Guide to Securing a Rental Property
Finding a rental property in Sydney can be a challenging and sometimes overwhelming experience. Here are some tips that will assist you and hopefully make the process a little less stressful.
If you have already begun your search for your new rental property, you may have arrived at your first property to find you have a considerable amount of competition. Many agents only have their rental properties open for 15 minutes, so it can be quite challenging viewing everything you hope to see on a Saturday morning. To enable you to be on the front foot and maybe secure a property you really like quickly, have all of your documentation ready when you inspect. This will enable you to submit your application to the agent on the day. Some agencies will allow you to lodge your application on-line, however, you will need to inspect it first before your application can be considered.Make several copies of all of your documents and take them with you in a folder, so that you can submit applications for all of the properties you have an interest in.
Being proactive is always worthwhile, so you may want to call the agent first thing on Monday morning to see if your application is being considered.
Signing the Lease
Once you have been notified that your application has been successful, you will be asked to confirm your acceptance by paying a weeks rent in advance within twenty four hours as a holding deposit. The lease will need to be signed as soon as possible. At the time of signing the lease a second week’s rent will need to be paid to the agent along with four weeks bond. Most agents will require two weeks rent be paid in advance at the time of signing the lease. Initial leases are usually for twelve months. During this time the rent should not be increased. Agents usually conduct rental reviews towards the end of each lease and are required to provide you with sixty days notice in writing of a rental increase. If a longer lease is offered initially, it may be subject to a rental review after the first twelve months
At the time of signing the lease you will be required to pay a bond, which is the equivalent of four weeks rent. This can either be lodged on line with NSW Fair Trading or paid by personal cheque or by direct deposit to the agent. The agent will then forward the bond money to NSW Fair Trading and they will hold the bond until such time as you vacate the property. A receipt for this money will be issued to you by Fair Trading. This money is held until you vacate the property and if there has not been any damage to the property and you have returned the property to the agent in an acceptable clean and tidy state, the full bond will most likely be refunded to you. The money is transferred to your bank account within a few days.
Maintenance and Repairs
As a tenant you are required to keep the property clean and tidy and if there is a garden you may also be responsible for that as well. The agent or sometimes the landlord may conduct inspections of the property, initially no more than four in a year, to ensure the property is being well maintained and cared for. Should any appliance or utility require repair, it is advisable to put your request to the agent or landlord if appropriate in writing. Most agents have a database of trades people they engage to carry out any repairs or general maintenance. In addition, it is required that all smoke detectors are checked every 12 months and the agent will notify you when this service is to be carried out. In order that your time in the property is enjoyable and to maintain the integrity of the property, it is advisable to notify the agent or landlord as soon as possible of any maintenance or repairs required and preferably in writing as well as by phone.
Termination of Tenancy Agreement
It is important to read through the tenancy Agreement thoroughly prior to signing. Remember it is a contract. If close to the expiration of your lease you have decided to not renew, then you will need to notify your agent or landlord in writing of your intentions. This enables the agent or landlord to advertise the property and find new tenants so that there is no or little loss of rent for the landlord. In addition, there is a clause in the Tenancy Agreement that relates to the Breaking of a Lease, which has financial implications for tenants. Landlords can ask a tenant to vacate prior to the end of their lease if the conditions of the lease have been broken. The main reasons are usually non-payment of rent, damage caused to the property or if the property has been used for purposes contrary to the Tenancy Agreement.
If there is any further information you would like about securing a rental property, please feel free to call us on 0418440653.