Current tenant’s guide
Below is a range of information designed to answer some of the common questions tenants ask. Click on the relevant topic to see more information.
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Body Corporate – How do Body Corporate rules and by-laws affect me as a tenant?admin2015-04-07T07:52:08+00:00
You are required to abide by all Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws (where applicable). You will be provided with a copy of all applicable Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws in your sign up pack at the beginning of your tenancy.
Bond – What happens to my bond?admin2015-04-07T07:41:56+00:00
Your rental bond will be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) shortly after we receive your payment. You will receive a bond receipt, confirming lodgement of your bond with the RTA.
Your rental bond will be held by the RTA, for the duration of your tenancy. Your bond will be refunded to you once we have completed your final inspection on vacating the property. If you and Real Estate Rentals agree on the bond to be refunded, we can jointly submit a bond refund request to the RTA. You will be refunded the agreed amount by the RTA – usually within approximately 14 days. If you do not agree with Real Estate Rentals, you may lodge a dispute with the RTA within 14 days of the initial claim.
Your landlord will be entitled to claim against the rental bond for things like unpaid rent, damage to the property and cleaning if the property is not left in a clean and tidy state on vacating.
In order to obtain a speedy refund of your bond, you should ensure that all rent is paid up to date and that all cleaning and repairs are completed prior to handing back your keys.
Breaking a tenancy – What are my responsibilities?admin2015-04-07T07:32:42+00:00
If unforeseen circumstances arise and you need to break your tenancy, you should contact Real Estate Rentals immediately. We will work with you to find a replacement tenant, however, you will be responsible for the following:
- payment of rent up until commencement of the replacement tenancy
- payment of the re-letting fee (equal to one week’s rent + GST)
- payment of all advertising costs incurred to relet the property
Carpets – What are my responsibilities?admin2015-04-07T07:15:18+00:00
You are required to have any carpets professionally shampooed or steam cleaned at the expiry of your tenancy. If you were permitted to keep birds or other animals in the property, you must also have the property fumigated and deodorised by a professional fumigator. A copy of your shampoo or steam cleaning receipt and fumigation receipt (if applicable) must be provided to Real Estate Rentals on vacating.
We strongly recommend that you have any carpets steam cleaned at least annually during the term of your tenancy in order to ensure that any deterioration of carpets can be shown to be the result of fair wear and tear only.
Change of tenants and/or subleasing – Is it allowed?admin2015-04-07T07:07:13+00:00
Your Tenancy Agreement records the maximum number of people allowed to live in the property. Real Estate Rentals must be advised of any proposed changes to people living in the property and the consent of the landlord must be obtained first. Any new or additional tenants will need to complete an application and sign a new lease before moving into the property. An application may be refused on all the usual grounds.
If the landlord consents to a change of tenants during the lease, the outgoing tenant must arrange with the incoming tenant to receive their share of the bond previously paid. Bond is not refunded until the end of the tenancy. However, the incoming and outgoing tenants must liaise with Real Estate Rentals to have the names on the original bond lodgement changed with the Residential Tenancies Authority.
Subletting is not allowed without the written approval of the landlord. New tenants will need to complete an application and sign a new lease before moving into the property. An application may be refused on all the usual grounds.
Emergency repairs – What are they and what can I do?admin2015-04-07T06:58:11+00:00
You may be faced with a situation that is an emergency. An emergency is something that cause injury or may cause further damage to the property if left unattended, and may include:
- burst water service or serious water service leak
- blocked or broken toilet (if a second toilet is not available)
- serious roof leak
- serious gas leak
- dangerous electrical fault, dangerous power points, loose wires
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm, fire or impact damage
- failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply
- failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance for hot water, cooking or heating
- faults or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure
- faults likely to cause injury, damage property or cause extreme inconvenience
During business hours – If you require an emergency repair during business hours please contact your property manager.
Outside business hours – If you require an emergency repair outside of business hours, please consult your tenancy pack for a list of Emergency Repairs Tradespeople.
Here a a few tips on handling certain emergencies:
Lights and/or power not working:
See the ‘Safety Switches – what are they and what are my responsibilities?’ section of this page.
Hot water system stops working:
If it is a gas hot water system, check that the pilot light is on.
Check that the hot water system is not leaking as this may be a stop valve malfunction and leaking water may cause further damage.
Break-in and damage to glass:
Immediately contact your local police and report the break in.
You will be supplied with a police report number – you must provide this report number to Real Estate Rentals the very next working day for both insurance reasons and repair costs.
All damage to the property must be reported to Real Estate Rentals the next working day.
