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What’s involved with renting a place?

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If you’re thinking about moving out of home and getting a place to rent for yourself then you’ll need to be prepared for the process. It isn’t easy and if you are prepared in advance it will make the whole process smoother for you.

Some landlords require references from previous landlords, references from employees and other real estate agents before considering a tenant. You’ll need proof of identification too. When you do accumulate references, always keep them for future use.

  1. Affordability: Make sure you are looking at properties that you can afford. Less than 30% of your monthly wage is a good price to control. More than this can lead to financial strain and you don’t want that.
  1. Rental Agreements: A rental agreement is a legal document so you must read it and understand what you are signing. If you break this agreement in any way you can be evicted from the premises, still have to pay the rent for the term you signed for and will also get a bad credit rating. So be sure you are ready to sign this agreement. Check that it is fair.

Check Tenancy Laws here: http://www.rentalagreementsdiy.com.au/tenancy_laws_in_australia.php

  1. Bond Payment: You will have to give a bond payment once you have signed a rental agreement and you will have to fill out a Bond Lodgement form. Each state has their own rule but generally you’ll need 4 weeks rent in advance for the bond. In Queensland The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) administers the Act and holds bonds during a tenancy. Check that your bond has been lodged after a few weeks for piece of mind and know how to claim it back when the time comes.

Each state has it’s own regulations so Google ‘Rental authority’ to find out more information in your state or territory. Here’s Queensland’s info: https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Resources/Fact-sheets/General-tenancy-fact-sheets/Rental-bonds-fact-sheet

  1. Proof: When you sign a rental agreement you’ll be given a list of the properties current condition and any problems will be stated in this list. CHECK THIS THOROUGHLY! Landlords can withhold your bond money if there are any discrepancies with this list when you arrive and when you leave. Make your own list and keep a copy of the list you’ve been given. Take photos of every room and everything in it. List any marks on the walls or carpets, broken curtains or lights, damaged screens, dents, stains etc – list EVERYTHING, no matter how small. Make sure you add anything you find before handing this list back to the real estate person or landlord. AND KEEP A COPY FOR YOURSELF OF EVERYTHING.
  1. Rent Payments: Don’t pay the rent in cash if you can help it. Always get a receipt for any payments you have made as they will need to be kept for many years. The best way to pay your rent is to always use a nominated bank account so you have proof of every transaction and proof of regular payments when you need to rent your next property.