Follow these useful tips to help avoid problems while you are renting:
- Photos are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Take pictures (that are date stamped) of the property, especially areas that are damaged or unclean. It is a good idea to give a copy to the landlord or agent as well. Keep these photos to refer to in case the landlord objects to returning your bond at the end of your tenancy.
- Keep a copy of your lease, condition report, rent receipts, Rental Bond Number and copies of letters/emails you send or receive in a designated ‘tenancy’ file folder and put it somewhere you can easily find it later.
- Never stop paying your rent, even if the landlord is not complying with their side of the agreement (eg. by failing to do repairs) – you could end up being evicted if you do.
- If repairs are needed, put your request in writing to the landlord or agent and keep a copy.
- Comply with the terms of your lease. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without asking the landlord or agent for permission first.
- Consider taking out home contents insurance. It will cover your belongings in case of theft, fires and natural disasters. The landlord’s building insurance, if they have it, will not cover your things.
- If the property has a pool or garden be clear about what the landlord or agent expects you to do to maintain it.
- If you are happy in the place and your lease ends, consider asking for the lease to be renewed for another fixed term. This will remove the worry about being unexpectedly asked to leave, and helps to lock in the rent for the next period of time.