Did you know that nearly 30% of all Australians currently rent the home they live in? For some it’s a step towards independence, or a place to stay while they save for a purchase. Others prefer renting as it provides flexible, short term living arrangements. Renting can help you to free up funds for other financial commitments, or even just help you live closer to where you work. Whatever the reason, we hope this guide will assist you in your rental journey.
Finding a rental
Rental properties are in high demand across Australia. It’s a good idea to stay up to date with the market and be ready to act quickly when the right property comes along. Visit us at 2233 Realty, check out our website, and pop in regularly to find out what rental properties are available.
Decide if you would prefer renting close to town or if you want to be a little further out. Look around at local cafes, parks, schools, public transport and determine work commutes to see if they are suitable for you and try to visit the area at different times of the day and week.
Make a list of needs
Decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need and whether you need a secure shed or garage. Should the yard be fenced? Do you have pets? Make a list of all the things you need, keeping in mind that landlords will make repairs to maintain the condition of the house, but are highly unlikely to renovate to suit your requirements.
Set your budget
Figure out how much you can spend on a rental property. Don’t forget to include bills, such as electricity, gas, insurance, groceries, car and travel expenses and other general living expenses. Having a realistic budget in mind will help you to narrow down your choices when looking for a rental. Never sign a rental agreement until you’re certain how much you can afford.
Signing an agreement
Once you’ve found a property to rent, you will need to apply for it. You’ll need to give information such as a list of people who’ll be living in the home, details of your past rental history, current and past employment and proof of income. It’s helpful to have references from previous tenancies to support your application.
Tenancy Agreement and Bond
If your application is successful and you’ve decided to go ahead with renting the property, you will be asked to sign a tenancy or lease agreement and pay a bond.
A residential tenancy agreement, or lease, is a legally binding contract between you (the tenant) and the owner of the property (the landlord). Most tenancy agreements are for a fixed term of 6 months or a year, although this is sometimes negotiable. The contract will include:
- the rights and duties of the tenant, landlord and agent
- start date and end date
- rent amount and how and when it will be paid
- extra costs, such as excess water use
- any other special terms.
If you’re unsure of anything, ask a real estate specialist for assistance, so that you understand fully before you sign.
You will be asked to pay a bond to cover the landlord if the tenancy agreement is breached. The bond cannot be more than one calendar month’s rent or increased during your tenancy. The bond is paid before you move in and held by the independent Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) until your lease expires. If there has been no breach, your bond will be fully refunded.
Property Condition Report
Before you move in, the real estate agent will prepare a property condition report, noting the general condition of the property. This will give you the opportunity to identify, report or dispute any existing damage to the property within 3 days of moving in. It will help to avoid disputes once your lease is over.
Home Maintenance and Inspections
From time to time the home will need some maintenance. Contact the real estate agent to have the issue assessed and the problem fixed. If you plan to fix it yourself, make sure you obtain permission from the landlord. The real estate agent will conduct periodic inspections on the home. The will contact you well in advance of the inspection.
- Keep copies of agreements, reports, correspondence and payment receipts.
- Have utilities connected and billed to your name.
- Obtain written permission if you plan to sub-let or assign the tenancy to someone else.
- Put all requests to the real estate agent/landlord in writing.
- Be sure to pay your rent on time and keep your property clean and tidy to a reasonable standard.
- Ask for permission to install fixtures, perform maintenance or make alterations to the property.
- Conform to the laws and obligations of your local council area.
For more information contact us at 2233 Realty today.