Renting a house is pretty simple right?
Remember that your lease is a legally binding contract for which there is no cooling off period. So before you sign off, here’s a few tips, for you as tenants, that may help make the move to your new home smooth.
What will I receive when I sign my lease?
- A copy of the new tenant checklist from NSW Fair Trading
- A copy of your lease
- 2 copies of the premise’s Condition Report
- A bond lodgement form for you to sign so that your bond can be lodged with NSW Fair Trading
- Keys to your new home.
What should I do when I move in?
- Photos are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Take pictures (that are date stamped) of the property, especially areas that are damaged or unclean. Keep these in case the landlord objects to returning your bond at the end of your tenancy.
- Go through the premise’s Condition Report and note whether you agree or not with the agent’s opinion of the property. Add any comments you feel are necessary. Sign the Report and return a copy to Fisk & Nagle within 7 days.
- Keep a copy of your lease, condition report, rent receipts, Rental Bond Number and copies of letters/emails you send or receive in a designated ‘tenancy’ file folder and put it somewhere you can easily find it later.
- Never stop paying your rent, even if the landlord is not complying with their side of the agreement (eg. by failing to do repairs) – you could end up being evicted if you do.
- Keep a diary of your dealings with the landlord or agent – record all the times and dates of conversations, who you spoke with and what they agreed to do. If repairs are needed, put your request in writing to the Fisk & Nagle and keep a copy. This type of evidence is very helpful if a dispute arises which ends up in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
- Comply with the terms of your lease. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without asking the landlord or agent for permission first.
- Consider taking out home contents insurance. It will cover your belongings in case of theft, fires and natural disasters. The landlord’s building insurance, if they have it, will not cover your things.
- If the property has a pool or garden be clear about what the landlord or agent expects you to do to maintain it.
- Be careful with what you sign relating to your tenancy, and don’t let anybody rush you.
- If you are happy in the house and your lease ends, consider asking for the lease to be renewed for another fixed term. This will remove the worry about being unexpectedly asked to leave, and helps to lock in the rent for the next period of time.