What's on a New Tenant Checklist?
Getting settled into your rental property
Dealing with the Paperwork
After looking at countless rental properties, securing the tenancy for the one you wanted and moving all your stuff in, you probably just feel like blobbing out on the couch and turning your brain off for as long as possible. The hard part's over, after all - now it's just a matter of settling in.
If only it were that easy! In fact, the first week or so of moving in to a new place is one of, if not the, most crucial period for a tenancy. By checking the following things off your list, you'll be able to sleep easier for the remainder of your lease.
There seems to be a mountain of documentation involved whenever you decide to rent a house. Dealing properly with it is essential to a successful tenancy.
- Keep a copy of any documents you sign.
- Be sure that you've been given a property condition report, and that you fill it out accurately and sign it. The condition report outlines the state of the property room-by-room, including any fittings and fixtures. If filled in incorrectly, or not at all, you could be liable for damages that were never your fault. Be sure to return your copy of the report to your landlord or agent promptly, usually within a time period of seven days in most states.
If you live in New South Wales, it might also pay to get a letter from Fair Trading during your first few months to say your bond has been lodged and to get your Rental Bond Number.
No Flash Please
You might've already snapped up the rental property, but there's more snapping left to do. Along with having filled out the property condition report, you would do well to also take detailed photographs of the house or apartment, particularly the parts noted in the condition report. This way, you have some hard evidence of the condition of the property when you've moved in, and will help eliminate the possibility of he-said, she-said disputes
Make a Connection
While it might be tempting to lie down and forget about the world for a while, this period of relaxation isn't likely to last very long if your power, water and gas aren't working. That's why, just before moving, it's important to call your utility providers and make sure everything is connected.
Along with this, it's a good idea to arrange for any bills to be in your name.
You might also think about setting up automatic payments for the rent and bills, to simplify things even further.