CENTURY 21 Wentworth aim is to ensure that the transition into your new home is as smooth and stress-free as possible. This information is designed to provide you with a single source of information for any questions that you may have during the course of your tenancy.
You have been provided with a copy of your lease agreement when you signed the documentation and received the keys to the property. If you believe that you have not received all of the relevant information, please contact us as soon as possible.
Security Deposit/Bond Lodging with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA)
Upon payment of your bond you will be required to sign a Bond Lodgment Form which will be lodged with the RTBA. You will receive a copy of this form and also a receipt from the RTBA with your Bond Lodgment Reference Number which we recommend you retain with your lease documentation. The names and signatures of all of the tenants contributing to the bond should be included on the lodgment form as this will be compared when the bond is dispersed at the end of the tenancy.
A Condition Report will be given to you either at the time of signing the lease agreement or prior to you moving into the property. You then have three (3) business days to review this report and return one signed copy to our office with any comments, retaining the other copy for your records. This is absolutely vital in order to avoid any possible disputes about the condition of the property when you vacate.
The Condition Report records the condition of the property when you move in and is checked at the final inspection to ensure you leave the property in the same condition. If there is any damage, excessive wear and tear or items needing repair that have not been included on the Condition Report when you receive it, be sure to list them on the form when you return it or you may be held liable at the end of the tenancy.
Digital images will form part of the Condition Report, providing a more comprehensive report on the condition of the premises when commence your tenancy.
If you have requested and the owner has agreed to repair or replace any items, you will be provided with written confirmation of the details (as part of your lease agreement) and they will be noted on the Condition Report at the beginning of the tenancy.
If you believe that an agreement was made but no comment to that effect has been included on your Condition Report, please contact your Property Manager as soon as you receive the Report.
We will carry out the first routine inspection 3 months after the commencement of your tenancy, and inspect at regular intervals thereafter. These inspections are not only to ensure that you are maintaining the property as outlined in your tenancy agreement, but also provide an opportunity for you to advise us of any repairs that may be required.
We will notify you in writing at least seven (7) days prior to the proposed Property Inspection. Your attendance at the inspection is not necessary, however if there are any items you wish to make us aware of, please leave a note in a prominent place in the property. We will always leave a note to confirm our attendance.
Change of Ownership or Tenants
If at any time during the tenancy a change occurs either with ownership of the property, the property management company or change in one or more of the tenants of the property, an Agent/Landlord transfer form or a Tenant transfer form must be completed and forwarded to the RTBA.
Your lease agreement will specify how often payments must be made, either fortnightly or monthly. Prior to your first rental payment we will provide you with a range of options for future payments of rental. Please note that we do not accept cash payments at our offices.
If for any reason you are having difficulty in meeting your payment obligations, please contact your Property Manager as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
An easy way to arrange for the disconnection and reconnection of your services when you move is to use a service such as www.onthemove.com.au. This information has been provided in the hope of assisting you settle in to your new home. You should discuss your needs with the provider to ascertain whether their services are suitable for you.
Payment of Utilities
Payment for connection and usage of utilities including telephone, power and gas are your responsibility. If there is a telephone connected at the property you are responsible to maintain the telephone service, regardless of whether you intend to us a land line. For all utilities, you will need to arrange the connection yourself, and the utility provider will bill you directly.
Your Property Manager will advise whether you are responsible for the payment of water consumption. Water consumption is billed to the owner however under the lease agreement (unless otherwise stated) the charges are payable by you.
You are required to insure your own contents. If you have a waterbed, be aware that insurance does not usually cover damage caused by the escape of water from a waterbed.
You should not do anything, or bring anything onto the property, that will adversely affect the Owner's insurance policy, premiums or ability to make a claim. If the Owner elects to claim on their insurance for damage or repairs that were caused by you or by your visitors, the Owner may require you to pay the excess for the claim.
You cannot sub-let (have other people living at the property who are not listed on the lease agreement) without the owner's prior written consent. This does not apply to visitors who may stay with you for short periods of time. If you wish to sub-let, please contact your Property Manager. The person who wishes to move in will be required to fill out an application form and provide identification and supporting documentation in the same manner as is normally required for a tenancy application. Wentworth will assess the application and will forward your request to sub-let to the owner.
Your safety in and around the property is of the highest priority. There are a number of situations that place you at risk and we urge you to contact us if you have a concern.
Some things to be aware of include:
- Exposed wiring.
- Gas smells.
- If you feel unsafe in the property for any reason.
- Damage to paving and pathways that could cause someone to trip.
- If you suspect that any plants in the garden are poisonous or that you may be allergic to them.
- If you need to clean a property with high ceilings or light fittings that are hard to reach, please do so with care and use the appropriate equipment.
The property you are leasing will most certainly have smoke alarms and your Property Manager will ensure they are in working order at the commencement of your tenancy and will be checked during each inspection. During the tenancy it is your responsibility to ensure the batteries are changed at regular intervals.
Remember Smoke Alarms save lives
If you are renting a strata-titled property, including a unit, apartment, townhouse or duplex, there are some extra things that you need to be aware of. These include the by-laws of the complex and areas of common property or exclusive use.
Within the strata complex there will be areas of common property that the Property Manager would have pointed out to you when you inspected the home. There are several standard by-laws that relate to common property that all new tenants need to be aware of:
If your apartment or unit has one or more allocated parking bays, you must ensure that you only use the bay(s) assigned to you. You cannot park a vehicle on any area of common property, or use a visitor car parking bay on a regular basis.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your visitors comply with the by-laws, including parking and their behaviour within common property areas.
