Renting Real Estate FAQs
As a tenant, what documents should I expect to receive before I move into a property?
Documentation should include a copy of the tenancy agreement, information about renting, a copy of the bond lodgement form and the condition report, which is to be completed, signed and returned to the agent or owner within the required time frame.
You may also receive a receipt for the initial rent amount, letting fees and bond payment, as well as copies of access keys and any remote controls. The agent may also provide you with emergency contact details for urgent out-of-hours repairs.
What happens when the tenancy expires?
If you have a fixed term tenancy you will find details of the expiry date in your tenancy agreement. If this date passes, your tenancy becomes a 'periodic tenancy agreement', unless the landlord or tenant gives the correct notice, they come to an agreement together, or the tenant exercises their right to renew, if applicable. This ensures all parties are bound by the original tenancy terms.
You can also request a lease renewal from the owner or agent. The owner of the property has the right to renew the lease, let arrangements continue under the terms of the original lease or issue the appropriate notice requesting that you vacate the property.
It is important for you to discuss whether or not you want to continue living in the property with the property manager well before the expiry date of your tenancy, which allows everyone to make the necessary plans and arrangements.
I want to break my tenancy, but have another person who wants to take over the property. What do I do?
Any agreed handovers must be done correctly and legally - you and the other person should contact your property manager as soon as possible and let them know what you want to do.
You should also be aware that your landlord has no automatic obligation to agree to your request - the new person must complete an application form, provide references and carry out all the other steps that are necessary for anyone to be approved as a tenant.
If this application is approved, the new person should not move into the property until a final inspection has been carried out and the necessary arrangements are made with your landlord for the release of your bond.
What happens if I need to leave the property before my fixed term tenancy expires?
In this event, you are responsible for all reasonable expenses incurred by the landlord to locate a replacement tenant. However, if the tenant and landlord agree, the tenancy can be ended early. It is important that any agreement is made in writing, including details of what has been agreed to.
If an agreement isn't reach, you would need to continue paying rent until a new tenant is located and enters into a new tenancy agreement. You and the agent are both able to actively seek a new tenant - but this individual must complete all normal processes and checks before they are approved.
It is essential that you not leave the property without notifying your agent - this will likely result in the loss of your bond and could also create a bad rental history record, which may make it more difficult for you to rent again in the future.
What happens if the owners of the property I am renting decide to sell?
There are a number of different scenarios that can occur if the owner decides to sell - these can depend on the expiry and terms of your tenancy agreement.
For example, if you are within the fixed term of your tenancy and the property is sold to another investor, you continue to have your rights to the property as a tenant when the new owner assumes the responsibility as your landlord.
If the property is sold to someone who wishes to live there, you will be given at least 90 days written notice to vacate - this will usually give you plenty of time to arrange your next property. If you are on a fixed term tenancy, the landlord can only end the tenancy on the expiry with 90 days written notice, giving you plenty of warning time.
As an existing tenant, your LJ Hooker agent is perfectly-placed to help you find another rental property that suits your budget and preferences.
What are the different ways to pay my rent?
While payment methods can vary from office to office - you will usually have a number of choices.
These can include automatic payment, bank transfer, and in rare instances, cash. Cash payments are generally not accepted, as this can create a security risk. Tenants and landlords find automatic payments direct from the bank the most convenient.
You may wish to discuss your options with your LJ Hooker agent to determine the most convenient way for you to pay.
What should I do if I am temporarily unable to pay my rent?
It is essential for you to contact your property manager as soon as possible.
Ignoring the problem will not make it go away - and you may find that you are able to come to an understanding with the landlord if your inability to pay rent is only temporary.
Communication is essential in these circumstances and it is important for you to continue to keep the agent informed of your circumstances.
Failure to pay your rent in accordance with your tenancy agreement may result in a "Letter of Breach" being sent to you which can result in a termination of your tenancy through the Tenancy Tribunal if the breach is not remedied.
I would like to rent a property, but do not have a job. Will this make it hard for me to rent?
When you rent a property, the major requirement is that you are able to prove you can meet your rent payments and pay the initial bond - this is no more than four weeks rent.
If you have a considerable amount of savings, this may not be an issue - although you may be at a disadvantage if you cannot show a source of income. If you are receiving assistance from another source - such as WINZ payments - you should provide verification of this.
In addition to the rent, what other costs are tenants expected to pay?
Any additional payments you may have to make will vary, including a bond on the property. You will also cover your utility charges, such as water, gas, electricity and internet.
It is also important to budget for the additional costs that can be associated with moving, such as connections and removal charges.
Your LJ Hooker agent can provide you with any additional information that applies to your particular circumstances.
How do I arrange any repairs that might be needed?
You need to advise the property manager of all requests for maintenance or repairs, your LJ Hooker Property Manager will tell you how to do this when you move in.
It is essential that you do not attempt to repair things yourself - you have a responsibility to advise the agent of maintenance matters that require attention. Your tenancy will include provisions for how you should handle repairs or maintenance requests.
What should I do if urgent or emergency repairs are needed at the property?
Generally, emergency repairs are required when the occupants' health and safety - or the property itself - is threatened.
You should immediately contact your agent and ensure you give them the opportunity to arrange for the emergency repairs, as long as they are completed in the most urgent and expedient manner possible.
If you cannot contact your agent, you may have been supplied with a list of tradespeople nominated to handle emergencies when you signed your tenancy.
If some of my possessions are destroyed in a fire at my rental property, will my landlord pay for them?
As the tenant, it is your responsibility to insure your own personal belongings - the owner is responsible for insuring the fixtures and fittings included in the property at the time of letting, as well as the premises.
If you do not have home contents insurance for your personal belongings, you may need to bear the cost of replacing your possessions.
Am I allowed to put up picture hooks?
Before you make any alternations or additions to your rental property - including picture hooks - you should contact the agent. It is wise to do this in writing, specifying exactly where you want the picture hooks to be placed.
Where can I find information about the rules and legislation that relate to renting?
Feel free to speak to your LJ Hooker property investment manager if you have any questions that specifically pertain to your property or go to the Tenancy Services website.