Congratulations! You have found a property to rent – but now what?
Well, unless the landlord is using a real estate agent to manage the property, you will need to set
up a couple of simple things in order to keep your rental experience trouble free.
Although renting directly from the owner might sound like a scary troublesome experience, we
have found that it is actually much less stressful and frustrating than having to go through a rental
agency that do not typically have your interests in mind.
Fortunately renting directly is quite simple and only takes 5 steps!
Let us show you how…
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 the by landlord and
others by the 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 tenancy.
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 to do so by the landlord. 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 agreed at the start.
Typically, this would be email based, and possibly by 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
The time has come to move out:
Give the appropriate amount of notice to the landlord as determined by the rental agreement
Complete an exit report or inspection to confirm that the landlord is satisfied by the condition
of the property
Have the landlord release the deposit from escrow, and the company will return it to you
Make sure to provide feedback on the property and landlord so we can continue to improve
Check Doctors on the Move for your next rental property!