Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants
Recent Buying Selling Lifestyle Investor Tenants

Tips for First Time Renters

Written by Sarah Newton
For most of us, at some stage in our lives we will need to rent and it can be daunting at first sight. For any of the many reasons you could be renting for the first time, we appreciate if can be confusing. So here are some tips for when renting for the first time.

How Leases work
Your lease is one of the most important parts to understand when renting a property. A lease is a legally binding agreement between yourself (the tenant) and the landlord (the owner). The lease sets out all the conditions of your lease. This includes but not limited to, how long you can stay at the property, how much you pay each week to stay at the property and what your responsibilities are as the tenant.

Once you sign the lease, this means you agree to the terms and conditions set out in it. Make sure you read your lease agreement thoroughly before signing, because once again it is a legally binding agreement. You also want to make sure you have thoroughly read through the conditions of your lease because if you breach any of them, the landlord has the right to evict you before the end of lease.

Your Rights
When you are the tenant of a property, you are entitled to certain rights. Some examples include, the landlord can not force you to pay for general repairs and maintenance as it is their responsibility. If you are unsure of what will be covered by your landlord, you can always contact your property manager. You also have the right to privacy. The landlord can not show up to the property unannounced and disrupt your privacy throughout your entire lease.

Leaving the property
At the end of your lease term agreement, you may be offered a lease renewal or you can vacate the property. Prior to ending the lease, you are required to give notice to notify the landlords that you intend to move out. You also need to be aware that if you need to leave before the end of lease agreement, costs will apply, depending on the agency. This is due to the landlord receiving a loss of income. The costs can include re-letting fees, advertising costs, and rent until a new tenant is found.

You also need to ensure the property is clean before you leave the property, or your bond will not be reimbursed. The condition of your property should be to the same standard as you moved in.

A bond is the money you pay at the start of your tenancy. This provides financial security for the landlord in case you breach the conditions of the lease. Ultimately, if you damage the property, the landlord can keep the bond to repair the damage. The bond is usually equivalent to a few weeks rent of your property.

At the end of your lease, if you have left the property unclean, damaged or with rent owing, you may not be able to claim your bond back. This is because the landlord has a right to claim the reasonable costs of cleaning and repairs from your bond – hence the importance of leaving the property as you found it.

Paying Rent
The method of paying rent will be set out in your lease agreement. Methods can include; through electronic transfer, EFTPOS, cash, cheque, or credit card. You can also choose when you would like to pay your rent. Usually, tenants choose to pay weekly or fortnightly.

Your property manager will keep a record of your rent payments through a rental ledger. The ledger will show whether you have paid the right amount of rent on time, each payment period. This is ideal to keep looking pristine, because if you want to rent again this will show new agencies what your rental history is like. If your ledger shows discrepancies, the agency may not chose to lease a property to you.

Repairs and maintenance
While it is your responsibility as a tenant to keep the property clean and undamaged, the landlord must ensure it is also in a good condition for the tenant to live in. Landlords are required to pay for repairs when necessary, including emergency repairs. If notified problems aren’t fixed within a reasonable amount of time, you may have a right to end the tenancy or claim compensation from the landlord.

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