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My First-Time Renting Guide

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.