Know your rights as a tenant
Before deciding to rent a property there are a few rules and regulations that you need to take into consideration. A Residential Tenancy Agreement or ‘lease’ will be drawn up and is the legal contract that both you and your landlord must abide by. A lease should include information such as;
- Location of the property
- Total rent
- Amount of the bond
- Commencement and end date of your tenancy
- The landlords’ name
Lease/tenancy agreements differ between states, so please make sure you have the documentation from your appropriate state. Never sign a blank form, if you do not understand something, then contact the correct establishments and ask for advice.
Know your responsibilities when renting
When renting, little problems can turn into big problems if you are not aware of who is responsible for taking care of the issues that may arise.
As a tenant you are obliged to do the following:
- Keep the property clean
- Not cause damage to the premises
- Inform the landlord ASAP if any damage is done
- Ask for the landlords permission to install fixtures or make alterations, renovations etc
- Avoid causing a nuisance to the landlord or neighbours
- Do not initiate or participate in any illegal activities on the property
The landlord is obliged to:
- Keep the premises in good repair
- Ensure the security of the property by making sure all doors have locks and windows are secure
- Immediately provide the tenant with a key after changing any locks
- Avoid disturbing the tenant unnecessarily
Once you have signed a lease / tenancy agreement and paid a bond you should be provided with a Condition Report. This report records the condition of the property. Check this report carefully and immediately discuss any issues you may have with the landlord. Photographs are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Keep these in case the landlord objects about returning your bond at the end of your tenancy.
RELIEF FOR RENTERS DOING IT TOUGH
The rental market is continuing to tighten, with vacancy rates getting lower and rents rising, and it is time for those seeking rental accommodation to think outside the box and get creative if they really want to secure their dream accommodation.
With increased competition for listed rentals, the rental crisis is only expected to worsen. So, some renters are resorting to offering landlords more than the rental being asked, while others provide references not just for themselves, but for their pets as well. And with investors venturing back into the market, prices may be further forced up, creating a ‘false’ demand yet again.
Other tips include:
- Refining or changing search criteria.
- Have all the information required to apply for the property including personal identification, referees and details about prior rentals, as well as written references with contact details from previous estate agencies.
- Fully completing application forms making the landlord’s job much easier in assessing and processing applications.
- Don’t limit your efforts to the one property – look at and apply for as many as you think will meet your needs, but withdraw your application for any outstanding ones once you have secured a rental.
- Visit and introduce yourself to agents managing properties in the area you are looking in.
But the best advice, is to contact our office and talk to one of our property managers, or at the very least visit our website www.busseltonfn.com, both of which will provide some great advice and may even have the property you are looking for.