Wondering what happens if you miss a rent payment? Should you take out contents insurance? Here are some common questions we receive from tenants.
It's important to report any damage to your landlord or property manager as soon as possible. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, you may be liable for repairs or replacement costs. Our Rental Property Damage Guide provides detailed information on what to do in the event of accidental damage, as well as tips for preventing damage in the first place.
Mistakes happen! We understand that. So long as you rectify any missed payments in a timely manner, and it doesn't become a regular occurrence we won't take things further.
If you fail to pay rent on time, our system will register it as an 'arrears'. We will notify you immediately if a payment isn't received and work with you to rectify the issue and prevent it from happening again. However, if you fail to rectify missed rent payments or it becomes an ongoing issue, we will commence formal Tenancy Tribunal action.
There are several steps you can take to help you stay on top of rent payments and reduce the stress and hassle associated with being behind on rent. Here are our top five tips for paying rent on time.
In most cases, it is your responsibility as a tenant to arrange the connection of utilities to your property. We highly recommend using Fast Connect, a free service for setting up all of your utilities.
For things like power and internet, you'll want to organise connection before you move in - there's no guarantee that power or internet will still be connected from the previous occupants.
There are several steps you can take to maximise your chances of getting your bond back. We recommend reading our Getting Your Bond Back Guide, which covers everything from cleaning and repairs to paperwork and inspections.
At Propertyscouts, we conduct entry, exit, and routine property inspections. We also screen for methamphetamine between most tenancies.
Entry inspections are conducted at the beginning of your tenancy for the purpose of recording the condition of the property as you move in. Exit inspections are conducted as you move out, to check the property is still in the same condition as when you moved in (besides any fair wear and tear).
Routine inspections are conducted one month after your tenancy commences, and then every three months (you will receive at least two week's notice prior to each inspection - except in extraordinary circumstances). We use an iPad or smartphone to take photographs and record notes to send to the owner in a report. The purpose of routine inspections is to check you are taking good care of the property and spot any maintenance issues you might not have picked up on. You do not have to be home for a routine inspection, but you are welcome to be. If you are not home, we will use our keys for access and leave a note advising you of the date and time the inspection was carried out as well as a few other details.
As a tenant, you are responsible for keeping your rental property reasonably clean and tidy, this includes undertaking some maintenance work yourself. Here are some examples of maintenance that falls under your care:
Lawns & gardens: In most cases, lawns and gardens are your responsibility (note: you are not responsible for trimming large hedges or pruning trees). Sometimes lawn and garden maintenance will be covered by the landlord, this will be specified in your tenancy agreement or could be negotiated prior to commencing the tenancy. Propertyscouts can also arrange lawn mowing and gardening on your behalf for a monthly price.
Lightbulbs: Unless specialty bulbs are installed in your home or access is difficult, you are responsible for changing light bulbs.
Smoke alarms: All smoke alarms will be checked and in working order when your tenancy commences. After that, it is your responsibility to ensure they remain in working order during the term of your tenancy. Please let your property manager know if a smoke alarm becomes non-operational during your tenancy.
Drains: Keep drains free from objects and material that could cause blockages (e.g. long hair that gets stuck in shower drains or rice flushed down the kitchen sink).
Cleaning heat pump filters: Cleaning your heat pump filters keeps it running more efficiently which saves on power. It's easy to clean heat pump filters with a vacuum cleaner.
Yes! At Propertyscouts, we understand that property management is a 24/7 job. Serious maintenance issues can't wait until morning - if left unattended they can cause irreparable damage. Our phones are monitored 24/7, 365 days a year to ensure we are reachable by our tenants in case of emergency.
Fair wear and tear refers to the natural deterioration that occurs in a rental property over time, as a result of normal use and ageing. It's important to understand the difference between fair wear and tear and damage, as tenants are generally not responsible for fair wear and tear. Our Rental Property Damage Guide provides examples of fair wear and tear and other types of rental property damage.
There are two reasons we strongly suggest tenants take out contents insurance:
- The property owner's insurance does not cover your possessions.
- The property owner might not be insured.
You might end up being held liable for damage you or a guest causes to the property. Even if an owner has comprehensive insurance, their insurance company might seek compensation from you for any costs incurred in repairing damage.
Contents insurance doesn't just cover damage or loss of your own possessions, it also covers damage to someone else's property too and can protect you from ending up in huge amounts of debt should you be held liable for any damage (please double check your insurance policy as cover may vary).
To apply for a rental property, check out the available listings in your area and apply online.
We understand that sometimes your circumstances are beyond your control. If you know you won’t be able to pay your rent on time, get in touch with your property manager and give them a heads-up! Don't wait until you are behind on rent to make contact.
Property managers are human too. We can be empathetic and accommodating if you get in touch early. Doing so gives us more time to discuss your situation, and we may be able to come up with an arrangement that will reduce stress for everyone.
At Propertyscouts, we don’t just care about landlords, we care about tenants too. If, at any stage of your tenancy, things aren't going to plan, please get in touch. Little issues like unpaid rent, for example, can very quickly escalate and we’d rather work with you than against you! We always strive to be efficient, treat you fairly and honestly, and be as helpful to you as possible.
Propertyscouts offers a lease assignment process for situations like this. If we agree to a lease assignment, you'll receive an electronic form to sign online. This form includes information about our services and fees for this process (please note that we will not be able to action your request until we have received the signed form).
Once we have received the signed form, we'll begin looking for a suitable tenant to take over your lease. You'll remain responsible for all aspects of the lease (such as rent and garden maintenance) until we find a satisfactory tenant to replace you. We won't sign a new tenancy agreement until you've paid our final lease assignment charges in full.
We understand how challenging the market can be and pet-friendly rentals can be extremely hard to come by. Thankfully many landlords are coming around and we’re seeing more and more pet-friendly rental properties hitting the market.
- Be honest and upfront about your situation when enquiring about a pet-friendly rental
- Provide as much, relevant, detail as possible about your pet in your application
- Include a pet CV with photos and references
- Be realistic about the properties you're applying for and ensure that they are suitable for your pet's size and energy level.
- If your specific situation means a smaller property will be suitable regardless of the size or energy level of your pet, it doesn't hurt to apply, but be sure to explain why the property is a good fit for your needs.