In order to be considered as a prospective tenant, you will need to fill out an application form. This is usually handled by the property manager and must be accompanied by sufficient identification (100 points) which can be made up of a combination of documents such as a passport or driver’s licence, a birth certificate, Medicare or private health card and student photo ID card. The application must also be accompanied by personal information as well as contactable character and/or professional referees.
What happens once I’ve signed the lease agreement?
The lease agreement is an important legally binding document and it contains all the terms and conditions of the tenancy. It’s essential that tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, so the lease agreement should be clearly understood and a copy retained by the tenant.
Once you’ve signed the lease and received your keys, you should obtain a receipt for any payments you have made (such as the bond, first weeks rent). The property manager should also give you a property condition report, information for tenants and anything else important.
What is a property condition report?
This is a written report on the status of the property which details every aspect of the condition of the property. Tenants should receive two copies at the start of the tenancy and should return a signed copy (with any amendments) to the property manager within three days. This document serves as the basis for future inspections and will be used to determine whether any damages are claimable at the termination of the lease.
What’s the process with regards to connecting utilities?
It’s the tenant’s responsibility to contact a utility supplier of their choice (gas and electricity) and set up their own accounts. As a tenant, you are also responsible for paying for all of your water usage, when a Water Efficiency Certificate has been provided by a plumber for the property. When you vacate the premises, you are also responsible for having these services terminated and the accounts finalised.
Are pets allowed?
Pets aren’t allowed on the property unless approved by the landlord. If a pet has been approved then your pets will be noted on your lease agreement. If there has been a pet at the property, at any time throughout the tenancy, then a Flea Treatment must be completed at the end of the tenancy and a receipt provided to the office, no matter how long ago the pet vacated.
How often do inspections take place?
The first inspection is generally scheduled six weeks after you’ve moved in, with routine inspections usually taking place ever quarter thereafter. The property manager will give you 7-14 days’ notice and although you aren’t required to be present, the agent needs to give the appropriate notice.
What happens if I don’t pay my rent on time?
Failure to pay rent on time constitutes a breach of the lease and the landlord or property manager may issue a formal breach notice. If you don’t rectify the fault, then a termination notice may be issued which gives you seven days to get all payments up to date. As mentioned earlier, a lease agreement is a legally binding contract so any breaches constitute a breach of the law.
Can I break the lease?
Breaking the lease can be quite an expensive process and isn’t generally recommended. However, if you decide on early termination of your lease, there are two options open to you. You can either pay out the remainder of your lease or continue paying the rent until the property has been leased to another party. However, it’s important to understand that you can be liable for any advertising or re-letting costs.
What happens when repairs or maintenance needs to be done?
You should report any urgent maintenance immediately (such as a water leak, gas leak, fire or burglary). This should be done even if the problem has occurred after hours. Any non-urgent repairs or maintenance (such as a dripping tap, damaged gutter) should be reported during business hours and remember, even minor maintenance should be reported so that the property is kept in optimum condition.
What happens when I want to vacate the property?
If the lease is month-by-month (Periodic Lease Agreement) , then a minimum of 14 days’ written notice is required. For a fixed lease, the terms will be in the lease agreement and may result in you breaking your lease.
What are the vacating procedures?
Once you have given written notice of your intention to vacate, then you will receive an email from the property manager which details procedures such as how to clean the property. You need to leave the home in the same condition that it was in at the start of your tenancy, using the condition report and inventory as a checklist.
Once the final inspection has been done, you will get your bond back (minus any costs for any work or repairs that were required).