Moving into a new rental property can be both an exciting and stressful experience. As a tenant, it is essential to be well-informed and prepared to ensure a smooth transition into your new home. A new tenant checklist is a valuable tool that can guide you through this process, inform you of your rights and responsibilities moving forward, and provide clarity on when to reach out to your Property Manager for assistance.
New Tenant Checklist NSW: Essential Guide for a Smooth Move-In
In this guide we will cover aspects of the renting process, such as reviewing the lease, understanding bond requirements, and completing the condition report. Plus, offer practical information and resources so you can make informed decisions and have a successful renting experience.
Preparing to Move In
Understanding NSW Residential Tenancy Agreement
When planning to move into a new property in New South Wales (NSW), it is essential to understand the residential tenancy laws. There are two primary types of tenancy agreements: fixed-term agreements and periodic agreements, and these outline the rights and responsibilities of both tenant and landlord.
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Reading and Agreeing to Terms
Once you receive your tenancy agreement it is crucial you thoroughly read and agree to the terms before signing. The agreement should include information about rental payments and frequency pay rent, bond requirements, lease length, property maintenance responsibilities and utilities.
At this time you will also receive other essential documents that you will need to read and acknowledge:
- A copy of the new tenant checklist provided by the NSW Fair Trading
- A condition report that describes the property’s current state
- Instructions on how to lodge your bond with the NSW Rental Bonds Online
The Condition Report is a crucial document, legally required in NSW for all residential tenancies. It records the property’s condition, including cleanliness and any pre-existing damage, at the of the tenancy. Tenant and landlord must review and agree on the observations listed in the report, with both parties retaining a copy.
Typically, a Condition Report should include:
- Rooms and areas: living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, garage, and outdoor spaces
- Items and features: walls, ceilings, floors, doors, blinds, curtains, light fittings, and appliances
- Details: state of cleanliness, condition of fixtures, defects, and damages
- Photos: photographic evidence of the property’s condition at the time of inspection
If you have any questions or concerns with the condition report you should discuss these with your property manager.
When starting a tenancy, there are key upfront costs to be aware of:
- Bond: A rental bond is a security deposit that tenants are required to pay at the start of a new tenancy. The bond serves as a financial safety net for landlords in case the tenant damages the property or breaches the tenancy agreement. In New South Wales, the maximum bond amount is typically equal to four weeks’ rent for unfurnished properties and six weeks’ rent for furnished properties or those with an in-built pool. The bond needs to be lodged with the NSW Fair Trading and can be done via Rental Bonds Online (RBO).
- Advance Rent: Tenants are often required to pay 2 weeks’ rent in advance before moving into the property. This payment is not an additional charge but a pre-payment of the rent.
- Holding Fee: A holding fee, not exceeding 1 week’s rent, may be requested to secure the property while the application is being processed. This fee will be credited towards the advance rent payment once the lease begins.
Keep in mind other costs, such as moving expenses, utility connections, and insurance, should also be considered.
When moving into a new rental property in NSW, it is essential to collect all keys provided by your property manager. Ensure that you have keys for the main entrance, individual bedroom and living room, rooms, garage, mailbox, and any common areas as applicable. It’s a good idea to test all keys as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience later.
Once You Have Moved In
In New South Wales, both tenants and landlords have responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the property. The landlord is responsible for providing the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and repair, especially considering its age and character. They must also arrange for any urgent repairs that affect the health or safety of fixed property fees for the tenant.
Tenants in NSW are responsible for maintaining the property in a clean and tidy condition. This includes regular cleaning, taking care of the garden or lawn if applicable, and ensuring all appliances, fixtures, and fittings provided by the landlord are in good working order.
In addition to legal responsibility for maintaining the property, tenants are required to report any damages or necessary repairs to their property manager. According to the NSW Fair Trading, tenants should provide written notice of the issue, including details and photographs if possible.
In NSW, landlords have an obligation to address any required repairs to rental properties within a reasonable timeframe. For urgent repairs, such as a burst water pipe or gas leak, tenants should notify the landlord or agent immediately and may be entitled to reimbursement for the cost if they need to organize the repair themselves.
Routine inspections are a way for landlords and tenant to ensure that the property is being well-maintained and together, identify any potential maintenance or repair issues.
Both parties have a responsibility to communicate and cooperate during the tenancy, ensuring that maintenance and repairs are addressed and routine inspections are conducted smoothly. This will help maintain a positive tenant-landlord relationship and ensure a comfortable living environment for both parties.
Moving Out Process
Notice of Intention to Leave
If you do decide you would like to move out of your rental property, you will need to provide a written Notice of Intention to Leave to your property manager. The notice must be signed and dated, state the date you would like to move out, provide details of any new tenants moving in, and include any details on outstanding maintenance or repairs.
Final Property Inspection
Upon receiving the notice, the property manager will arrange a Final Property Inspection to assess the condition of the property and determine if there are any issues attributable to the tenant’s responsibility. The final inspection can help to determine if any deductions should be made from the rental bond or if the tenant needs to address any additional repairs before vacating the property. We have a checklist on end-of-lease cleaning as well in case you need this when moving out.
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Leah Jay is an expert team of property managers and would be happy to assist you with all queries around leasing and property management. Contact the team here.