Before making any decision, it is always important to do your research! Make sure you know everything there is to know about the area and type of home you are looking for. Have a look at the price and quality of the homes available in certain area's to give you an idea on what you may be able to secure yourself.
The internet is always a good starting point. By using real estate search portals (such as www.realestate.com.au) you can compare multiple agents listings in any particular area/s. Newspaper classifieds and visits to your local real estate agent are also great ways to research and get a feel of what's currently available.
It is important to shop around and avoid making rash decisions. The property you choose needs to suit you financially and also needs to meet any day-to-day needs. Make sure you check out the local schools and facilities before putting in an application.
There are significant upfront costs involved in renting a property, so make sure you budget and are confident when looking and applying for homes.
Whilst conducting a viewing, make sure you check on things such as the safety and cleanliness of the property. Check that everything you require is in working order and if there are an problems, make sure the landlord intends on getting these amended prior to you making an application.
Making an application:
The property manager will run through the application process and contract with you. When making an application, you are required to pay a holding fee if approved within 48 hours of approval. You are also required to supply 100 points of identification along with your personal details and any references related to employment and/or previous landlords.
Your signed application will be presented to the owners on your behalf and you should be notified within 24 hours as to whether you are successful or not.
Costs involved with leasing a property are as follows:
Two weeks rent are required in advance
The equivalent of four weeks rent is required as a Security Bond (held for any damage to the property during tenancy, if you depart the property meeting all contract requirements and in the same condition as when you moved in, minus wear and tear, this Bond is fully refundable).
Once the Residential Tenancy Agreement (lease) has been signed by all parties it is now unconditional and you will be able to move into the property as per the date agreed in the contact.
Make sure you update your contents insurance and notify all the relevant authorities as to your change of address. Also organise your electricity, telephone, gas, internet and removalists. A lot of agents do actually have a free utility connection service's that will do all this for you, ask your property manager if they provide this complimentary service.
As a tenant it is your responsibility to ensure you meet, and do not breach any of the terms and conditions set out in your Lease agreement and in the Residential Tenancies Act. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Not causing damage to the premises and informing the landlord/manager ASAP if any damage has occurred
Asking for the landlord's permission prior to installing fixtures or making alterations or renovations of any kind to the property
Avoid causing nuisance to the landlord or neighbours
Not participating in illegal activities on the premises
Maintaining upkeep of property (unless otherwise stated in contract), such as: keeping property clean, replacing light bulbs & reticulation head fittings, cleaning windows, garden maintenance etc.)
Adhering to property inspections when required (manager/landlord must give at least 7 - 14 days notice in writing)
Making sure the rent is always up-to-date and paid on time
Vacating the premises:
If you're on a fixed lease agreement which is about to expire, you do not wish to renew it and you've given the suitable notice; or either yourself or the landlord has given the relevant notice on a periodic lease, then it's time to vacate.
You may be able to break a fixed lease agreement, if you required to do so then please speak to your property manager about the legal and financial ramifications.
Upon conclusion of your tenancy, you are required to vacate the premises and return the keys to the property manager. They will then complete a final bond inspection, if no faults/cleaning is applicable, then you will be required to sign a bond disposal form to withdraw your security bond to be returned/refunded to you.