Wondering what happens if you miss a rent payment? Should you take out contents insurance? Here are some common questions we receive from tenants.
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.
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.
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.
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.