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Handing over keys
9 Mar 21


A daunting but equally exciting experience but renting for the first time can be easy!  Let us guide you through this change and next step in life. Searching endless websites and real estate advertising portals is the fun part, making a list of the ‘must haves’ and finding the one. Now that you have found the one, and you are needing to take the next step, be well-prepared and follow our below guide full of useful tips for first time renters.

A large portion of potential tenants in our area are first-time renters. You might think this is a hard category to place yourself in and it will be hard to secure a property without rental history. Just remember 100% of our current renters were first-time renter once.

One hot tip to successfully securing the property you desire is to be organised! Submitting your application early, have all your finances in order, references at the ready and you might just find you will have one of the best chances at the property over other disorganised potential tenants.
HOT TIP: you might not pay rent, but do you pay board or put a portion of your weekly earnings into a savings account?  If you are looking at securing a rental property in the near future, then set up a payment plan with your bank to take a set amount each week into another account. This proves that these payments can be done by showing payment history and savings in your account. Or if you are paying board - simply provide these payment history reports.

Are you ‘passable’ from someone looking in?

A Landlord and their property manager want to choose a tenant that will treat the home as their own, provide constant rent payments and be on time with payments, and simply comply with the lease. Put yourself in the Landlords shoes, look at what they will see - Do you have a steady job and income? Do you have glowing references form employers and other references?  Do not make the mistake and look too narrowly, think outside of the application. Information is readily available these days and small communities are close nit, look at things like your social media account profiles, presence in the community etc.

Prepare key documents and organise your references.

Who are you? Be prepared as applications ask for many documents and papers. These includes multiple forms of identification, you will need to provide 100 points of ID (e.g. drivers licence/learners permit, birth certificate, passport), financial papers (e.g. payslips, bank records and phone bills).

HOT TIP: Digital copies are best as all applications are submitted online!

References are especially important to have organised before any inspections. Make sure they know that a property manager may call once you have applied and fact check against your application. As you do not have the key rental history/past property manager to add to your reference list, it is so important to choose the right referees.  People like your manager or boss, past employment contacts, external contacts from your immediate friends and family.  Ensure you include an email address for your referees.

HOT TIP: A cover letter of your ‘story’ will go a long way if you can take the time to write up something, a few sentences of your situation and the decision to become a first-time renter.

Follow up afterwards.

With everything moving online, more than likely you will get regular systematic updates on your application. Once you have submitted your application, it could be a polite gesture to place a follow up email with the agent, a brief thanks, let them know you are interested and if they need further documentation to reach out. Be careful not to be too pushy or impatient, just to the point and clear you are interested.

Then what you ask? – Well hopefully you are accepted!

The gain of further independence and excitement of your application being approved is not the final step.  It is important to stay focused on your application as looking over the proposed lease is a very crucial step. This is a legally binding contract between you and your landlord, and we recommend you read the entire document and understand its contents to insure it is all correct and you know your rights and responsibilities.

Your first payment of rent and what is a bond?

Once signing of your new lease is complete it is also time to pay your first months rent and a bond. The Bond is a refundable deposit that serves as security for the landlord. In an event that you do not meet the terms of your lease the bond is used for shortfalls or repairs. If the bond does not need to be used during your lease term it is then refunded to yourself after you vacate the property. Also, be known that the bond and rent are separate payments, and you cannot use any part of the bond as rent at the end of your tenancy.

Now can we move in?

Yes! But it is not all enjoyment just yet, you will still need to complete the condition report. Before you take possession of the property the property manager will attend the property and complete a condition report. The report is as important to you as the landlord. Providing detailed descriptions and images of the general condition at the property and listing all included fittings and fixtures. This will then provide a guide if you say caused any damage, made any alterations, or removed items that are fixtures at the property when your lease has expired. It is you job to carefully check the condition report and feel comfortable that it includes all existing damage or issues with the property. You are always encouraged to add anything into the notes or image sections to provide as a record of the property’s original condition.

Inspections are just routine.

They are periodic, usually the first is at 3 months and then 6 monthly thereafter.  These are conducted to ensure the property is well cared for and your lease is not breached.

Finally, now that is all the paperwork and legalities are sorted it’s time to enjoy! Understanding all this information will just make your process more streamlined, fast track your application and help you in becoming confident with your lease.

Make the property your own with your decorating and furniture, that is the fun part and enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own enquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.

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