Maintenance During a Tenancy
A tenant is responsible for looking after the property and keeping it and any inclusions (like the oven), clean. The lessor/agent is responsible for ensuring the property is fit to live in and in a good state of repair. They must also make sure it complies with any health and safety laws.
The lessor/agent generally carries out any repairs or organises someone. You should not carry out repairs without written consent. When entering the property to fix the property the lessor/agent must comply with the appropriate entry notice period (24 hours).
If you or your guests damage the property, you may have to pay for the repairs.
When reporting maintenance it is important to describe in as much detail as possible the problem and when the lessor/agent are asking you to check certain items eg. Safety switch, please ensure that the items are checked to avoid unnecessary costs. If a tradesperson is called out and there is no fault found with the property and it is an appliance eg, toaster throwing out the power, the tenant is responsible for the tradesman’s fee.
In an emergency
If the lessor/agent or nominated repairer listed on page 2 of your agreement can not be contacted, you can arrange for a qualified person to carry out emergency repairs, to a maximum value of 2 weeks rent. It is important to check what is meant by an emergency repair or you may have to pay the bill yourself.
During a tenancy it is always best practice to keep in contact with the lessor/agent regarding any items you are concerned with so that they can be looked into. You do not need to wait for a routine inspection to bring maintenance items to their attention.
When Moving Into a Property OR Moving Out of a Property
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A PROPERTY INSPECTION
If you’re renting a property, chances are you are faced with fairly regular property inspections by either your landlord or property manager. Sure, these inspections can sometimes be a hassle, but there are steps you can take to minimise the stress on you and make sure the inspection goes smoothly.
Let your property manager know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend the inspection
Your property manager will do their best to visit at a time that will suit you (generally between 8am and 6pm), but in the event you can’t attend it’s best to let the property manager know early so alternative arrangements can be made, such as agreeing to have the property inspected while you’re away or at a more convenient time.
Make sure the home is clean and tidy
Usual wear and tear is expected during a routine inspection, and is largely out of your control, but keeping the home clean and tidy will ensure a positive property report, will make it easier to properly inspect the home and will show your property manager that you are respecting the property. That being said, no one expects the home to look like a display house, and your property manager does understand this is your home.
Make sure you report any maintenance issues or accidental damage
Reporting maintenance issues as soon as they occur will help your property manager to attend to them as soon as possible. Accidental damage too should be reported early on so it can be fixed, especially if it causes a health and safety issue. If the damage is something that you will need to fix, your property manager will issue you with a Notice to Remedy, generally giving you until the next inspection to complete.
Note: you don't need to wait until a property inspection to report maintenance issues -- the sooner your property manager knows about them, the sooner they can be resolved.
Take the opportunity to bring up requests or general concerns
If you’re unable to attend the inspection, take the time to send your property manager a quick email beforehand of what you would like to discuss. If you wanted to discuss the possibility of a pet for example, or the addition of an air conditioner, let the property manager know so they can bring this up with the landlord when reporting back.
At the end of the day, your property manager understands that this is where you live, and doesn’t expect perfection. Having a good relationship with your property manager will go a long way to having a happy tenancy and will ensure they act as an advocate on your behalf as well. Keep the lines of communication open.
Moving into a Rental Property
We have found over time that one of areas which problems could arise is how the property is handed back to the agent compared to how it was at the commencement of the tenancy.
When signing up for a rental property and receiving copies of paperwork, it is important that you check through the Entry Condition Report provided and return it to our office within 3 working days, fully signed. This Entry Condition Report is a thorough report on the condition of the property and it is what is used when you do move out for any damage or cleaning needed.
It is important to note on the Entry Condition Report any points which have not been made by our office eg, dirty window tracks or dints or scratches on walls. By checking the Entry Condition Report yourself and then signing and returning it to our office we are all in agreement as to how the property was presented to you at the commencement of the lease and this is how it should be handed back to the agents at the end of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted.
We strive to continue a lasting relationship with tenants of our properties and hope that by alleviating any misunderstanding at the commencement of the tenancy that the moving out process is also stress free.
So move in, unpack and relax and enjoy your new home.
Getting Your Bond Back
You get your bond back at the end of the tenancy as long as no money is owed to the lessor/agent for rent, damages or other costs.
