First Steps To Starting a Tenancy

June 3rd, 2015

Tenants, owners, property managers all come from different backgrounds and from all walks of life. Whether you are a property manager, a tenant, or a landlord, you all have needs, rights and responsibilities.

  • Needs – for tenants these could be to have access to shops, sports facilities, school and to be well-connected to public transport
  • Rights – right to privacy, right to have your rent paid on time, right to have the repairs done;
  • Responsibilities – to clean and maintain your rented property, to be respectful to neighbours, to pay taxes, rent, etc.

The key to a successful tenancy relationship is to know where you stand on your needs, rights and responsibilities at any given time. Identify your needs, stand up for your rights and take your responsibilities seriously. Knowing what to do in different situations will help your tenancy run smoothly.

Before The Tenancy Starts

Property owners and managers need to clean and inspect the property to make sure it meets all the health and safety standards. Insuring some of the most expensive pieces of furniture is desirable too.

Tenants should always view the property before they sign a contract or pay. There are technicalities in each contract and in order to give an informed consent, tenants must have seen the property at least once. In the contract, there are terms and conditions, rights and responsibilities listed like whether you can have a pet, or when is your rent due. Keep your copy safe as you may need to refer to it later.

Landlords should always request for a rental bond. In return it is the landlord’s responsibility to include an entry condition report. It is a report describing the state of the property when the tenant moves in. The report should accurately describe the condition of the property. As a tenant, you have to voice any disagreement with the report. This can have an impact later when the same report is referred to at the end of your lease. If the report says the chair is in like-new condition, but you see cracks and stains make sure you point that, as later these cracks and stains may literally be used against you. It is a good idea to take pictures.

At the end of their lease tenants should organise a professional and thorough end of lease cleaning to make sure they return the property to its owner in the same condition they found it.

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