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    Renting for
    the first time

    You’ve finally found the property you love and know it is the right one for you but do you know what is involved in renting a property? We have created a check list of some of the important things you need to know before signing your first tenancy agreement.

    Applying for the property

    When renting for the first time, most tenants worry about not being able to show their rental history because you don’t have one; there are several things you can do to have a stronger supporting background for your application.

    Usually, the reason for wanting to know your rental history is to prove to the property manager that you are able to pay your rent on time, every time.

    The information you provide obviously depends on your previous housing situation. For instance, if you resided at a hostel as a student, you may provide the details of your hostel manager or the person in charge of the student accommodation. If you have just sold your own property, the agent who oversaw the sale of your house may act as your reference. If you own your home, you could try supplying a rates/council invoice to support your application.

    Some of the documents that you can provide to the property manager to help them make expedited decisions and actions include:
    • Proof of employment
    • Proof of income
    • Pet references and photos
    • Reference from a colleague or employer
    • Reference from your business partner/ accountant/ doctor/ teacher
    • Identification photo, such a passport/ student ID or driver’s license
    • Three referees whom you are not related to
    Documents provided upon signing 
of the tenancy agreement

    As a tenant, you will need to provide copies of documents to your property manager at the time you meet to sign the tenancy agreement. Documents can vary slightly from one state to another, but the following ones are often issued under most jurisdictions:

    • Information booklet that relates to the conditions of renting in your jurisdiction
    • Copy of tenancy agreement
    • Copy of bond lodgement form
    • Original copies of condition report which is checked, filled and signed. It should then be returned to the property manager’s office within the specified time frame
    • Receipt for your initial rent payment, bond and lease fees
    • Emergency contact information
    • Copies of all the remote controls and keys (if available)
    Tenancy Agreement

    A tenancy agreement for a residence is a written legal contract between the tenant and the property manager or landlord; also referred to as a lease agreement. This is issued to tenants before making any payments or committing to the tenancy. It is very important that a tenant reads the agreement and ask questions for clarification of any items you may not understand.

    There are some common things usually contained in the tenancy agreement which includes the following:

    • Name and address of the tenant and the property manager or landlord
    • Start and end dates of the agreement. If the agreement is periodic, it should also be stated
    • Amount of rent to be paid and the details of how the payment is made
    • Standard terms of the agreement; i.e., permissible things that the property manager/owner can do
    • Any other special agreements, such keeping pets or smoking
    • The length of tenancy and the type. There is a fixed term tenancy where the tenant rents the property for a certain period, such as for 6 or 12 months. There is also the periodic agreement where the tenant rents the property for an unspecified period
    • The bond amount required
    • Other personalised rules and conditions
    Tenancy Bond

    The Tenancy Bond (or the Bond) is a payment made as an aside to the rent. The Bond acts as a security to the property manager or owner, should the tenant fail to abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement. Part of or entire bond amount may be withheld by the property manager at the end of the agreement period should the property need cleaning, repainting or any other repairs. As the Bond is held at the bonds office and is a completely different payment from rent, the tenant cannot request the property manager to keep it as rent for the last month of your lease agreement.

    Tenancy Condition Report

    This is prepared by the property manager and documents the general status of the rented property. It is required that the tenant checks the condition report and ensure that the property is sufficiently documented at the beginning of the tenancy. It is also advisable to take photos of different parts of the property before moving in, and then provide copies to the property agent as a proof of the original condition. Since the condition report may be used when a dispute arises concerning who should pay for the repair costs, the potential tenants should check the condition report carefully and confirm every detail of it. Tenants are allowed by law to take a couple of days to countercheck the details included in the condition report so as to avoid any disagreements. Any area where you do not agree with the property manager’s details on the condition should be stated clearly. The report should then be returned to the property manager’s office within the stipulated deadline. You should ensure that both you and the manager are in agreement with what is included in the report before putting your signature on it.

    Routine Property Inspection

    Periodic inspections may be done to ensure that the tenant is taking care of the property. Some things that occur during the inspection include:

    • Cleaning and maintenance of the property are done regularly
    • The number of people staying at the property is not more than what was stated in the agreement
    • No pet is housed unless the agreement stated otherwise
    • Any maintenance needed to be done

    As a first time renter, you will have a smoother transition into your new home when you rent with Hathaway Real Estate.