Below is a list of some common questions we receive from our Tenants. We hope this page assists you with any concerns you might have throughout your tenancy.
DO I NEED INSURANCE?: It is in your best interest to take out a contents insurance policy for your belongings. While the property is insured by your Landlord, your belongings are not covered in their policy. Most insurance providers have the option of insurance tailored for tenants needs.
WHO IS THE RTA?: The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is a state government statutory body that provides tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigation, policy and education services. The RTA administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 and is responsible to the Minister for Housing and Public Works.
WHAT IS BOND?: A rental bond is a security deposit a tenant pays at the start of a tenancy. It is held by the RTA and is paid back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy provided no money is owed to the property owner outstanding rent, damages to the property or other costs. The maximum amount that can be charged for bond is equivalent to 4 weeks rent if the rent is $700 per week or less. If the rent is more than $700 per week there is no limit on the bond amount that can be charged.
HOW DO I BREAK MY FIXED TERM LEASE?: It is possible for you to end your tenancy before the expiry date, this is known as a break lease. There are fees involved with breaking your lease which may vary slightly between agencies. It is common for a Letting Fee to be charged (equivalent to 1 week rent + GST), any costs of advertising must be paid upfront and rent payments must continue to be made until the date a new tenant takes possession of the property. Breaking your lease can become quite costly, especially if you vacate your property during a "quiet" period when new tenants are difficult to source. We have break lease authority forms available for you to sign upon request.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FALL BEHIND WITH RENT PAYMENTS?: All tenants are required to remain 2 weeks in advance with their rent payments. If you foresee that you will not be able to make a rent payment on time, the first thing you should do is get in touch with your Property Manager to talk to them about it. Once you are 3 days in arrears you will be sent a courtesy SMS message. If you fall more than 7 days in arrears we will issue a Notice to Remedy Breach (RTA Form 11) giving you 7 days to pay the outstanding amount. If you pay the full outstanding amount within that timeframe your tenancy agreement will continue, but you will have a record of the Form 11 being issued on your rental history. If you do not pay the outstanding amount within the timeframe you will be issued a Notice to Leave (RTA Form 12) giving you 7 days to vacate the property and for all keys etc to be returned to the office. If you pay the outstanding amount within the timeframe and wish to stay in the property you must send a request in writing. It is the property owners decision whether you can stay. If you do vacate the property all rent must continue to be paid until a new tenant has been sourced. If rent is not received by this stage all necessary claims will be made to recoup any lost rent.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I'M UP TO DATE WITH MY SHARE OF RENT, BUT MY HOUSEMATE HAS FALLEN BEHIND?: Rent received by us must always be paid 2 weeks in advance. If you are sharing the rent contributions with other housemates you must make sure all tenants know what amount they need to be paying, and at what frequency in order to remain in advance. If one of your housemates has fallen behind but you are up to date with your payments this will reflect on you, as all rent receipted is for the property as a whole and not divided per tenant. You must speak with your housemate to work through a solution and inform your property manager of the situation. The question above lists what will happen if you or your housemates fall behind in rent.
WHAT IF I WANT TO MOVE OUT BUT MY HOUSEMATES ARE STAYING?: If you wish to move out of the property but your housemates who are on the lease with you wish to stay in the property you will need to submit a Notice of Intention to Leave (RTA Form 13). You must only enter the name/s of tenants vacating the property and include any forwarding address'. This form must be signed by all lease holders to show that all tenants agree to you vacating. Once this form has been completed and submitted to us we will inform the owner of the property then draw up a new lease agreement for all remaining tenants to sign. If you have contributed to the bond amount being held with the RTA you will need to submit a Change of Shared Bond Arrangement (RTA Form 6). Instructions on this are listed in the next question.
HOW DO WE CHANGE THE SHARED BOND AMOUNT?: When commencing your lease agreement you would have completed a Bond Lodgement (RTA Form 2). If you have more than one lease holder contributing to the bond amount this form will have contribution amount listed that each tenant has paid. If one of the lease holders are vacating the property but other tenants are not you will need to submit a Change of Shared Bond Arrangement (RTA Form 6). Once this form has been submitted the RTA's records are updated to reflect the new bond arrangement. The RTA will not release any bond amount until the end of a lease agreement, so any tenants who are moving out need to have their original bond contribution paid to them by the tenants who are remaining in the property.
CAN I LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE HOUSE AT THE END OF MY TENANCY?: All keys, remotes and any other items that were signed over to you at the start of your tenancy must be returned to the office at the end of your tenancy along with any cleaning or pest control receipts. You cannot leave them inside the property. In certain circumstances if we haven't received the returned keys we will continue to charge rent until we have received them in our office, or we will order locksmiths to change the locks at your cost.
MY LEASE HAS ENDED AND I HAVE RETURNED ALL KEYS TO THE OFFICE, WHEN DO I GET MY BOND BACK?: Once we have received all keys etc at the end of your tenancy we will conduct an Exit Inspection to ensure that the property has been left in a suitable condition. If the property needs some additional cleaning to be done we will give you the opportunity to collect keys from the office and carry out the cleaning, as there is a small timeframe between tenancies this needs to be carried out ASAP. If the property is clean, free from damage and all rent is paid up to date we will then lodge a full refund of the bond from the RTA on your behalf. You must allow enough time for our Exit Inspection to be conducted, and RTA processing times for the refund of your bond.