Tenant Information - Renting a Home with First National Real Estate Tamborine Mountain

How do I find and inspect a property to rent?


·         The easiest way to find properties to rent is via the internet or by visiting your local real estate agency  
·         Some rental properties advertise ‘open for inspection’ times. You can attend these without making an appointment
·         With all other houses to rent, contact the agent to arrange a private inspection


How do I apply for a rental property, when I find the right one?


Bravo, you’ve found the rental property you want to lease. Now it’s time to apply for it by completing a Tenancy Application form.  Information your agent will be looking for includes, but is not restricted to:


·         Proof of your previous addresses including rental property history
·         Proof of current and previous employment history
·         How many people intend to rent the property with you
·         The date you wish to move in and length of tenancy
·         Proof of identity (copies of photo identification)
The more information you can provide the quicker your rental property application will be processed.


What is a residential tenancy agreement?


A residential tenancy agreement is a legal agreement between a tenant and landlord to lease a property for a period of time. The tenancy agreement (also known as a lease) highlights the legal obligation of both parties during the tenancy period, including:


·         The amount of rent to be paid
·         How often payments must be made
·         The term of tenancy agreement
·         Point of contact ie. if the property will be managed by a real estate agent
·         Conditions of entry and any
·         Special conditions that need to be adhered to.



What is a residential bond?


A bond offers financial protection to a landlord when renting a property. It is used if a tenant breaches part of their tenancy agreement. 


·         The amount of the bond can vary from state to state and may also depending on the rental value and state of the property, and whether pets are allowed
·         By law, the bond should be registered with the state’s governing body via a bond lodgement form. Both parties to the tenancy agreement complete this.
·         Deductions from the bond may only be withdrawn by the managing agent or landlord. This is to recover costs relating to the end of the tenancy in the event the tenant does not adhered to their obligations as spelt out in the tenancy agreement.


Who pays for the utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity)?


This may vary from property to property however in most circumstances:


·         The tenant must pay for their own electricity, gas and water charges  
·         Details regarding the payment of utilities will be mentioned in your tenancy agreement
·         Ask the landlord or managing agent prior to leasing the property 


Do I need insurance while living in a rental property?


You should definitely take out your own contents insurance before renting a property to cover your personal possessions.   


·         If there were a theft or accident which prevented you from living in the rental property, you would not be covered under any policy the landlord may have in place
·         Ask your First National Real Estate property manager about Tenant Insurance products



Can the landlord or property manager access my home during my tenancy?


Yes, your landlord or managing agent has the right to enter the property under specific circumstances to inspect the property and/or conduct maintenance. However:


·         You must be given appropriate notice prior to the landlord accessing the rental property
·         These circumstances are spelt out in your tenancy agreement and include routine inspections and maintenance repairs


How should I report maintenance?


It is very important to report all maintenance to your landlord or managing agent as soon it you notice any fault.  Failure to notify your landlord or managing agent may see you held responsible for further damage if not mentioned at the initial stage of the fault.


·         If the matter is urgent, contact your landlord or managing agent immediately by telephone
·         If the matter is non-urgent it is advisable that you contact the landlord or managing agent in writing and keep a copy of your own records
·         Items classified as urgent are usually highlighted in your tenancy agreement or renter’s rights booklet provided by the landlord or managing agent.


Can I stop paying rent if the landlord refuses to do maintenance?


No, unfortunately not. Your rental payments are not related to any maintenance issues. By withholding rent you would be in breach of your tenancy agreement.


What should I do if my request for maintenance has not received the attention I believe it deserves?


If you feel your attempts to address maintenance issues have been overlooked by your First National agent, and you believe your enjoyment or safety at your rental home is affected, you should take appropriate action by:


·         Contacting the principal of your First National office to discuss
·         If disastisfied with his/her response, contact First National Real Estate's national administration, or
·         Make an application through your state’s governing body to have the matter heard before an adjudicator or magistrate (whichever applies)
·         Each state has a department of fair trading, consumer affairs office, or similar department which has a customer call centre that you contact in order to discuss your problem, free of charge

 


Can I rent a property with a pet?
 

Yes, absolutely, as long as the rental property has suitable provision to do so, and you have approval by the landlord or managing agent prior.  Use First National’s ‘Pet Friendly’ search feature by ticking the 'Pet Friendly' check box when searching our vacancies.


