Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants & Landlords

FAQ

Our most frequent questions and answers for tenants.

At the start of your tenancy, you are required to pay your first 2 weeks rent plus
your bond. A common mistake tenants make is to think that this will put them 2
weeks in advance. Unless you start paying your rent again on the same day you
move in, each day after you move in and don’t pay takes away from those first 2
weeks. For example, if you move in on a Monday and don’t make another
payment until Thursday, you are now only paid 11 days in advance, instead of a
full 2 weeks. If you don’t pay your rent until 2 weeks after you move in, which is
not recommended, you have used up all of the rent you have in advance.

In short, no. However if there are exceptional circumstances your property manager
may allow this. Tenants are given 14 days to return their PCR within any
amendments from date of receipt. Failure to do so will normally result in the original
report being taken as the condition for how the property is found.

Our office works as quickly as possible to return your bond to you. Once your
keys are returned, your property manager will complete your vacating inspection
within 3 business days (in more cases than not, completed the next day after
keys are returned). After this inspection, should everything be in order and left
in the condition it was given to you (apart from fair wear and tear), all your rent
paid up to date and any outstanding bills (water, pool chemicals, electricity etc)
taken care of, we can complete your bond refund. If you are receiving a full bond
refund, all we need are your bank details and we can organise with the Bond
Administrator for it to be transferred through to your account. If there are
deductions from your bond, all bond holders will be required to sign a form first.

This is at the discretion of your property manager. However there is no obligation for
the property manager/landlord to allow re-entry to the property. When keys are
returned it is considered that you are happy with how the property has been handed
back. Rent is also charged up to and including the day keys are returned.

If the matter is urgent (see your tenancy agreement for examples of urgent
items) you can call the office on (08) 9536 8083 to report it right away. This needs
to be followed up in writing afterwards. If the matter is not an urgent item (again,
please see your tenancy agreement for examples) the issue must be reported in
writing. You can do this via email, or by popping into the office to complete a
maintenance request form.

In order to make any changes to the leaseholders or approved occupants at your
property, you must seek owner approval first. The new person moving in must
complete a tenancy application and be approved prior to moving in. You can
receive a Notice to Remedy Breach – Form 11 if there are unapproved
occupants living at the property. This will only affect your tenancy history, not
theirs, so it is very important to follow the required steps.

We understand, unforeseen circumstances can sometimes mean you need to
vacate before your lease ends. There is some paperwork to complete and some
fees and charges you are responsible for. Once the paperwork is signed, we will
commence our advertising campaign with a view to re-let the property as quickly
as possible. You are also required to continue to maintain the property in
accordance with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act
2008 and General Tenancy Agreement – Form 18a until your lease ends or until
another tenant moves in. Rent also remains payable on time throughout this
period.

Applying for a pet can be done so in writing to your property manager. You can
send an email, a text or complete a pet application form by popping into the
office. The application will be put forward to the owner to approve or deny at their
discretion.

If you have accidentally damaged the property, it must be reported to our office
as soon as possible. Please ensure it is reported in writing with accompanying
photographs of the damage. We will contact the owner for their instructions
however, it will likely be your responsibility to repair. We would be more than
happy to assist you by providing contact details for required tradespeople.

Any changes you wish to make, temporary or permanent, must be approved by
the landlord first. For example, you might wish to erect a shade sail over the
pool. You would need to provide an idea on how you are going to install it plus
colours and styles so they can make an informed decision. Altering the property
without permission can result in you being issued a Notice to Remedy Breach –
Form 11 and having it removed and any damage repaired.

In more cases than not, the landlord will approve picture hooks. However, it is
their decision as to whether they will allow this or not and so it is important to ask
first. You will need to apply in writing by advising of how many hooks, where they
will be installed and what style hook will be used so the owner can make an
informed decision.

No, you don’t have to be home for an inspection. Your property manager will
bring a set of keys for the property and leave a note on your bench to let you
know we have been through. If you have any concerns you would like to discuss,
you can make an appointment to see your property manager at another time.
However, you are more than welcome to be present for the inspection to show us
through. If you won’t be home, it is important that all dogs are secured or
restrained for the inspection to be completed and any alarms are de-activated.

Smoke alarms are extremely important and should not be removed or damaged
in any way. If you notice any issues with your smoke alarm (beeping constantly,
not sounding when you think it should etc) please contact your property manager
as soon as possible to report the fault.

Anything that can hold a depth of 300mm of deeper must be fenced and
compliant with state pool fencing laws. Unfortunately, most blow up pools and
spas will fall under this category and as a safety precaution are not permitted
under any circumstance. Should you wish to install a pool, you would need to
seek approval from the property owner prior to commencing any installation.
Failing to abide by these rules will see a Notice to Remedy Breach.

