What is a General Tenancy Agreement?
A General Tenancy Agreement is a legal agreement between a Tenant and a Landlord to lease a Property for a period of time. The Tenancy Agreement (also known as a Lease) highlights the legal obligations of both parties during the Tenancy period, including – but not limited to:
• The amount of Rent to be paid
• How often payments must be made
• The Term of the Tenancy Agreement
• The Agent i.e. if the Property will be managed by a real estate agent
• Conditions of entry and exit and, any
• Special conditions that need to be adhered to.
How do I find and inspect a Rental Property?
The easiest way to find properties to rent is via the internet or by visiting your local real estate agency. Once you have identified your potential Rental Property, contact the Property Manager and arrange an inspection.
How do I apply for a Rental Property?
Our preference is for you to simply use this website to complete an online application, following the website Tabs – Tenant – Rental Application.
Alternately, you can download an Application Form from this website – print – complete and send to Panoptic Realty.
NOTE: All the required information – either online or in hard-copy – must be submitted before the Application process can begin.
What is a Rental Bond?
A Rental Bond is a security deposit a Tenant pays at the start of a tenancy. The Rental Bond is registered within 10 days, is held by the RTA, and is paid back to the Tenant at the end of the tenancy - provided no money is owed to the Landlord / Property Manager for rent, damages or other costs.
How do I get my Rental Bond back – at the end of the tenancy?
To get your Bond back you should leave the Property in the condition it was in when you moved in, apart from fair wear and tear.
If the Tenant(s) and the Landlord / Property Manager agree about the bond refund:
- they all sign the Refund of rental bond form (Form 4) and submit it to the RTA for a refund.
If the Tenant(s) and the Landlord / Property Manager DO NOT agree about the bond refund:
- either the Property Manager or the tenant can complete and submit a Refund of rental bond (Form 4) to the RTA without all the signatures.
- The RTA will process this form by:
- releasing any undisputed amounts of the bond as directed on the Refund of rental bond form
- holding any disputed amounts
- sending a Notice of claim to any party who did not sign the form
What is an Entry Condition Report?
The Entry condition report records the condition of the Property at the start of the tenancy.
It is important that Tenants and Property Managers fill out this report properly to avoid problems in the future. The Property Manager and the Tenant each complete and sign their part of the report. For each item on the list they mark if it is clean, undamaged and working. The Tenant can disagree with what the Property Manager has written by including their own comments.
Do I need Insurance while living in a Rental Property?
A Tenant is solely responsible for insuring their household items and personal possessions. You will not be covered under any policy that the Landlord may have in place. Panoptic Realty advises you to discuss your personal insurance requirements with your Insurance Broker / Financial Advisor.
Can the Landlord / Property Manager access my home during my tenancy?
When a Tenant is renting a Property, it is their home. The Landlord / Property Manager may need to enter it for an inspection, repair or a viewing, but it is important that the Tenant’s privacy is respected. The Landlord / Property Manager can only enter a Rental Property for a valid reason and if the correct notice has been given. The exceptions are:
- in an emergency
- if the property manager/owner believes entry is necessary to protect the property from damage that is about to happen
- if the tenant verbally agrees with the entry
The Tenant cannot prevent the Property Manager from entering the Property, if the correct notice, form and time have been given.
What is a routine inspection and why is it necessary?
Routine inspections are carried out during a tenancy to ensure the Property is being well cared for and that there are no maintenance or health and safety issues. Inspections are frequently carried out every 3 months, though this may vary.
A minimum of 7 days’ notice will be given using the Entry notice (Form 9).
What must I do before a routine inspection is done?
The Property should be generally clean and tidy for a routine inspection.
Some handy tips are:
- Make sure the Property is clean and tidy, e.g. do a general tidy, make beds and put away items in cupboards
- Do a routine clean of all main items including:
- Sweeping / vacuuming / mopping
- Cleaning kitchen surfaces, oven, grill, cooktop, range hood
- Cleaning bathroom, toilet, shower
- Sweep outdoor areas
- Remove mould from surfaces (bleach cleaner and clove oil can help)
- Clean any marks from walls, kitchen units or other surfaces
- Mow grass, edge and weed, and dispose of any garden rubbish
- If you have a pool, make sure leaves or other debris are cleaned out
How and When do I request Repairs and Maintenance?
It is very important to request Repairs and Maintenance immediately - as soon as you notice any fault. Failure to notify your Landlord/Property Manager may see you being held responsible for further damage if not reported at the initial stage of the fault.
Our preference for you to request Repairs and Maintenance, is simply to use this website to complete an online request by clicking on the following link :
[Start online Request for Repairs and Maintenance]
Request Repairs and Maintenance.
A Tenant must notify the Landlord/Property Manager in writing of the need for Repairs and maintenance.
