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My Tips on avoiding Renters Remorse

See tenants, once you’ve found a place you like or even love in an ideal world, there are checks and balances you need to carry out to make sure that the property you’re about to secure is workable, doable, and practical. So this is essentially a practical blog and I’ve written it because we have so many new tenants in the market this year that haven’t rented before. We have Uni students, Uni graduates, migrants/new arrivals, and people moving out of their parent’s homes and I’m here to educate those in not only setting up their home but real practical steps which will hopefully save you money, time, and stress!

There are levels in this process so I’ll break them down from the initial rental search right up until the moving day.

The Online Search

Get on the apps

Sydneysiders, I’d be on Realestate.com.au & Domain.com.au or their dedicated apps. We at The Management Agency list our rental properties on both but not all agents do. Set up alerts for new listings based on your search criteria.

Don’t Judge

Ok, some properties you can judge by the photos, but sometimes it’s just shocking photography that’s letting a place down or photos that haven’t been updated in years. Check if there’s a 3D Virtual Tour or Floorplan on the ad as these help a lot.

Filters are your friends

Filter as much as you can in your online search, if you’re inspecting on a weekend then you must prioritise and refine your list of properties that you want to inspect. Sure, there are compromises but if it’s way over budget or you’re really unsure, don’t miss out on other viewings because of it.

Physical Viewings

Mid-Week less Mayhem

If an agent has a mid-week time listed then I’d try to make that if you can. Fewer people through a property inspection will generally equate to less competition and it could likely be the first inspection & opportunity to view it. In the market that has been 2023, the first open house has typically been the only one. Most agents aren’t able to offer one on one appointments especially when a property is still occupied so getting to the available open homes is kind of a must.

Interested? Now do these checks:

Does the Property have NBN? You can check that here.

Can you get Parking Permits? Check with the respective Council. Or here for the City of Sydney.

Other Admin:

  • Does the property availability date match up closely with your availability to move
  • If it’s an apartment then the agent or landlord should advise if it is part of an Embedded Network, this means you are limited to using a pre-determined electricity or gas provider. On that note, be sure to check if you’ll need gas as well as electricity connections. The agent showing the Property should know this

Questions? Ask the Agent at the inspection or submit an enquiry for things like;

  • Preferred Lease Term
  • Gas or Electricity, or Both (have a look at the stove top, usually a telling sign)
  • Check the size of the fridge space, and TV & Internet connection point locations
  • Property Condition; Unless stated otherwise properties are “as is”

Application Time

It’s 2023, it’s going to be an online application form.

Don’t try to do it on your phone unless you have all of your supporting documents saved there. A laptop or desktop is best.

My tips here are:

  • Put YOUR available move-in date on the form
  • Have all applicants apply within the same day or two max.
  • Attach documents you are prompted to; you can redact any info you don’t wish to leave available
  • Extra documents you might want to seek are, Rental Ledgers for past rentals, pay slips, work contract, or previous lease agreements
  • Use the notes section to write a spiel about yourself or any requests you’d like to make, a cover letter isn’t really needed
  • Allow 1-2 business days to hear back, I’d be following up late on the 2nd day for sure

When you get approved! (Well done)

A deposit will be requested and with that, you should read the terms of your approval and any next steps outlined and then pay the deposit ASAP. That not only locks in your approval but other applicants that were shortlisted can be advised of the outcome and move on with their search. You should seek or receive a receipt for your deposit when it is receipted.

Here are some other things you need to know

Between paying the deposit and moving in a couple of things will happen.

  1. The Lease & Condition Report should be sent to you at the same time to review. The Lease is to sign and the Condition Report is for you to complete within 7 days of moving in. Prior to signing, read the lease in detail and ask questions before signing.
  2. The bond payment link will come from Rental Bonds Online, be sure to pay that well ahead of your move-in date. At least 2 days prior so the payment clears. You’ll be prompted to set up a Rental Bonds Online account where one of the tenants will be listed as the Principal Tenant.
  3. Arrange your internet, electricity & if applicable, gas connections for your move-in date.

You’ve moved in!

My parting piece of advice is, within 7 days of your lease commencement go through and complete your condition report and send it back to the agent or landlord. If you don’t then their version of the report is the agreed condition of the property at the commencement of your tenancy and taken into account at the end of the tenancy so really the importance of this is having your say in documenting how the property was handed to you. The report contains instructions on how to complete it and if it’s past 7 days the agent or owner do not have to accept it.

I really hope that this Blog has been useful, there are a lot of things that tenants come across in the process that they weren’t aware of so hopefully I’ve helped to impart some wisdom and make that process a little bit easier.

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– Antonio

Director & Property Manager