Useful Tips for Landlords

How do you advertise my property?

Our office advertises on various websites, the main two being realestate.com.au and domain.com.au – this is where 95% of our enquiries come from. We also have a huge database of prospective renter that are contacted as soon as a new rental property is listed. We will also install a For Lease board at the front of the property, unless Owners Corporation rules prohibit these boards. Our office is very up to date with new technology and as such we utilities the Inspect Real Estate program, this allows a prospective renter to register their interest and book an inspection time automatically 24 hours a day, not just when our office is open.

What is a property condition report?

This is a report that is compiled at the commencement of a rental agreement prior to your renter moving into the property. This report outlines the condition of the property at the commencement of the rental agreement and is used when the renter vacates to ensure that the property is left in the same condition. This is the last inspection carried out as soon as possible after the end of a rental agreement when the renters have returned their keys. The Property Condition Report is used at this inspection and each item is checked off to make certain that the property is in the same condition as when the tenant took possession, taking into consideration fair wear and tear. It is at this inspection that any items that need to be rectified by the tenant are identified. As of the 29th March 2021, gas, electrical and smoke alarm checks are now mandatory and the dates of the last inspection must be included on the ingoing condition report.

How often will you inspect my property?

Legally we can only inspect the property twice a year, the first inspection can be completed after the first 3 months of the rental agreement and then every 6 months to follow. These inspections are carried out accurately & on time. A report along with photos will be provided to you, we will also advise of any maintenance issues that the renter may have reported.

When does the rent money get paid into my account?

Rent is sent out Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Usually, it just takes a couple of days to get the rent into your account. However, if you have a mortgage payment coming out of your account -we advise this date should be set at least a week after the renters due date- just to ensure the money will be there & you won’t be hit with any penalty fees by your financial institution.

What happens when a tenant stops paying rent?

When a renter falls behind in their rental payments our office will always try and chase up these arrears. However until the renter gets to 14 days late, all we can do is try and call, text and email them to ask them to pay. On the 15th day a Notice to Vacate can be served but if the renter pays the rent before the termination date, there is nothing we can do. This is allowed to happen 4 times within a 12 month period. On the 5th occasion of rent more than 14 days in arrears, the renter can be served a Notice to Vacate and irrespective if they pay this time, a VCAT  application can be made for possession of the property.

What are the new ‘minimum standards’ and when do safety checks need to be performed?

Maintaining Properties

The new RTAA has a greater responsibility for the Rental Provider to maintain the property in good repair and in a suitable state to live in. It does not have to be perfect but everything in the property has to be in working order.  This requirement is designed to prevent Rental Providers from not carrying out repairs where the property is an older property and the Renter is on a low rent.

Electrical Safety Checks

The rental provider must ensure an electrical safety check of all electrical installations, fittings and appliances provided by a rental provider in the rental premises is conducted every 2 Years by a licensed electrician and must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check on request of the renter.
 
If an electrical safety check of the rented premises has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as possible.

Gas Safety Checks

This safety-related activity only applies if the rented premises contain any appliances, fixtures or fittings which use or supply gas.

The rental provider must ensure that a gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings in the rented premises is conducted every 2 years by a licensed or registered gasfitter and must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check on request of the renter.

If a gas safety check has not been conducted with the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange a gas safety check as soon as practicable.

Smoke Alarm Safety Checks

The RRP must ensure that:

  • Any smoke alarm is correctly installed and in working condition
  • Any smoke alarm is tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once every 12 months
  • The batteries in each smoke alarm are replaced as required
  • Inspection by a qualified tradesperson
  • Smoke Alarms are now considered an urgent repair

Pool Barriers

The RRP must ensure that:

  • The pool fence is maintained in good repair
  • The fence is attended to as an urgent repair when notified it is not in working order

The renter must:

  • Immediately advise the RRP in writing if the pool fence is not in working order
  • Not erect a relocatable pool on the rented premises unless prior written notice has been given

Bushfire-Prone Area Safety

The RRP must ensure that:

  • If the property is in a bushfire-prone area, a water tank and connected infrastructure is in good repair
  • The water tank must be full and clean at the commencement of the tenancy agreement

Note: This only applies if the rented premises is in a bushfire-prone area

Locks

The RRP must ensure that:

  • All external doors able to be secured with a functioning deadlock (excluding screen doors) are secured with a functioning deadlock
  • Must not unreasonably refuse consent to the renter changing locks

The renter must:

  • Obtain consent to change a lock in the master key system from the rental provider

The rental provider must not:

  • Give a key to a person excluded from the premises under a family violence intervention order or safety notice, a recognised non local DVO or a personal safety intervention order

Rental Minimum Standards

The RRP must ensure that on or before the day on which the renter enters into occupation of the rented premises, the premises complies with the prescribed rental minimum standard.
If they do not comply then it is treated as an Urgent Repair.

Toilets
Must be in good working order and connected to a system in a room of intended use or; in a separate structure that is intended to be used as a toilet

Bathroom
Bathroom must be connected to a reasonable supply of hot & cold water and must contain:

  • Washbasin
  • A shower or bath

If there is a shower, the shower head must be either:

  • 3-star rating
  • 1 or 2-star rating if a 3-star shower head cannot be installed or if installed would not operate properly

Kitchen
The following amenities are to be provided in the rented premises:

  • A dedicated area which is intended to be used for cooking and food preparation
  • A sink in good working order that is connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water
  • A stovetop in good working order that has two (2) or more burners

ANY oven present must be in good working order.

Laundry
Any laundry facilities present in the rented premises must be connected to a reasonable supply of hot and cold water.

Other minimum standards

Structural soundness
The rented premises are to be structurally sound and weatherproof.

Mould & dampness
Each room in the rented premises must be free from mould and damp caused by or related to building structure.

Bins
A rubbish and recycling bin are to be supplied for use by the renter and must be either:

  1. Provided by the local council, or
  2. Vermin proof collection bins, not kitchen or other bins

Window coverings
Each window in every room that will likely be used as a bedroom or living area is to be fitted with a curtain or blind that will provide privacy and reasonably blocks light.

Windows
All external windows capable of opening must be able to be set in a closed or open position and must have a functioning latch to secure against external entry. A window lock or bolt will suffice.

Lighting
Interior habitable rooms, corridors and hallways to have access to light, whether natural or artificial providing appropriate illuminance for their purpose. Each habitable room is to have access to:

  • Natural light - including borrowed light from an adjoining room during daylight hours
  • Artificial light during non-daylight hours

Conditional exemption for registered place.

Electrical
(Don't confuse the below with the requirement for electrical safety check. This applies from 29th March 2023.)

  • All power and lighting to be connected to a circuit breaker & a switchboard type Residual Current Device (RCD)
  • Switchboard type Circuit Breaker that complies with AS/NSZ 3000 Standards

RCD - protects the person
Circuit Breaker - protects the wiring around the home

Heating
On and from 29 March 2021 until 28 March 2023:

  • A fixed (non-portable) heater in good working order is to be in the main-living area of the rented premesis
  • If a fixed heater has not been installed by 29 March 2021, an energy efficient heater in good working order is to be installed in the main living area

On and from 29 March 2023:

  • An energy efficient fixed heater in good working order is to be installed in the main living area

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