Do your research before making any decision! Research the area you are interested in and the type of home you want to rent. The internet is a great starting point – look at the rent and quality of homes available in your preferred area. The home you choose needs to suit your budget and your day-to-day needs.
Viewing the property will be by way of private appointment or ‘home open’ – depending on whether it is currently tenanted or not. Contact the Property Manager for details.
Making a Tenancy Application
Once you have found the perfect home, it’s time to make a tenancy application. Speak to the Property Manager and ask if there are other applications. You can download a tenancy application form from our website, or ask the Property Manager for one during your viewing.
When filling out the tenancy application form it is important to complete all sections and also provide the following:
- 100 points of identification - (photocopy of passport/driver’s license/student card etc).
- References – previous rental history and employment referees.
- Proof of Income (minimum 2 pay slips per applicant)
Your tenancy application is then evaluated, all references are checked and our recommendation is presented to the landlord.
Signing Your Lease
Congratulations! Your application was successful and it’s time to sign the Lease. Our Property Manager will arrange a time to meet with you to discuss all aspects of the lease agreement. It is our job to fully explain to you all clauses of the lease and outline your obligations as a tenant. Make sure that you ask any questions before signing the Lease. The Lease is also called a Residential Tenancy Agreement. Your obligations as a Tenant are fully set out in your Lease and in the Residential Tenancies Act (VIC) 1997. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all the terms and conditions set out in your Lease.
When you sign your Lease the following must be paid:
- One month’s rent
- The Bond – this is equal to one month’s rent can be paid on the day you collect your keys.
You will be provided with a signed copy of the Lease along with a copy of ‘Renting a Home – A guide for tenants’. These are important documents and should be kept in a safe place.
Property Condition Report
A Property Condition Report will be given to you at the time you move into the property. You then have 3 business days to check the Condition Report, make any comments or amendments and return it to our office. If you don’t return the Condition Report in this time, or if you return it unaltered, the original Condition Report is considered to reflect the true condition of the property. At the end of your lease, the Condition Report is used as a comparison of the property’s condition and the basis for which any bond is refunded.
- Update your contents insurance.
- Notify relevant authorities of your change of address.
- Organise your electricity, gas, phone and internet.
- Book removalists.
- Check and return the signed Condition Report within 7 days of receipt.
Rent must always be paid in advance and in accordance with the terms set out in your Lease. There are several options for making rental payments and your Property Manager will advise you of these alternatives when you sign your Lease.
If your rent is more than two days overdue a Breach Notice may be issued against you. If the breach is not remedied as required, and your rent is more than 14 days in arrears, a Termination Notice will be issued requiring that the property be vacated.
Your Property Manager will conduct a routine inspection of your property about 3 months after the start of your tenancy. After this, inspections are then carried out once every 6 months. You will be given at least 7 days written notice of the date of inspection. You are entitled to be present at inspections if you wish. The purpose of inspecting the property is to check that it is being looked after properly and report any maintenance and repair needs to the landlord.
Repairs and Maintenance
Any repairs or maintenance items requiring attention must be reported by you to your Property Manager as soon as practicable. Your Property Manager will attend to any maintenance as soon as possible after consulting with the landlord. You will contacted by your Property Manager or our tradespeople before attending the property.
Notice to Vacate
Fixed term lease - In a fixed term lease the tenancy ends on the date written in the Lease agreement. If you know that you will be vacating at the end of your Lease, we ask that you provide 28 days written notice to our office prior to your lease expiring.
Periodic lease – You must give us 28 days written notice if you intend to terminate your periodic lease for no cause.
Break lease – If you need to vacate the property before the end of your fixed term, then you will incur the costs detailed in your Lease for breaking the lease. These costs include:
- All rent until new tenants are found or the Lease term expires.
- Advertising costs to find another tenant.
- Upkeep of the property (eg lawn mowing) until relet or the Lease term expires.
- Leasing fees incurred by the landlord as a result of the breach.
Once all the keys have been returned at the end of the tenancy, a final inspection (or bond inspection) is conducted. The Condition Report compiled at the start of the tenancy is used as a comparison of the condition of the property. Bond money will be held for:
- Outstanding rent.
- Damage by the tenant.
- Water use if applicable.
- Other expenditure for cleaning/gardening required to bring the property back to the comparable condition at the start of the tenancy (fair wear and tear considered).
There are many online resources available to provide tenants with additional information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions related to renting out properties.
www.consumer.vic.gov.au The Consumer Affairs Victoria website provides a host of information for both tenants and landlords.
Realestate.com.au This is considered one of the most popular real estate search engines in Australia. They also provide neutral third party information for landlords and tenants.
“Renting a Home: A Guide for Tenants” – Consumer Affairs Victoria. This publication is an easy-to-read guide that explains your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
“Guide to owning, managing and living in an owners corporation” – Consumer Affairs Victoria. This publication is an easy-to-read guide that explains your rights and responsibilities when living in a home with a Body Corporate.