Once the keys to the property are handed to our office we inspect the property at our earliest opportunity and report back to you on the vacating inspection. If there is anything further required at the rental property eg cleaning or pest control we will liaise with you to either arrange on your behalf, at no extra cost or alternatively we will give you an opportunity to re-attend at the property to make good, bearing in mind that all issues are to be addressed as quickly as possible. If there are any maintenance items which need to be rectified, our office can also arrange these repairs on your behalf.
We strive to finalize bond refunds as quickly as possible so that your money is returned to you.
When vacating the rental property we would recommend all outstanding rent be paid, any carpet cleaning and pest control invoices and receipts be handed over in order to finalize your bond refund.
Our office electronically lodges bond refunds so we will need your up to date bank details for the bond refund to go directly into your account and also your forwarding address for any mail which may come to the previous address.
When choosing a rental property it is important that you consider all other bills that may come with the property eg gas/electricity, phone, water and also if you have other commitments.
Once a property has been chosen and you have applied for the rental property, once accepted you will need to sign a General Tenancy Agreement to secure the property and also pay the bond (equivalent to 4 weeks rent) plus 2 weeks rent in advance. Rent should then be paid again the following week to keep you in advance at all times.
Our office accepts Housing Loans and also Easybond Loans for the payment of the bond.
We offer varied payment options eg direct debit, Centrelink deduction, cash, cheque or eftpos. When paying rent through the bank or electronically it is important that you use your name as reference.
If you are struggling with a rent payment it is important that you contact the agent quickly to discuss arrangements to avoid any notices being issued to you, which would include a Notice to Remedy Breach.
Once a Notice to Remedy Breach has been issued for non payment or late payment of rent, these notices are kept in your file for future rental references.
We are only a phone call away should there be any issues and would like journey of renting your home a stress free one.
Our Service to Landlords
Our Experienced Property Management Team
Landmark Harcourts McCathies offers one of the most experienced Property Management teams in the Burdekin. Our senior property manager, Deanne Lewty, has over 14 years' experience and along with Rose, Sharon, Paula, Alana & Katey, they know what it takes to offer professional property management. Regular training and workshops are attended by all staff as it is extremely important to be up to date with new legislations. Landmark Harcourts McCathies offers stability in the management of your assets.
Residential Property Management
Residential Property Management effectively includes the following:
What are the requirements for safety switches in a rental property?
It is a legal requirement to put safety switches on the power circuits of all rental properties. Homes built after 1992 were required to include a safety switch on all power circuits. Properties built after 2000 were required to have safety switches on all lighting circuits.
It is recommended to have a safety switch on all circuits, even if they are not for power points or lights.
Regular testing maintains reliability. Safety switches can fail if they are inactive for long periods of time.
The lessor has a general duty of care to ensure the property is safe for the tenant.
Recommendations to use the inbuilt test button to test safety switches range from every 3 months to every 6 months.
The recommendation is to have a competent person (licensed electrician) perform an operating time current test, annually.
The expected functional lifetime of a safety switch depends on a range of variable external influences and individual advice should be sought from a licensed electrician about the timing of the replacement of particular safety switches.
Points to remember when looking to make the move
When looking to move into a rental property and considering the amount of rent, it is also important to add in extra costs eg electricity, gas, phone, internet and water charges.
Water charges do not apply in a unit, unless the unit is separately metered. When renting a house the owner will allow a reasonable amount of water to be used, usually up to 750 kl per 12 month period, with any amount used above this sum being the responsibility of the tenant. The Council charge for every kilolitre of water used and these costs can amount to a large sum without being water wise. Any water leaks or dripping taps should be reported to our office for following up.
For the connection of electricity, gas, phone or internet - we are able to assist with the connection of these services through Harcourts Connect. This is a free service and we provide your details, with your permission, to Harcourts Connect and they then contact all the suppliers to arrange for connection on your behalf. The accounts for these services are in your name. This is a great way to save time waiting for operators on the phone and can help alleviate any stress.
Our office also has packing boxes available for purchase.
The 7 potential ways to end a tenancy agreement.
Seven Tax Deductions all investment property owners need to know about
If you are looking for more advice on how to gain the maximum tax benefits from your investment property, I highly recommend consulting with an accountant that specialises in investment property matters. Not only will you put yourself on a solid footing with the ATO, their services are also tax deductible.