Congratulations! You have found a tenant for your rental property – but now what?
Well, unless you are using a real estate agent to manage the property, you will need to set up
a couple of simple things in order to keep the rental trouble free.
Although renting directly to tenants without a real estate agent might sound like a scary and
troublesome experience, we have found that it is actually much less stressful and frustrating than
having to go through a rental agency.
The main reason is that direct communication is actually much better than through a 3rd party
(real estate agent) – For the tenant to be able to directly contact the landlord and explain the
issues makes it much easier to decide how to resolve the problems. It also speeds things up for
the tenant, since turnaround times for real estate agencies to deal with issues can be much longer.
For a list of reliable tradesmen in your area, please refer to the recommended service page for
your particular city.
If you do choose to rent directly to the tenant, below is a step by step guide on what you need
to do – and fortunately it’s not very complicated!
STEP 1: Set Up a Rental Agreement
A rental agreement is the official document outlining all aspects of the rental.
This is exactly the same document you would sign with any rental agency.
Therefore, make sure that you agree with everything before signing.
HINT: These days everything can be signed and filled out electronically and emailed.
So no need to post documents or even meet the other party!
Each state has their own rental agreement (otherwise it would be too easy!)- see below for the
link to the appropriate page for your state.
The RTA site has the tenancy agreement, as well as bond lodging, entry reports etc
NEW SOUTH WALES:
ACT: The Tenants Union has a very informative site, including FAQ section
A few things to consider when entering into a rental agreement are:
Who is responsible for the water/power/telephone bill (typically water is paid by the landlord
and others by tenant)
Who is responsible for pool maintenance including chemicals and servicing?
Duration of rental agreement (typically 6 or 12 months)
Rental amount and frequency/method of payment
How much notice is required for each party to end the agreement (4 weeks typically)
How to proceed if repairs are required – Do the tenants call a pre-determined
tradesman directly or is this all arranged via the landlord?
Does the tenant pay for the repairs and then get reimbursed or is the invoice sent directly to
A great starting point is also the ATO Rent Payments and Deposit fact sheet
STEP 2: Arrange a Bond in Escrow
Typically a bond (deposit) is required to be paid by the tenant(s) to secure the property. This is usually
4 weeks worth of rent, and should be held by a 3rd party in order to avoid problems at the end of
The best way of doing so is for the tenant and landlord to set up a bond in escrow (where a
specialised 3rd party holds the money) and the company only pays it back to the tenant when
authorised by the landlord to do so. This allows the tenant some degree of security that the
landlord will not simply keep the bond at the end of the agreement. In order for the bond to
be paid in part or fully to the landlord, the tenant(s) must agree to it.
How to lodge your bond:
Queensland: Lodge your bond directly with the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority)
South Australia: RBO – Residential Bonds Office
Tasmania: Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
Western Australia: Department of Commerce
Northern Territory: Consumer Affairs
STEP 3: How to Communicate with the Landlord
Unless a rental agent manages the property (in which case they are the first point of call) – An
agreement on how the tenant contacts the landlord should be decided at the start.
Typically, this would be email based, and possibly telephone in case of emergency issues.
However this is up to the landlord and tenant to decide.
STEP 4: Complete a Property Entry Report
In order to ensure that the tenant is not accused of loss/damages to the property that were present
before the start of the tenancy, an entry report should be completed. The most efficient way is to
take photos and video of the house before moving in, as this allows the tenant to show the state
and contents of the house before the start of the tenancy.
It is also important to complete a full inventory of the items found in the property (furniture, air
conditioners, pool equipment and any other removable items) and have the landlord counter
sign the itemised list.
The entry report forms can be found in the relevant sections of the websites listed in
Step 2 above. A copy should be kept by both parties.
STEP 5: Ending the Tenancy and Vacating the Property
Ending the tenancy:
Give the appropriate amount of notice to the tenant as determined by the rental agreement
(or vice versa)
Complete an exit report or inspection to confirm that you are satisfied by the condition of the
Contact the escrow company to release the deposit, and the company will return it to the tenant
Contact Doctors on the Move to relist your property and find a new tenant!