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A Beginner's Handbook for Renting Your Initial Residence.

Essential requirements prior to renting a property.

Before applying to rent a property, it's crucial to communicate with the property manager to understand the requirements for securing the lease. Many first-time renters worry about not having a rental history, but every renter has started as a first timer. You can strengthen your application by gathering necessary documents beforehand, such as proof of employment and income, employer references, real estate agent references, personal references, photo identification, and recent utility or phone bills. Organizing these documents in advance enables you to apply for properties more efficiently and presents you as a stronger applicant to the property manager.

Rental Property Inspection.

While it might seem obvious, it's crucial to physically visit the property before making any decisions. Relying solely on online images can be deceptive. Attending property inspections can be enjoyable, but it's important to stay focused. Check for any damage, take note of it, and inform the property manager while also documenting it with photos. Ensure the garden is well-maintained, all appliances are functional, and everything matches the description. Visiting the property in person also provides an opportunity to speak with the agent, ask questions, and seek advice on completing the application form.

Contracts, deposits, and assessments: Understanding the Details.

Once you've chosen the property, completed the necessary paperwork, and received approval, several essential documents should be provided to you. These include a copy of the residential tenancy agreement, the bond lodgement form, and the condition report. The condition report must be reviewed, filled out, signed, and returned to the office, with a copy provided for your records. Additionally, you should receive a receipt for the initial rent, lease fees, and bond, along with a photocopy of the keys, remote controls (if applicable), and emergency contact information.

What is a rental tenancy contract?

A residential tenancy agreement, also known as a lease, is a legally binding contract between the tenant and landlord outlining all the necessary details. It includes the names and addresses of the tenant, owner, and property manager (if applicable), start and end dates of the agreement, rent amount, payment schedule, standard terms, special terms, tenancy length and type, bond amount, and any additional conditions or rules. It's important to thoroughly read and understand the agreement before signing, asking questions if needed.

What is a bond?

A bond serves as security for the landlord in case the tenant fails to meet lease terms, and it is separate from rent payments. It may be refunded at the lease's end or used for cleaning or repairs. The bond cannot be used as rent.

What is a condition report?

A condition report details the property's condition before the tenant moves in, including fittings and fixtures. Tenants have a set time to review and note any discrepancies. Both parties should agree on the report's contents, and it's advisable to take photos of the property before moving in for reference.

After you've followed all the necessary procedures, finished the application, submitted the bond, handed in the condition report, and signed the lease, you've officially become a tenant. Congratulations on your new residence!

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