If the fault is an emergency, contact your Landlord/Property Manager immediately by telephone.
What is defined as an Emergency Repair?
According to the Residential Tenancies Authority - Emergency repairs are defined as repairs for:
- a burst water service or a serious water service leak
- a blocked or broken lavatory service
- a serious roof leak
- a gas leak
- a dangerous electrical fault
- flooding or serious flood damage
- serious storm, fire or impact damage
- a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the property
- a failure or breakdown of an essential service or hot water, cooking or heating appliance
- a fault or damage that makes the property unsafe or insecure
- a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a resident of the property
- a serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area or premises that unduly inconveniences a resident in gaining access to, or using, the property
Note: All other repairs are considered to be routine repairs.
Who’s responsible for repairs?
The Landlord/Property Manager is responsible for keeping the Property in good condition and fit for the Tenant(s) to live in.
The Tenant(s) is responsible for looking after the Property and keeping it clean and undamaged.
If a Tenant(s) or their guest(s) damages the Property, they may have to pay for the repairs. The Landlord/Property Manager generally carries out any repairs or organises someone to do so; the Tenant(s) should not carry out the repair without written permission.
Tenant(s) must notify their Landlord/Property Manager as soon as they become aware of a problem and not leave it until they are moving out of the Property.
Who’s responsible for Lawns, Gardens, Shrubs and Trees?
It is generally the responsibility of the Tenant to look after general yard jobs such as mowing, edging and weeding. The condition of the lawns and gardens will be noted on the Entry condition Report, as the Tenant will need to return the Property in the same condition they received it, excluding fair wear and tear.
Who’s responsible for light bulbs?
Common industry practice is that the Landlord/Property Manager is responsible for maintaining specialised bulbs, and the Tenant(s) is responsible for the replacement of everyday bulbs.
If changing a bulb requires specialist knowledge or specialist equipment, changing the bulb may be part of the Landlord/Property Manager's responsibility.
Who’s responsible for mould?
At the first sign of any problem, the Landlord/Property Manager and Tenant should discuss the issue.
If the tenant caused the mould, the Tenant is responsible for its removal and may have to pay for the repair any damage caused. Example: if the Tenant continually allowed steam to build up in the bathroom without proper ventilation and/or regular cleaning, resulting in mould, then the Tenant may be liable.
If the mould is a result of a structural issue, e.g. a roof leak, then the Landlord/Property Manager would be liable for the repairs.
Who’s responsible for Pool maintenance?
If a swimming pool is included as part of the Rental Property, the maintenance will be covered in the special terms of the Tenancy Agreement. The Tenant is generally responsible for everyday maintenance such as clearing leaves from the pool and will be responsible for more regular maintenance. The Landlord/Property Manager may provide instructions for any maintenance the Tenant is required to carry out.
The condition of the Pool will be noted on the Entry condition Report, as the Tenant will need to return the Property in the same condition they received it, excluding fair wear and tear.
Who’s responsible for Smoke Alarms?
Landlord/Property Manager must:
- install smoke alarms complying with Australian Standard 3786-1993 outside sleeping areas and one on each level of the dwelling
- replace smoke alarms before the end of their service life (smoke alarms are required to have a recommended service life of at least 10 years under normal conditions of use)
- test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy.
Landlords/Property Managers must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).
- test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
- replace any flat or nearly flat batteries
- advise the Landlord/Property Manager if there is any issue with the alarm (apart from batteries)
- allow the property owner/manager right of entry to install smoke alarms.
The Tenant must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).
Can I stop paying Rent if the Landlord refuses to do maintenance?
No, unfortunately not. Your rental payments are not related to any maintenance issues. By withholding Rent you would be in breach of your Tenancy Agreement.
How can I terminated my Tenancy Agreement?
In order to end your Tenancy, you must give notice to the Landlord/ Property Manager in writing, in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement.
If your fixed term contract is about to expire, you still need to give written notice of your intention to vacate the Rental Property and give adequate notice of days as stated in your Tenancy Agreement, otherwise the Tenancy will continue on a month-by-month basis until either party gives notice to end the tenancy
If you wish to break your Tenancy Agreement by leaving the Property earlier, costs associated in doing so would apply
Refer to your Tenancy Agreement or contact your Landlord/Property Manager to find out what your minimum period of notice would be and what the potential costs would be, should you wish to break your Tenancy Agreement.
Can I bring in other Tenants to help pay the Rent?
NO - The only people who are lawfully able to occupy the Property you are renting - are those people named in the Tenancy Agreement.
You are not allowed to sub-let the Property to anybody without written consent from the Landlord/Property Manager.
If you wish to move out, and a friend or other occupier wishes to stay in the Property, the Landlord/Property Manager will require a new Tenancy Agreement, together with completed Application forms and references. Under these circumstances a letting fee may be charged.