If any glass breakage was caused by you, you will need to contact a glazier and pay for the invoice yourself. You will not be able to claim this back from your landlord.
Lost keys or keys locked inside house:
See the ‘Keys – What if I lose my keys?’ section of this page.
Ending a tenancy – What do I need to do?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
If you decide to move out after the end of your tenancy, you must give Real Estate Rentals a Notice of Intention to Leave (Form 13), giving 14 days’ notice in writing. You can email the completed form to us, post it or drop it in to our office.
Inspections – How do they work?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
When will routine inspections be done?
Generally, routine inspections will be done once every 3 months – if you sign a 6 month lease you will be likely to have one inspection (usually at the 3 month mark) and if you sign a 12 month lease you will be likely to have 3 inspections (one at the 3, 6 and 9 month marks).
Will I know when inspections will occur?
Yes. You will receive an Entry Notice (Form 9) advising you of the day and giving you a 2 hour time frame when we will undertake your inspection. Given the large number of inspections we undertake it is not always possible to accommodate changes to times – however, if the inspection time is difficult for any reason, please contact us to see if we can reschedule.
You are not required to be home during the inspection. We will use our office keys to access the property and we will leave you a note letting you know that we have completed your inspection.
Why do we do inspections?
We do inspections to identify if repairs and maintenance are required to the property. At the end of every inspection, we prepare a report for the landlord which assists the landlord to understand any issues that require attention.
Our landlords wish to keep there properties to the highest possible standard – so don’t wait for inspections to tell us about maintenance issues – as soon as you notice a maintenance issue let us know by lodging a maintenance request.
Insurance – Do I need contents insurance?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
You should be aware that if your possessions are damaged or destroyed by an event effecting the landlord’s property (for example, fire, cyclone, storm, power outage) then your possessions are not insured as part of the landlord’s insurance.
You must take out your own appropriate insurance to cover your possessions stored at the property during your tenancy.
Keys – What if I loose my keys?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
If you lose your keys or lock your keys inside your property during business hours, you may contact Real Estate Rentals to use our office keys. You must return the office keys to us the same day.
If you lose your keys outside business hours, you may contact a locksmith directly; you must pay the account.
If your keys have been stolen, then it will be necessary for security reasons to have all locks replaced. This will be at your expense and you must provide Real Estate Rentals with a complete set of new keys by the next business day after the locks are changed.
Lease Renewal – Can I renew my lease?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
If your landlord does not wish to renew your lease, you will be advised 2 months before the end of your lease or the date on which you are required to vacate the property. If you do not wish to renew your lease, you must give Real Estate Rentals 2 weeks notice.
If your rent is paid on time and you have looked after your property, your landlord is likely to wish to renew your lease. If your landlord wishes to renew your lease you will be advised in writing. If you agree and wish to renew your lease, it is important that you sign the new lease documentation and return it to Real Estate Rentals as soon as possible.
Maintenance – How do I request general maintenance?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
All general maintenance requests must be made in writing and preferably electronically. You can either:
- submit your request here (preferred method); or
- download the Real Estate Rentals – Maintenance Request Form and send it back to us in any of the ways set out in the form.
Real Estate Rentals prefers maintenance requests to be submitted online where photographs of the maintenance item can be uploaded as part of your request. The inclusion of photographs and electronic lodgement allows us to process your request more quickly, obtain your landlord’s consent more quickly and to get works underway. It also assists us to follow up your request, to make sure that it has been actioned and that any work has been completed safely and to an acceptable standard.
PLEASE NOTE – the above procedure does not apply to emergency repairs – for emergency repairs, please see the ‘Emergency Repairs – What are they and what can I do?’ section of this page.
Pets – Can I have a pet?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
You are only permitted to have a pet, if your landlord agrees. Your Tenancy Agreement sets out whether the landlord has agreed to your having a pet. If you are found to have a pet without your landlord’s permission, you will be in breach of your Tenancy Agreement and may face eviction. If you are thinking of getting a pet, get in contact with us and see if your landlord will grant permission first. If your landlord grants permission, and to ensure that you don’t face any problems later, we will amend your Tenancy Agreement to record your landlord’s consent.
If you landlord consents to a pet, you must:
- keep the animal secure inside the property
- keep the property, including the yard, clean and tidy
- comply with any restrictions on the landlord’s consent (eg. keeping a pet outside)
- abide by all local council regulations and meet the costs of any such compliance
- pay for any damage caused by you pet to the property, both internal and external
- arrange and pay for flea fumigation of the property once per year and on vacating
Failure to comply with the above and any additional terms contained in your Tenancy Agreement or any other agreement, will result in withdrawal of the landlord’s permission and amount to a breach of the terms of your Tenancy Agreement.
