Renting Tips

Renting gives you the flexibility to move where you live – if you change jobs, transfer, meet someone special, or simply decide you want a change of environment. When you rent, you’re not locked into a long-term financial commitment the way you might be with buying a house.

Renting a property can be a very exciting time. St Ives Realty offers this advice to help make your renting experience with us a positive one…

Thoroughly research your housing needs with regard to your overall lifestyle pattern and that of any other people you’ll be living with. Work out your budget and exactly what you can pay in rent.

Spend plenty of time looking around the suburb and surrounding areas to ensure it’s where you want to be. The best way to get a feel for a location is to visit and wander around on foot. If you have children, ensure you investigate local schools.

The advantage of renting is that you can move when your tenancy period expires, but don’t think too short term – make sure it’s a suburb you want to live in.

Looking around at rental property options can be a bit of a whistle-stop tour, but if you find somewhere you like, don’t just give it a 10-minute once over. Inspect everything carefully. Ask what is included in the tenancy agreement. Is there enough parking included? What are the showers like? Are the fixtures and fittings in good condition?

These things (and more!) can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment. Make a checklist to take with you when viewing properties you really like.

Once you’ve decided on a rental home, the next step is to submit an application. Please see our Property Application page for more detailed information on the tenancy application process.

If your application is in order, your Property Manager will ring your previous rental agency (if applicable), your employer and your personal reference provided on your application form. They will conduct a thorough reference check on all applicants listed on the form. Once the Property Manager is satisfied that a viable personal history has been established, a recommendation is then made to the property landlord for their consideration.

If the property landlord agrees to your application, you and any other applicants stated on the application form will be asked to attend a meeting with the Property Manager, where you will be presented with a lease agreement.

The lease is a legal document that is binding on both the tenant and the landlord. It specifies the terms and conditions of the agreement and defines roles and responsibilities. Read this document and any others you are given carefully. Once you fully understand the legal agreement you are initiating, you and any other applicants can sign the lease.

At the meeting with your Property Manager, you will be required to pay a tenant bond that is equal to four (4) weeks’ rent. This will be held by St Ives Realty in a trust fund in the event of any damages or repairs to the property that arise during your tenancy that need rectifying.

After deducting the correct amount to cover any damages and repairs, the remainder of the bond is refundable when you vacate the property. Terms for holding and refunding your bond are specified in the lease.

It’s a good idea to remember this bond while you are living in the home. You’ll want to take excellent care of the property, so your bond can be refunded when you leave.

Pets play an important role in many of our lives, so some rental properties are now pet-friendly, giving residents the option of moving pets into their home.

In most cases, you will be charged a small, upfront pet bond and/or a monthly charge to cover extra cleaning and repair costs that may result from having your dog or cat in the property with you. Terms for holding and refunding the pet deposit are detailed in your lease document.

Click here to submit a Pet Application for a St Ives Realty rental property.

Before you move in, it is important to obtain renters’ insurance. This is a special insurance policy to protect the contents of your home from loss or damage due to fire or theft.

This type of policy is very affordable. Premiums are based upon the value of your furniture and other personal possessions.

Remember, any insurance paid for by the property owner only insures the buildings. Protecting the contents of your home is your own responsibility.

Utilities such as gas, electricity, cable TV, internet coverage and your telephone service will all be placed in your name. It is therefore your responsibility to arrange for their connection to your rental home before you move in.

Depending on your credit history, utility and service suppliers may request a refundable deposit. This will also help you to start building a credit history in your own name.

Once you have secured your perfect rental home, completed the paperwork and have a move-in date set, you may need to book a transport/moving company. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations.

Unless you choose to pay for (what is usually a very expensive) packing service, you will be responsible for packing everything yourself. Consider buying bubble wrap and using it to wrap fragile items such as china, glasses or lamps. Liquor stores and supermarkets are a good place to find boxes, or you may decide to purchase new boxes from the moving company or a mailing store.

Your Property Manager will issue you with a Property Maintenance Report for your rental home. Don’t be tempted to skip through this. If you don’t go through everything with a fine-tooth comb, then you are leaving yourself open to potentially bond money being held back when you vacate.

Within the initial days of moving in, take note of any damage or problems you spot and let the Property Manager know. It is preferable to do this in writing via a letter or email, so then you have a copy for your reference. If you have a digital camera, it is a good idea to take a few ‘before’ shots of each room of the house.

You have seven (7) days from your move-in date to provide your Property Manager with a list of any discrepancies you found in the Property Condition Report. After that time, any problems not noted will be deemed as occurring during your tenancy and will be your responsibility to rectify.

Don’t be shy or hesitate to report any issues you find. Having problems fixed at no cost to you is one of the privileges of being a tenant.

The process to follow for any maintenance requests with St Ives Realty is outlined on our Maintenance & Repairs page. A Request form is provided. Do not wait until the problem becomes worse.

For urgent repairs, the following items are deemed an emergency:

  • A break-in which has resulted in a smashed window or glass sliding door, the police must be contacted immediately and the police report to be given to our office the following working day.
  • Faults or physical damage to the property rendering it unsafe or not secure (eg broken locks or windows, gas leaks, serious roof leaks, fire damage, flooding).
  • Emergency electrical problems – where injury to you or the property may occur (not Western Power faults).
  • No running water or severe blocked drains (eg burst water pipes, blocked toilet).
  • Failure of essential services for water, gas or electricity. Please note, no hot water is not considered an emergency problem.

In the event of one of these above emergencies, please contact:

Jeanette Mansey
Property Manager
Email – rentals@stivesrealty.com.au
Office Hours – 1300 20 20 01
After Hours – 0419 475 009

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