Noise and Disturbance
In the close-living situation of a strata complex, it is the right of every occupant to be able to use and enjoy their properties and areas of common property. Therefore excessive noise and inappropriate or offensive behaviour that causes a disturbance to other occupants is prohibited under the by-laws of the complex. All occupants must be adequately clothed when upon common property and are not permitted to dispose of rubbish, dirt or other material in an area of common property.
The owner is required to hand the property over to you in a good state of cleanliness and repair. If you have any concerns at the beginning of the tenancy, notify your Property Manager as soon as possible so that the matter can be rectified.
The owner is responsible for the maintenance of the property, including the structure and any appliances that are part of the tenancy (provided repairs are not needed because of negligence or misuse on your part).
You are responsible for maintaining the property in generally the same condition as when you moved in, and for basic household maintenance such as gardening and cleaning.
You must also notify your property manager of any repairs required at the property, including any appliances that are included in the lease. Prior to each routine inspection, use the opportunity to advise us of any items or areas that you believe require attention. We can then arrange repairs if necessary.
Notifying CENTURY 21 of Maintenance Required
You are not authorised to undertake any maintenance on the property yourself.
Maintenance requests are categorized as either routine, priority or urgent. Wentworth work to ensure that all maintenance requests are responded to within certain timeframes depending on the urgency of the problem.
For routine and priority maintenance, you will need to notify us in writing, either by post, email or fax.
Urgent items are generally those that could cause injury to the tenant or damage to the property, and may include:
- Severe storm or flood damage
- Glass breakage
- Gas leak or electrical fault
- Burst water pipe
- Blocked sewer
- Broken toilet
- Severe roof leak
- Lack of security through broken locks/doors
If you consider a problem to require immediate action, please phone our office during business hours or the Property Manager after hours. Your lease agreement does not allow you to authorize repairs yourself however you can be assured of our prompt response to your situation.
For After Hours Urgent Maintenance Contact the number listed on your lease agreement
Locks and Keys
You are not allowed to install or change locks without the owner's consent. If you lose your keys or lock yourself out of the house, keys may be collected from our office during business hours. A $50 deposit will be required when you pick up office keys and the deposit will be refunded when the keys are returned. If it is outside of normal business hours you will need to call a locksmith to let you into the house. The cost of the locksmith will be your responsibility.
If you lose your keys and wish to have the locks changed, please discuss this with the Property Manager who can consult with the owner.
If You Wish To Renew Your Lease
Your Property Manager will contact you near the end of the tenancy to discuss signing a new lease. You will be advised if there will be a rent review and if the rent is going to change you will be advised of the new rental amount prior to signing a new lease.
Expiry Of A Fixed Term Tenancy
Unless a new lease is signed or you vacate the premises on the date of expiry of the lease agreement, a fixed term tenancy continues on the same terms and conditions as the original lease however it becomes a periodic tenancy.
We will contact you prior to the expiration of your lease to discuss your options with you. If you know that you do not wish to renew the lease and will be leaving the property, you must provide a minimum notice period in writing prior to the end of the lease.
Ending a fixed term tenancy before the expiry date A fixed term tenancy cannot be ended before its expiry date unless there is agreement between the tenant and the owner. Generally in order for the owner to agree to early termination of the lease agreement, the tenant is required to pay the owner's costs to find a new tenant as well as rent until the property is re-let.
Specifically, if you wish to break your lease, you can expect to pay some or all of the following costs:
- Rent until the property is re-let.
- Advertising costs to re-let the property.
- The unused portion of the owner's letting fee.
- You will be required to maintain the property until it is re-let, including care of the property and gardens and maintaining the supply of services such as power to the property.
Breaking your lease can be a costly experience and we encourage you to contact the Property Manager to discuss your options should you feel that you are unable to continue with the lease.
Ending A Periodic Tenancy
You can end a periodic tenancy without having to give a reason, however you need to give a minimum number of day notice (in writing).
Remember that you will be responsible for paying rent until all of the keys and any security remotes are returned to our office. We recommend getting started early if you intend to vacate the property. Packing often takes longer than anticipated and if you are behind schedule you will cause yourself undue stress and extra costs.
Please refer to the section on security bonds for information on how your bond is returned to you.
Return Of Your Bond
At the end of the tenancy, your bond will not be released until a final inspection of the property is carried out. We will conduct the final inspection as soon as possible after you return all of the keys to our office, generally within two business days. If the property is in generally the same condition as it was at the beginning of the tenancy, the bond will be returned to you without delay.
To enable the property to be re-let quickly, it may not always be possible for you to return in order to correct any areas requiring attention. If further cleaning is required we may engage a professional cleaner at your cost. To avoid this, a Cleaning Checklist will be sent to you prior to vacating the premises, advising you of what the Property Manager will be checking at the final inspection.
A Bond Claim Form must be completed and signed by all tenants and a representative of Wentworth and sent to the RTBA.
If there are any deductions against the bond (for cleaning, damage or rental arrears), the amount to be returned to you will need to be agreed upon before any monies can be released by the RTBA. If you do not agree with the amounts claimed please discuss this with the Property Manager in the first instance. If an agreement cannot be reached it may be necessary to make an application to VCAT for the disposal of the bond to have the matter determined by a Tribunal Member. Your Property Manager can give you more information on this.
At the end of the tenancy, any unpaid rent will need to be paid before your bond is returned to you. You cannot stop paying rent with the view that it will be taken out of the bond, even if it is almost the end of the tenancy as this is an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act.