Rent – What happens if I’m late?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
Real Estate Rentals has a strict zero tolerance for late rent payment policy. We implement our strict arrears management policy for every tenant who doesn’t pay rent on time – not exceptions. Real Estate Rentals has the following policy:
- 1-7 days in arrears – you will receive a call, SMS and/or email to remind you that your rent is in arrears
- 8 days in arrears – you will receive a Notice to Remedy Breach requiring the breach (late rent payment) to be remedied within 7 days
- 18 days in arrears – you will receive a Notice to Leave requiring you to vacate the property within 7 days
If a Notice to Leave is issued, you will still be required to pay all rent up to the date you vacate the property as well as all other moneys due in accordance with the terms of your Tenancy Agreement. If there are additional moneys owed, over and above the amount of your bond, you may be listed with a tenancy database.
If, as a result of some unforeseen circumstances, you think you will be unable to pay your rent, you should let Real Estate Rentals know immediately. We will not amend our arrears management policy but we will inform your landlord so that they are aware of the issue and work with you to try to find a solution.
Safety Switches – What are they and what are my responsibilities?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
What is a safety switch?
Safety switches are switches installed in the electricity meter box of properties and are designed to prevent injury or death.
They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances.
Are safety switches fail safe?
Nothing is failsafe. Safety switches should be regularly checked. Just like a smoke detector or other safety device, safety switches cannot protect you if they are not working properly.
It is also important to make sure your electrical appliances, electrical wiring, extension leads and other electrical equipment are regularly checked and kept in good working order.
How do I test the safety switch installed in my property?
To test a safety switch:
- press the test button
- this should automatically trip the switch to the off position
- reset by pushing the switch back to on
You should carry out safety switch test every three months.
Why did my safety switch trip?
If a safety switch turns off your power you could be using a faulty appliance or your electrical wiring may have become faulty.
Reset the safety switch. If it trips again unplug the last appliance used. If everything works take that appliance to a licensed electrical contractor to be checked. If the safety switch keeps tripping, disconnect all appliances and plug them in one at a time until you locate the faulty one.
Avoid touching appliances while doing this process.
Smoking – Can I smoke inside my property?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
All Real Estate Rentals properties have a strict ‘no smoking inside’ policy. You should consult your Tenancy Agreement and any Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws provide to you as part of your sign up pack, for any additional restrictions.
Smoke alarms – What are my responsibilities?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
Tenants have the following obligations in relation to smoke alarms installed in their properties:
- replace the battery in each alarm during your tenancy if it is flat or almost flat
- arrange for the cleaning and testing of each alarm at least once every 12 months if your tenancy is 12 months or longer or a periodic tenancy of 12 months or longer
- notify Real Estate Rentals if any smoke alarm fails or is about to fail (other than because of a flat battery – see above for flat batteries)
- not remove, dispose of or tamper with any alarm (other than for the purposes of changing the batteries, cleaning and testing in accordance with the above)
Tenancy Databases – Will my name be recorded?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
If you vacate your property with money still owing and/or damage to the property, you will lodged on a national tenancy database. If you subsequently pay the amount owing and compensate the owner for the damage, your details may not be removed from the database.
Real Estate Rentals uses TICA, the Largest Tenant Screening Service in Australia. You can get more information here.
Vacating – What do I need to do?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
You will need to consider your individual tenancy to determine the appropriate notice which is required to be given to Real Estate Rentals. Once the appropriate notice has been given, Real Estate Rentals will advise you of your vacate date.
On or before your vacate date, you will be required to undertake the following:
- pay all rent up to your vacate date
- remove all of your personal belongings from the property
- ensure that you have had any carpets cleaned and any fumigation undertaken
- ensure that the property is clean and left in good order
- complete your exit condition report
- return all sets of keys to Real Estate Rentals
If the property is left unclean and/or not in good order, we will hire professional cleaners and/or tradesperson to rectify each problem and the costs will be deducted from your bond. You should ensure that the property is left clean and all maintenance issues are raised with Real Estate Rentals well before your vacate day.
Yard Maintenance – What are my responsibilities?admin2015-04-07T14:10:45+00:00
Under all Real Estate Rentals’ Tenancy Agreements, if you rent a property other than a unit or townhouse with shared gardens, you are required to maintain the lawns and gardens, having regard to their condition at the commencement of your tenancy, including by mowing the lawns, weeding the gardens and watering the lawns and gardens (subject to local council water restrictions).
If you require Real Estate Rentals can organise regular or one-off yard maintenance at competitive rates.