Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions about renting.
We will organise a “sign up” appointment, where all approved applicants need to be available to sign the lease agreement. The first month’s rent must be paid within 48 hours to secure the property, or we may offer the lease to the next suitable applicant.
The first month’s rent must be paid by Bank Cheque or Money Order which must be made out to ‘Home Run Realty’ and paid to us at your “sign up” appointment.
We also prefer that you pay your bond at this appointment, however in some special circumstances this can be arranged to occur on the day you collect your keys. The bond must be paid by Bank Cheque or Money Order made out to “RTBA” stands for Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.
Usually utilities are not included in your rental amount. You are responsible for paying your rent and all outgoing utilities when you lease a rental property including any connection fees. It is also your responsibility as the resident to connect your utilities, including water, gas, electricity and any other you may require at your cost. A small number of rental properties do have outgoings included however this will be spelt out in the marketing.
In line with Consumer Affairs Victoria, monthly rent is calculated as follows:
The weekly rental amount is divided by 7 to determine the daily rental rate, then multiplied by 365 (days per year) to determine the yearly rate and finally divided by 12 to determine the monthly rental amount.
For example, a property is advertised as $400 per week, ($400 divided by 7) is $57.14 for the daily rate. The yearly rate ($57.14 x 365 days per year) is then $20,856.10, and the monthly rate ($20,856.10 divided by 12) makes the monthly rent $1,738.00.
Your lease will outline that you are not allowed to puncture any walls without permission. If there are no existing hooks and you decide that you want to hang things on the walls, you need to seek permission from the landlord before doing so. This can be done by emailing your property manager your request including which rooms and how many hooks you are planning to put up. The owner is not legally required to allow you to alter their property in this way and it can be viewed as damage to the property, which means that when your lease ends you will be required to re-instate the walls to the condition they were at the beginning of your lease.
If you go ahead and put up picture hooks without permission, prior to vacating you are required to remove the hook, patch the hole, sand and paint the whole wall to a professional standard. If we deem the standard is not to a professional standard, we will arrange this on your behalf and you will be expected to pay the invoice.
PLEASE NOTE: Although temporary (adhesive) picture hooks are marketed as easy to remove, they can and often damage paint work when removed. If damage to the walls occurs, it will be at your cost to have them repaired and this can be very costly.
At the beginning of your tenancy, you signed a “Direct Debit” authority form which explains how rent can automatically be deducted from your nominated bank account each month. Your rent is due calendar monthly in advance and must reach us on or before the due date. If at any time you are unable to make a rental payment, we ask you notify us promptly. If the direct debit is dishonoured due to insufficient funds, you will be charged a dishonoured bank fee and it may also lead to you being considered as in ‘arrears’.
As agreed in your lease agreement, your rent is due on a particular day each month. If your rent is not paid by this day, you are considered to be ‘in arrears’. This is a serious matter and means you are breaking the terms of your lease agreement. Not only are you causing financial hardship for your landlord, you are also establishing a negative rental history for yourself which could impact on your future rental reference. Once you are ‘in arrears’, you will be sent correspondence from your property manager daily. These may include but are not limited to; phone calls, text messages, emails and letters.
In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, if you allow your rent to reach 14 days in arrears your property manager will serve you with a ‘Notice to Vacate’.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but honesty is the best policy. Notify your property manager immediately as soon as you find yourself in genuine financial difficulty. Your property manager may be able to negotiate a payment plan for a specified term that will benefit everyone involved. The most important thing is that you keep close communication with your property manager.
In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, the first inspection takes place 3 months after your lease commences and 6 monthly thereafter. The purpose of routine inspection is to ensure the property is well cared for and to check if there are any maintenance or health and safety issues. Adequate notice will be given to you prior to each inspection. Ensure you have a written list of maintenance issues that you would like assessed or fixed. The property manager will report this to your landlord. This list can be left on the kitchen bench if you are unable to be present for the inspection. If you have large pet(s), you need to ensure it is secured for the inspection.
In order to relay to the landlord that you are maintaining the property, we will take photos of each area of the home and highlight any areas of concern i.e. maintenance etc. These photos are confidential and are for the eyes of the landlord and the staff members of Home Run Realty. Ultimately, the landlord is entitled to see the condition of the property interior and exterior and these will never be used for advertising.
