1.Before Signing Your Tenancy Agreement, Make Sure You Do These:
After a rigorous background check, including financial, employment and past rental records, your tenancy application is finally approved!
Since each state and territories might set out the act and the regulations differently in a standard residential tenancy agreement, make sure you spare some time to read through the tenancy agreement carefully before signing it.
Special terms specific to the property
As a tenant, you might want to pay attention to the special terms (if there is any) to avoid surprises. For instance, pets are allowed but must be kept outdoor, no smoking or water bill charges are applicable.
Don’t be shy when you have questions regarding the agreement, seek for clarifications from your property manager or the landlord to ensure you understand the terms.
2. Setting up utilities and services for your new address
Once you start packing, you can easily get lost into the process and miss the important setups for your new place.
Once you signed your tenancy agreement, we’d strongly recommend you to contact your services provider as soon as possible as it usually takes a few days or a week for your services to get connected.
Electricity & Gas
Make sure you open a new account or notify the change of address with your energy retailer 7 days prior to the day you move in.
Depending on your new place, if it requires both electricity and gas, make sure you open both accounts.
Most of the time, water has already been connected to your rental property, as it’s part of the essential services your landlord ought to supply.
Telephone & Internet
If you have subscribed for a monthly prepaid Internet services, make sure you give at least 1-month notice to your Internet services provider to terminate or relocate your service.
Otherwise, you might be liable to pay for the Internet charges for two locations within a month, which we’re quite sure you don’t want to be charged twice.
3. Pre-arrange a Council pickup for bulky goods
When you are getting heavily immersed into the packing process, you will start to discover there are some household items you would want to dispose rather than bringing them with you to your new place.
For bulky household items, furnitures, mattresses and whitegoods, it can be a real headache to looking for a place to dispose them.
Luckily in NSW, bulk items can be disposed of or recycled via Council’s bulky goods clean up collections. Each household is entitled to book one or two free collections with your Council which looks after your suburb.
The Council usually has a list of acceptable or unacceptable items listed on their website and you will need to fill out an online form to make a booking. Make sure you read through the instructions on the website and pre-arrange the booking at least 7 days in advance.
Labelling your items
Lastly, if you have scheduled a clean-up collection, make sure you label all the items as “For Clean Up”. Some councils will require you to include your address and booking reference number as well.
No labels could be constituted to illegal dumping and anyone caught can be fined up to $4000 on the spot.
4. Filing out your Property Condition Report
What is a Property Condition Report?
When you first move into your rented premises, you should be given a property condition report and you’re required to fill it out and return it within 7 days after the commencement of the tenancy agreement. (If you aren’t given a report, remember to ask for one promptly from your agent)
You can find the standard Tenancy Condition reportvia NSW Fair Trading website.
How to fill out your Property Condition report?
The condition report (soft or hard copy) you received usually has already been filled out by the property manager or landlord themselves along with photo attachments.
We usually recommend you fill out the report before having all your furniture moved into the property because having all the furniture and appliances lying around could prevent you from having a good look at the property condition.
Write a detailed report
Most tenants tend to take this task casually, especially after a hectic day of moving house. However, we’d strongly recommend to spare some time to fill out the report properly as it serves as evidence to ensure your bond stays intact when you move out from the property.
The last thing you want is having your property manager or landlord ask for compensation for damages that are already there, but those damages are not being recorded in the property condition report.
Make sure you take clear photos, either with your mobile phone or camera and keep the record safe somewhere in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox), hard drive or pendrive.
Most importantly, make sure you have a copy of the photos of the following items:
- Stains on the wall or carpet (left by previous tenants)
- Peeling paint on the wall or the edges of wall
- Scratch marks on the front door or cupboards
- Damp patches on walls
- Permanent grease stain on the cook top or oven
- Mould on the bathroom ceiling or bathroom tiles
Request A Repair
When you are inspecting every single corner of your new place whilst filling your property condition report, make sure you report any of the repairs required to be carried out in the report.
This includes but not limited to the following items:
- leaky tap or pipe
- malfunctioning oven
- malfunctioning light switches
- broken power points
- broken door handle or deadbolt
- clogged sink
5. Save tradesmen’s phone number in your mobile
Your tenancy agreement usually enclosed preferred tradesmen phone number for you to contact for urgent repairs. These repairs are usually paid by your landlord.
Although in the case of emergencies, any urgent repairs paid by tenants upfront (less than $1000) can be reimbursed by giving a written notice to your landlord or property manager, it’s best to keep these tradesmen mobile number handy to avoid any disputes.
Spare a few minutes saving these phone numbers in your mobile can make your life easier.
- Your property manager
- Hot water repairs
(if your property has a hot water tank, make sure you get the respective tradesman phone number as well, this is usually a separate number from your plumber.)
If you have any doubts or are facing any misleading claims from your agent or landlord, you can always visit the NSW Fair Trading website to understand your rights as a tenant. Visit link below: