As a tenant, what documents should I expect to receive before I move into a property?
While the documentation you receive at the beginning of a tenancy can vary from state to state, you will find there a number of items that are required across most jurisdictions.
These include a copy of the tenancy agreement, information about renting in your state, a copy of the bond lodgement form and the condition report, which is to be completed, signed and returned to the agent or owner within the required time frame.
You may also receive a receipt for the initial rent amount, lease fees and bond payment, as well as copies of access keys and any remote controls. The property owner or agent may also provide you with emergency contact details for urgent out-of-hours repairs.
What happens when the lease expires?
You will find details of the expiry date in your lease agreement. If this date passes, your lease becomes a 'continuing agreement'. This ensures all parties are bound by the original lease terms.
You can also request a lease renewal from the owner or agent. The owner of the property has the right to renew the lease, let arrangements continue under the terms of the original lease or issue the appropriate notice requesting that you vacate the property.
It is important for you to discuss whether or not you want to continue living in the property with the owner or agent well before the expiry date of your lease, which allows everyone to make the necessary plans and arrangements.
I want to break my lease, but have another person who wants to take over the property. What do I do?
Any agreed handovers must be done correctly and legally - you and the other person should contact your agent as soon as possible and let them know what you want to do.
You should also be aware that your agent or owner has no automatic obligation to agree to your request - the new person must complete an application form, provide references and carry out all the other steps that are necessary for anyone to be approved as a tenant.
If this application is approved, the new person should not move into the property until a final inspection has been carried out and the necessary arrangements are made with your owner or agent for the release of your bond.
What happens if I need to leave the property before my lease expires?
In this event, you are responsible for all reasonable expenses incurred by the owner or agent to locate a replacement tenant.
You would also need to continue paying rent until a new tenant is located and enters into a new lease agreement. You and the agent are both able to actively seek a new tenant - but this individual must complete all normal processes and checks before they are approved.
It is essential that you not leave the property without notifying your owner or agent - this will likely result in the loss of your bond and could also create a bad rental history record, which may make it more difficult for you to rent again in the future.
While in some areas, planned legislation will allow a tenant to make minor changes to the property - such as putting up picture hooks - as long as they leave the property in the same condition as when they moved in, other states take a more strict approach.
It is important for you to be aware that if any damage occurs through the installation or removal of picture hooks during your tenancy, you may be held financially responsible.
What happens if the owners of the property I am renting decide to sell?
There are a number of different scenarios that can occur if the owner decides to sell - these can depend on the expiry and terms of your lease agreement.
For example, if you are within the term of your lease agreement and the property is sold to another investor, you continue to have your rights to the property as a tenant when the new owner assumes the responsibility as your landlord.
If the property is sold to someone who wishes to live there, you will be given notice to vacate - this will usually give you plenty of time to arrange your next property.
As an existing tenant, your LJ Hooker agent is perfectly-placed to help you find another rental property that suits your budget and preferences.