"Hints to help you find and secure your next rental property"

Tenant Tips

All you need to know when you're renting
Renting a property in Western Australia is very straight forward as both owners & tenants' rights are protected by the Residential Tenancy Act 1897 and Regulations.

 

Finding your dream home

The internet is a valuable tool to start your initial research as it enables you to familiarise yourself with the area and amenities you require. If possible, take a drive through the area, stop for a coffee and talk to the locals to see if it matches your lifestyle.
 
Once you have decided on the area, you can utilise one of the many sites available, such as reiwa.com.au or domain.com.au, to get a feel for the quality of the homes and the expected rental prices. Your search can then be tailored further to suit your budget and required property features.
 
Make sure that you know as much as possible about the property, so you can make an informed decision.
 

Remember the additional ingoing costs

When preparing your budget, remember to allow for the costs involved when you first lease a property. 
  • These include the initial 2 weeks rent
  • Security bond (typically the value of 4 weeks rent)
  • Plus an additional $260 if you have permission to keep a pet.
The security bond is always held with the Bond Administrator, which is a state government department. The bond is returned to you at the end of your lease if there are no outstanding invoices and you hand the property back in a similar condition to when you took possession.
 

Viewing the properties

  • If you are interested in viewing a property first check for advertised ‘Home Open’ days & times where you can just turn up and have a look around. 
  • Some agencies will ask you to register you interest via the website, after which they will notify you when the home will be able to be viewed.
  • You can also contact the Property Manager for further details on the property and to organise a private viewing, however you need to be flexible with your availability, especially if the property has existing tenants as they must be given reasonable notice of any viewings.
 

Applying for the home

Electronic applications are common and once completed allow you to use them for future properties, however some agencies will give you a paper application form. Regardless of the method ensure that you provide all the information and documents requested, as the Property Managers uses the information provided to seek the most suitable tenant.
 
If you have any special requests, such as pets or maybe you would like a dishwasher, ensure they are also shown on your application, as it may be too late once your application has been accepted.
 
Your application will be presented to the owners on your behalf and you will be notified whether you are successful or not, typically within 24 to 48 hours.
 

When your application has been accepted

The Property Manager will contact you to organise a time to complete the documentation. 
 
All residential properties must use a prescribed ‘Residential Tenancy Agreement’  which highlights the rights and responsibilities of both the tenants and owners.  It is a long and detailed document so remember to allow enough time to understand and complete the lease documents as you are entering into a legal commitment. 
 
If you don’t understand something make sure that you ask for clarification and do not sign anything until you are satisfied that you understand all the terms. You will receive a copy of the lease documents after they are signed and can start planning for the big move. 
 
Important The owners' insurance does not usually cover your personal possessions, even if a problem with the property caused the damage, so make sure that you have contents insurance. It is not very expensive and worth it’s weight in gold if you ever need it!!
 
Notify all the relevant authorities of your change of address. Also, organise your electricity, telephone, gas, internet and removalists.
 

Further information can be found in the DMIRS tenant Handbook  click here