Some handy hints to help you when renting a home.

Understanding a Lease

Before renting a property, your lease is the important thing to understand. Lease is a legally- binding agreement between you and your landlord which defines how long you’ll be renting the property. How much you will be paying each week and what are your responsibilities.When you sign your lease it will be stated that you have agreed on everything that is set out in it, make sure you read the whole document thoroughly. When you breach the conditions of your lease you may be evicted from the property.

Know your rights

When you are bound on the lease there are some entitled rights. Example, the landlord cannot force you to pay for things like general maintenance and repairs.You also have the right to privacy, which means the landlord can’t show up to the property without informing you.Different states have different laws regarding your right as tenants. So, read your rights as a tenant carefully.

Exiting the property

When your lease expires, you may be offered a lease renewal or you can move out. If you are willing to leave the property you’ll be required to provide a few weeks notice (Usually 2-3 weeks) in writing prior to the end of the lease.Nothing certain in this life, and unforeseen circumstances may require you to move out prior to the expiration of the lease. Unfortunately, this can require you to pay compensation to the landlord for the loss of income caused by you ending the tenancy agreement early. You may need to incur re-letting fees, advertising costs, and rent until a new tenant is found.

Bond requirement

Bond is the money which you pay at the beginning of a tenancy to provide financial security for the landlord in case you breach the terms of the lease. The motive of bond money is that if you damage the property during your lease, the landlord can keep the bond and use it for repairs and cleaning when you leave.Bond Money is held by a regulatory body in each state (In ACT & NSW it is deposited to Rental Revenue Board) until the term of your tenancy and handed over to you at the end of your tenancy. The Bond money is equivalent to 4 weeks of rent.

Rental Payment

Get familiar with your residential tenancy agreement. This document will help you to understand how you’ll pay rent, the amount of the rent and when it needs to be paid.The payment for the rent can be made through electronic bank transfer, EFTPOS, credit card, cheque, Rentpay or deduction from your pay.

Know your repair and maintenance

As a tenant it is your duty to keep the property clean and undamaged. It is also a responsibility of the landlord or the landlord’s property manager for keeping the property in a good condition for the tenant.It is your landlord's responsibility to organise for repairs when necessary, including emergency repairs. If your landlord does not rectify the damage within the amount of the time, you may have the right to end the tenancy or claim compensation from the landlord.You can check your contents insurance also known as renter’s insurance if any of your belongings is broken or damaged which is not a part of the property.

What you should not be doing

In your contract it clearly mentioned what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do without permission from the owner. You need permission from the landlord like keeping pets or making changes to the property.