·         You must disclose this information on your rental application when applying for any rental property  
·         Failing to advise your landlord or managing agent may see you in breach of your tenancy agreement and there could be further implications as a result of your non disclosure
·         It’s best to be up-front so you get the full enjoyment of your new rental home


How can I terminate my tenancy agreement?


In order to end your tenancy, you must give notice to the landlord or managing agent in writing, in accordance with the tenancy agreement.


·         Even if your fixed term contract is about to expire, you still need to give written notice of your intention to vacate the rental property and give adequate notice of days as stated in your tenancy agreement, otherwise the tenancy will continue on a month by month basis until either party gives notice to end the tenancy
·         If you wish to break your tenancy agreement by leaving the property earlier, costs associated in doing so would apply
·         Refer to your tenancy agreement or contact your landlord or managing agent to find out what your minimum period of notice would be and the potential costs, should you wish to break your tenancy agreement



What are my responsibilities as a tenant?


When renting, little problems can turn into big problems if you are not aware of who is responsible for taking care of any 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 as soon as possible if any damage is done
·         Ask for the landlord’s permission to install fixtures or make alterations, renovations etc.
·         Avoid causing a nuisance to the landlord or neighbours
·         Do not participate in anything illegal on the property
·         Stick to the terms of your tenancy agreement



What are the advantages and disadvantages of renting directly from the landlord?


Some home owners offer a private home rental, meaning no real estate agent is involved. It is important to understand that renting a house or apartment from a private individual, not via a registered real estate agent, has various advantages and disadvantages.


·         Houses privately available for rent may, at first glance, seem less expensive than if an agent has been appointed to lease the property. However, be aware that renting directly from a landlord may not offer the same level of professionalism when dealing with maintenance and/or a tenancy dispute
·         Owners who rent their homes directly to tenants may not be familiar with the statutory requirements
·         You may experience less privacy as a tenant due to the owner being the landlord and, without a real estate agent or property manager, there can be less objectivity between the landlord and tenant


How do I make my tenancy application a winner?


Looking for rental properties can be extremely competitive, so it pays to stand out from the crowd somehow. Whether you have a proven track record of always paying your rent on time or being the perfect neighbour, these can all help you to be the best tenant to select.

Here are three tips to help you become a great tenant.

Keep it clean

As a renter, the house you're living in isn't actually your own - it's the landlord's. Therefore, it makes sense to keep it clean and tidy to ensure it stays in a good condition for the duration of your tenancy.

If maintenance of lawns and gardens is your responsibility, then make sure the backyard doesn't turn into an overgrown jungle.

Report maintenance issues

If a problem pops up at your rental then you should report it to your landlord or property manager as soon as you can. Leaving maintenance issues to hang over your head can potentially lead to problems worsening over time.

And if it's something like the dishwasher or the oven, then it's likely you'll want to get it fixed ASAP so you can use it again!

Communicate

Everyone knows that communication is key to a great relationship - this also extends to the one between you and your landlord. If there are any issues that arise from the home, such as noisy neighbours or a problem with your next rent payment, let them know - you can always come to a solution together.

By creating a harmonious relationship with your landlord or property manager, you can increase your chances of getting a positive reference - an extremely handy thing to have when you look for a new home!


How do I approach neighbours about a nuisance?


In a perfect world, all our neighbours would be our friends and we'd regularly trade cups of sugar and lend out lawnmowers with smiles on our faces.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Be it a noise issue, a property boundary dispute or any other problem, there will likely come a time when you'll need to approach a neighbour about some kind of nuisance.

When this situation arises, it's important to keep your cool and follow some general guidelines in order to keep the peace and have your home remain a sanctuary, not a battleground.

Timing is key

If a problem arises, it's a good idea to speak with your neighbour sooner rather than later. This will give you less time to stew on something they may not even be aware of.

With that said, if you're angry, it's probably a good idea to hold off on approaching a neighbour until you've had some time to cool off.

Either way, when you do approach your neighbour, do so at a convenient time that will give you ample opportunity to talk. Banging on someone's door in the middle of the night is not ideal.

Cordial is better than cranky

A neighbour that keeps you up at all hours of the night with blaring music may lead you to write a nasty note or yell some choice words over the fence, but this strategy has the potential to backfire horribly.

After all, it's not as if your neighbour will suddenly pack up and leave overnight. You have to live next to this person, and if you start a feud, it could turn your homelife into a living hell.

That's why it's important to be polite and reasonable in all dealings with your neighbour. Honey really does attract more flies than vinegar in the end.