Tips for first-time renters

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If you are embarking on the experience of renting for the first time, there can be excitement around the prospect of the search for your first home. It is important to be organised and aware of what is happening in the market before and during your search.

Make a To-Do List

Before you start searching for your new home, make a list of all the items in a property that are important to you. How many bathrooms will you need? Is a dishwasher important? Would you prefer an internal or shared laundry? Do you need space for a home office?

Think about the area you need and would like to be in and the type of amenities that are on your list of must-haves. Do you need to be close to public transport or close to work?

If you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to make a shortlist of properties in the price range that you can afford.

Make a shortlist and inspect

Once you have a shortlist of properties, reach out to the agent to arrange an inspection, or register if there are times available.

Make sure that you arrive at the inspection on time and greet the agent who will be showing you through and who will collect your details.

Find out from the agent any extras you may need to know about when applying for the property including the format. For example, is it an online application or a hard copy?

Submit your application

Have all the required documents ready to submit and make time to prepare the application after you inspect the property for fast submission.

Ensure that you have references completed and have contacted those references in advance so that they are aware they may receive an email and phone call.
If an agent has to follow you up for documents, then it can slow down processing while they wait for you to put through what is needed.

Approval and Lease Signing

If you are approved for a property, the agent will ask you to pay a holding deposit equal to one week’s rent which will be allocated to your first week’s rent.
You will be asked to sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement, which is a contract between the Owner, Agent and the Tenant with terms and conditions relating to the tenancy.

A bond of 4 weeks’ rent will also need to be paid, which is usually lodged with the relevant statutory body and held until you vacate.

On the day of your move-in, you will be able to collect keys for the property and receive a condition report to complete which will detail the current condition and inclusions of the property.

It is important that you look through, understand, complete and return this document within the time frame as this will be referred to when you vacate and can determine any claims over your bond.

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