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New Smoke Alarm Legislation: What Does It Mean For You?

After many deaths and house fires the government has decided to put in place legislation to help home owners with early detection of fires in their house.  The new legislation comes into play at three vital dates:

  1. 1st January 2017 all new houses and signifigantly renovated houses with building approvals after 1st January 2017 must comply.
  2. 1st January 2022 all sold houses and rental properties must comply
  3. 1st January 2027 all other domestic residence

What’s Required

Smoke alarms are required on each level of the house, in each bedroom and located in egress paths.  The smoke alarms must be 240V photo electric and interconnected with all other smoke alarms.  There is an exception with existing houses they can be battery operated as long as it is a photo electric smoke alarm with 10yr sealed lithium battery and still interlinked.

Are All Smoke Alarms the Same?

Glad you asked you asked, it’s the same as usual here you get what you pay for in most circumstances.  The way we look at it is that you are buying a smoke alarm that you want to last 10years (max life of any detector) so it pays to get quality over price.  We generally use Brooks smoke alarms as they have a long history in the market, quality manufacturing and support and are also widely used in Europe.

If you want to book one of our trained technicians to take a look at your alarms contact your specialist property management company in Brisbane at ARRIVE  – hello@arrivehome.com.au  1300 913 820.

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My First-Time Renting Guide

Two women takling

All you need to know when renting your first property

After making the decision it’s time to move out of home, there are some important things that you need to know.

What do I need to apply for my first rental property?

So, you’ve never rented before.  But don’t worry, everyone must start somewhere.  There are a few things that you can do to make this step a little easier.

Property Managers have a duty to ensure that you can afford the rent and that the property is the right one for you.

You will be required to provide verification of income and photo ID, along with proof of address and most likely personal references and professional referees.

In most newcomer’s circumstances, you may need to ask Mum, Dad or a relative, to go guarantor or co-sign the lease.
Talk to the property manager should you have any queries or concerns.

Man writing

What happens when my application is approved?

Congratulations, your application is approved.  There are several steps you will need to get through prior to being handed the keys.   The first step will require you to sign documentation.

The Tenancy Agreement

Your Tenancy Agreement is an important document.  It is a legal contract between you as the Tenant and the Lessor/Rental Agency.

By signing the lease agreement, you are legally committing to what is stated on the agreement, including any special terms which should be agreed to in advance.

Make sure you read and understand the agreement before signing and always keep a copy of it in a safe place.

The Bond Lodgement

In most states a rental bond is a compulsory requirement by the Lessor/Agent at the commencement of a tenancy agreement.

Your rental bond is lodged with the legislative Authorities and acts as security for the landlord or owner in case you don’t meet the terms of your lease agreement.

At the end of your agreement the bond amount will be refunded, however, if the property needs cleaning or repairs or if items need to be replaced the landlord or owner may claim some or all the bond.

The amount of the bond is specified in the Tenancy Agreement document.

Woman in front of a computer

What documents should I receive before moving in?

The documentation required to be given to you at the time of sign-up differs slightly from state to state, however, in most cases, the following should apply;

  •  Information booklet relating to renting in your state or territory:
  • Copy of the General Tenancy Agreement
  • Copy of the bond lodgement form
  • Original and copies of the condition report – to be checked, completed and signed, then returned to the office in the required time frame
  • Receipt for initial rent amount, lease fees and bond
  • Photocopy of all keys and remote controls (if any)
  • Emergency contact details

Girl Packing

What is an Entry Condition Report?

The Entry Condition Report is provided to the ingoing resident/lease holders at the beginning of their tenancy start date.  This report outlines the condition of the property at the beginning of your Tenancy.

It is important that you carefully check the condition report and make sure it includes all existing damage or issues with the property.  We suggest taking photos of the property before your move in and provide a copy of these photos to your agent / landlord as record of the properties original condition.

Legislation allows tenants a certain amount of days to check the details completed by the agent/owner on the condition report, to confirm or disagree with those details.

As the condition report, can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning, damage or replacement of missing items at the end of the agreement –make sure you go through it thoroughly.

Make sure both you and the landlord/Agent agree on the contents of the condition report before signing it.

Man and woman talking

How do I prepare for a Routine Inspection?

Couple discussng with real etate agent

Your landlord or real estate agent may carry out a periodic inspection of the property to ensure it is being well cared for and any routine repairs are made. This inspection may include the following:

  • The property is being maintained in a clean and tidy condition.
  • The grounds are being maintained in a clean and tidy condition.
  • The property is not being damaged in any way.
  • There are no more than the number of people specified on the tenancy agreement living at the property.
  • No pets are housed at the property, unless otherwise agreed to.
  • Any maintenance issues identified can be attended to.

There are minimum notice requirements to be given to a tenant prior to a scheduled routine.   This will ensure that you have plenty of time to have a good tidy up beforehand.

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Do I Need Renters Insurance?

tenant's boxes preparing to move out

If you’re renting a flat or if you’re part of a house share, you might need a contents insurance policy to protect your belongings.

Protecting Your Belongings

Getting the right cover for your contents while you live in somebody else’s property is easy with most insurance companies. They help protect your belongings from loss or damage caused by insured events such as fire, theft and storm.  Generally, you are protected against damage and loss caused by:

  • Fire and Theft
  • Storm, Lightening, water from leaking pipes
  • Flood
  • Accidental breakage of glass

And most standard policy benefits include new for old replacement, legal liability cover and credit cards – cover for loss or theft.

With many policies priced from as little as $1 a day, can you afford not to be covered??

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10 Tips on How to Secure a Rental Property in the Busiest Time of the Year

Why is it in Qld, that most rental properties seem to come on the market in January and February?

Well, unfortunately it’s a fact, and this causes some stress for most prospective tenants looking for somewhere to rent.

So we have put together some handy hints and tools to give you to make your life a little more stressless during what can already be a harrowing time.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Even in the slow time, you need to know how if a property represents value, but when they are flying out the door during the busiest times of the year, then you need to know the market. Research similar properties and their rents so you become familiar with your target market.

SIGN UP TO INTERNET PORTALS

By signing into the major internet portals, you can be alerted on new properties for rent when they come onto the market. This put you in front of the rest of the bunch who might be looking at similar properties.

REGISTER FOR THE INSPECTION

So many prospective tenants just take a chance and turn up to an advertised inspection, only to find that the Agent does not turn up or the property has been rented. Save yourself some time and trouble by registering online for the inspection.  This way you will be notified by sms or email if a property is no longer available

ASK QUESTIONS UP FRONT

If you need to qualify a point or ask a question about the property, ask prior to getting to the inspection. Pets are usually the number 1 deal breaker, so best to get the answer right up front.

DO A DRIVE BY

Photos can be sometimes a little misleading.  I recommend always doing a drive by of the property in the first instance prior to registering for an inspection.  Can save a lot of heartache.

BE PREPARED

With so much tenants vying for rental property during the busy months, you need to be organised. If you think the property is for you, either apply online prior to the inspection remembering to include ALL of your required documents, so that the Agency has your application upfront.

PRESENT WELL AT THE PROPERTY INSPECTION

Believe it or not, but your first Rental Reference begins at the Property Inspection. Leasing consultants are usually asked to give an opinion of the prospective tenant applying for the property when an application is received.  Present yourself in the best light.

MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION

Again, with a whole bunch of applications on the Property Managers desk, sometimes it can easily become a numbers game. By maintaining communication with the Property Manager, can often put you in top of mind awareness.

OFFER THE BEST TERMS

When you are up against other applicants, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the Lessor. If there are two applications presented to the Lessor for approval and you cannot set them apart excepting maybe lease terms, the usually the Lessor will go with the one who offers the longer lease terms.

SECURE THE PROPERTY QUICKLY

Once approved, ensure that you sign the lease early and pay the required amounts due. Until money is received and or a Lease is signed, the property is still available for rent.

Happy Renting