When you finally find the right one, signing up for a new rental property can be an exciting thing. However, as with all business transactions, there are some legal and ethical safeguards in place to protect both yourself as the tenant, and the landlord. Here are some things to consider before signing a lease:
- You should receive, from your agent, a copy of the New Tenant Checklist from Fair Trading, a copy of your lease, a bond lodgement form, two copies of a condition report for your new home, and a set of keys.
- Before you sign anything, read your lease. Make sure you understand the conditions associated with the lease, that the rental amounts are clear and accurate, and that the term of the lease is correct. If you have any questions, ask you property manager. This can include the discussion and provision of special conditions such as carpet cleaning as a condition for having pets.
- Check that any promised repairs have been completed or have an undertaking that they will be done.
- Be prepared for upfront costs including ONLY two weeks rent in advance, and NO MORE THAN 4 weeks rent as a rental bond.
After you move in, there are are other things you can do to make sure your tenancy period is hassle-free:
- Fill out your condition report with as much detail and accuracy as possible. This can also involve taking photographs to record the condition of the property when you move in. Your property manager will have done the same, and any discrepancies will be noted on both copies.
- You should receive a letter from Fair Trading to advise that they have received your rental bond.
- Comply with the terms of your lease and consider conditions such as respecting the peace and security of neighbours, and not having pets or other people reside in the premises without the consent of the owner.
- If the property has a pool or garden, make sure there are clear arrangements in place for what the landlord expects you to do regarding maintenance.
If there are situations that arise that give you cause for concern, or if you have reason to terminate the lease early, speak to your property manager as soon as possible. Many situations can be resolved with honesty and co-operation, so maintaining a good working relationship with your property manager is a great way to keep things going smoothly.
Most of all, enjoy your new home. If you put the same care and consideration into a rental property as you would your own, then everything should be fine.