In a rental property, only the Lessee(s) listed on the lease agreement and any children originally listed on your approved application. If, however you are planning to have friends or family stay at the property with you (for more than one night), please notify your property manager and provide certified photo ID for each person. Although this may seem invasive, but it is deemed necessary. If something does go wrong say a fire at the property, we will be well informed when notifying the relevant authorities.
Should there be a point in time any of your friend or family wishes to move into the property on a more permanent basis, you are required to notify your property manager. He/she will need to put in an application for the landlord’s approval. You may also need to do what is called a ‘Tenant Transfer’ which your property manager will explain.
Getting your hands in the soil is good for the soul. Arrangements about the maintenance of gardens, including fruit trees, and lawns should be specified in the tenancy agreement. The condition of the lawns and gardens are recorded on the Ingoing Condition Report (issued to you when you moved in). Should the garden be neglected during your tenancy, you are required to reinstate to its original condition.
Major work such as tree lopping or pruning huge tree branches etc is usually carried out by the property manager/landlord as part of the obligation to keep the property in good repair. This type of work is not carried out regularly and is more likely to require specialist knowledge, or equipment such as ladders and chicaneries. You are responsible to clear away small and manageable branches in a timely manner.
If you wish to plant additional plants in the gardens, please notify your property manager in writing detailing the type of plants and where you wish to plant them. This will be subject to the landlord’s approval.
In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, you will be provided with at least one set of keys/remotes for the property at the beginning of your lease. You are permitted to make copies of these keys at your own expense, however you are expected to return the original and ALL the additional copies to Home Run Realty upon your vacate.
If you wish to have additional master key, remote or swipe, please send your request in writing to your property manager. There will a cost associated as the order will be put through to the relevant supplier.
Should you decide to acquire a pet during your tenancy, you must seek permission from your property manager in writing; this include the breed, age, sex and size of the animal. A pet agreement will be drawn up upon approval. Should your request get denied and you have gone ahead to obtain one regardless, this will be in breach of your lease agreement and there will be repercussions.
The landlord can sell their property during your tenancy even if you have a fixed term tenancy agreement. Just because the owner is selling, it doesn’t mean that you must move out of the property. Your lease agreement remains valid once the property changes hands. When a new owner takes on a property, they take on the existing lease agreement with it.
If they no longer wish to rent the property to you, a 60 day Notice to Vacate will be issued so you will at least have a little bit of time before you have to start looking for somewhere else to live.
The owner of the property has the right to move into the property, however they cannot ask you to vacate the property before the tenancy agreement ends. For example, an immediate family member of the landlord wants to move into the property, a minimum notice of 60 days notice is required to be given to you to vacate. For more information, please feel free contact us.
If you plan to make any renovation, alteration or addition to the premises such as wall hooks, painting, change curtains, light fittings, changing locks, replacement of plants, addition of garden beds, garden sheds, security screens, ,mounting a flat screen TV on the wall, TV antennas or add any extra points such Foxtel or NBN, you must advise us in writing prior to acting on the above.
It is the resident’s legal responsibility as per their lease agreement to report any issues with the property as soon as they become aware as this is important not just for the residents to avoid disruptions to their everyday living but also for the landlord’s insurance policy as this can become null and void should any claims be required and the correct procedure has not been followed.
You paid your first month’s rent when you signed your lease. As outlined in your lease agreement, you are required to pay your rent one calendar month in advance. Rent must be paid up to and including your final vacate date.
Ensure that you have left the property in a clean and tidy condition and as per the requirements of your Tenancy Agreement. This generally means that there should be no rubbish lying around with the gardens and lawns neat. Internally the walls, doors, windows and ledges, kitchen and bathroom should be clean, and carpets commercially cleaned.
- Damage: If you have caused any damage you need to have this repaired at your cost, to a good standard. For any outstanding damage and it has not been repaired by you, an application may be made to VCAT for the bond to cover the cost of repairs. In some cases, damages may be awarded against a tenant in excess of the bond held.
- Rent arrears: Ensure there is no overdue rent owing.
- Bond inspection and refund: Your property manager will carry out an exit inspection. This will be done soon after you have vacated the property and the keys have been returned. If the inspection is satisfactory, your property manager will complete the necessary documentation and send off the Bond Claim form so you can receive a bond refund.
Your bond is held in trust by Residential Tenancies Bond Authority Bond (RTBA). Under legislation, it is illegal to refuse to pay rent on the grounds that the landlord can use the bond as rent.