A Guide: Essentials for renting a property

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At the beginning of a tenancy

• read and sign your ‘Residential Tenancy Agreement’ form
• keep a copy of anything you sign
• seek advice if you have a tenancy issue or question
• check that your new home is completely safe
• complete a ‘Condition Report’ if you have paid a bond – you can add to or edit a Condition Report’ completed by an agent
• consider taking photos of the property before you move in
• complete and sign the ‘Bond Lodgement’ form and keep the receipt
• contact the utility companies of your choice to ensure these are connected by the time you move in.

During a tenancy

• communicate with your landlord or agent and keep them informed of any problems that may arise
• make sure you pay your rent on time
• keep all records such as rent receipts
• keep your property reasonably clean; this will minimise any problems that may occur during a landlord or agent inspection
• get written permission from your landlord if you wish to sub-let or assign the tenancy agreement to someone else
• let your landlord or agent know of any repairs that need to be done
• put all requests to your landlord or agent in writing. Forms are available from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

At the end of a tenancy

• give adequate notice when planning to leave; the notice period will depend on your reason for leaving
• pay any outstanding rent
• check your responsibilities for separately metered utilities
• clean the property
• consider taking photos after you move your furniture out to show the condition of the property
• take all your belongings with you
• keep the ‘Condition Report’ in case of a dispute
• try to agree with your landlord on the return of the bond
• if you have paid a bond, complete the ‘Bond Claim’ form and return it to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority. The form must be signed by your and your landlord or agent
• leave a forwarding address with your landlord or agent or Australia Post.

Do not sign anything unless you understand what it means. Never sign a blank form, even if it looks official. All official notices you give your landlord or agent must include their name, your signature and other details in some circumstances.

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