Tips for Tenants

Finding the right property for you

So, you’re looking for a new home! There are a few things that you should consider when looking for the perfect fit. Firstly, you should think about the cost of the property. This includes the upfront costs such as the bond and rent in advance; making sure these things are affordable for you will help with your final decision on which houses to apply for. You then have the ongoing costs to consider of weekly rent, utilities, pool costs if there is one and any upkeep such as lawn mowing or gardening. The next thing you should look at is does the property meet your family requirements? This includes things like: are there enough bedrooms and are they the size your family needs? Is the yard too big or too small? Does the property have an air conditioner, gas point, type of hot water system, fire place, dishwasher or patio? These are the things you should be aware of when you attend the viewing for the property. The final thing you should be looking at is where the property is located. Is the property near a good school, shopping center or public transport; anything your family may need close to home.

Filling in the application

When filling in the application you should fill in an applicants details page for all proposed tenants 18 and over. Even if they will not be on the lease they will need to be approved tenants and will still need to be assessed. All tenants under 18 will not be required to fill in an applicants details page unless they intend on being on the lease agreement. If you are a smoker and only smoke outside, it would be a good idea to write this on the application. If you have a pet you could ask the agent for a pet application, if they cannot supply one you could write an information page about how wonderful your pet is and include a photo with your application. When it comes to your personal references, if you know anyone in a position of authority or someone perceived to be of a moral high standing, such as a priest, they will make a great reference. Supplying 100 points of ID and payslips will assist the property manager during the process. The best forms of ID are an Australian drivers license, passport if you do not have a drivers license, Medicare card and a bank card. All should be printed in colour and the originals should be sighted by the property manager. If you are emailing your application in to the property manager you should always follow up with a phone call to ensure your application has been received and to check if there is anything else they may require.

After acceptance

Once you have been approved for a property you will be required to provide the bond and the required rent in advance. The keys to the property cannot be released until this has been paid in full. The bond can consist of up to 4 weeks rent and $260 for a pet bond if you have been accepted to have a pet. You will then be required to read and sign the lease agreement, provided you have a full understanding of the contract. The Form 1AA – Residential Tenancy Agreement will outline your rights and obligations as well as the owners rights and obligations. You should read the contract carefully as it is a binding agreement. The lease agreement may be a fixed term agreement which is usually a 6 month or a 12 month agreement. This will mean that you will be responsible for the property and meeting all of the conditions on the lease agreement for that length of time. Alternatively, the lease agreement may be a periodical agreement which means you are responsible for the property until you give the appropriate notice. Once you have read the agreement and you are sure you understand it you can then sign the lease agreement. You will receive your own copy of the lease agreement. On the lease start date, provided the bond and rent in advance has been paid, you will receive the keys. Your property manager will have made a photo copy of the keys provided to you so that there is a paper record of key hand over and what needs to be handed back if and when you move on. Both you and your property manager will sign the photo copy and will retain a paper copy each. You are now ready to move in.

Property condition report

You will receive 2 copies of the property condition report along with photos of the property. If this cannot be provided at the lease signing it will be provided within 7 days of your move in date. You will have a further 7 days to amend any changes to both copies, sign both copies and return one copy to your property manager. The property manager will have signed both copies before providing it to you. You must go through the report and check it against the property to ensure all the information is correct. Ensure you check all doors, windows, locks, blinds and all appliances. If the property condition report states the item is of good condition and working but it is not and you did not add it to your notes on the report, you may end up being responsible for the repair at the end of your tenancy as the condition of the property must match the property condition report at the end of the tenancy allowing for wear and tear.