Notice periods can differ depending on the circumstance. Some of the most
common notice periods are for ending a fixed term tenancy, ending a periodic
tenancy and ending a tenancy when a property sells. You can check out all
notice periods on the website here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection/tenant-ending-tenancy

Your rent is due on the same day each week. This means if you move in on a
Wednesday, your rent must be cleared by Wednesday each week. It is important
to remember to allow time for the money to clear between banks if you are
making the payment electronically. We accept bank transfer or Bpay – these
details are provided in your acceptance email as well as your lease agreement.
We are a cash free office.

You need to ensure that gas, power and phone (where applicable) are connected in
you name to commence from your tenancy start date. Water remains in the owners
name and we invoice you the cost of associated consumption costs. Water useage
payments are due within 14 days of receipt and are made using the same payment
details as paying your rent.

Contents insurance is a must. The property owner is responsible for insuring the
house and permanent fixtures and fittings (i.e dishwasher, curtains, carpet etc)
however, this does not cover any of your personal belongings. For example, if
the property was broken into and your belongings stolen you would need to have
contents insurance to cover the loss. The same applies for natural disasters,
replacement of locks, flood damage etc.

FAQ

Our most frequent questions and answers for landlords

Rental income is directly deposited into the owner’s nominated bank account monthly and bi-Monthly (on the closest business day) . A detailed statement will be sent to the owner via email or post at the end of each month. End of year statements will also be provided to the owner for tax time.

No. This cannot be guaranteed, it all depends on how much rent the tenant has paid that fortnight/month, there also may of been an account come in (e.g rates), an inspection conducted which reduced in a fee being charged etc.
Also, for example, if a tenant pays 3 weeks in advance on the 13th of the month, that means there next lot rent is not due til in the first week of the following month and therefore all funds received would be paid out on the 15th (mid month processing) but there may be no further funds received by end of month processing on the 30th or 31st.
It is always wise that before phoning us, to just look over your statement to see what funds the tenants have paid and what their paid to date is. That should act as a guide for how much you are receiving in the next pay cycle.

One of the most important things to do when you lease out your home is ensure that it is in a reasonable state of cleanliness (Residential Tenancy Act Section ). This not only sets the standard for how the tenants leave the property but also reduces any complaints from tenants when they move in – the last thing anyone wants to do when they move into a home is have to clean it.
The same applies for lawns and gardens. Please ensure lawns are mown and edged, gardens are weed free and pruned, plus any applicable reticulation is in working order and set to the appropriate days
It is a common oversight for owners to also forget the following, so please refer to the below as other items that need checking before a tenant moves in, by doing this will reduce complaints and provide the right start for the relationship with your tenant;

  • Light globes in working order
  • Hot water system working (many times people move in and the pilot light has gone out due to long periods of non use).
  • Carpets/Upholstery all professionally cleaned
    TV Booster provided (if applicable)
  • All window locks operational
  • Any torn flyscreens replaced
  • Any loose blinds cords are affixed to the wall (legal requirement)
  • Two Council Bins provided
  • Clothesline provided
  • Arrange for redirection of your mail if the property was your previous place of residence

We require one set of keys and a further 2 sets plus garage remotes (if applicable) to be provided for when your tenants start their lease. Tenants are made aware that any copies made of the keys will all need to be returned when they vacate.

A tenant’s ability to pay rent is a heavily weighted criteria when deciding on a suitable tenant. Here at The RealEstate Co Mandurah we check rental payments on a daily basis to ensure that tenants do not fall behind, a point we make very clear during the tenant sign up. However, changes to a tenants circumstances can impact a tenant’s ability to pay rent. We maintain communication with the owner when a tenant is behind in their rent. During this time we will follow the legislative process to ensure that any loss that might be incurred is minimised.

All tenants are to report any maintenance issues to our office in writing. All maintenance will be authorised by the owner before any work takes place and the owner is welcome to arrange their own contractor or carry out work themselves if they wish. In cases of emergency we will do our best to contact the landlord, but if required, we will take necessary measures to fix any urgent matters to minimise further damage and cost to the owner.

Here at The RealEstate Co Mandurah, we recommend all landlords protect themselves with landlord insurance, as from time to time things can go wrong. Landlord Insurance may cover you when a tenant is not paying the rent, vacating the property early, malicious damage or severe neglect. For the relatively small cost of landlord insurance, it is definitely a wise investment for your investment.

Inspections are conducted periodically. That is, four inspections are completed during a 12 month period, where owners will receive an inspection report with photos and notes on the condition of the property and outline any issues that might need to be attended to. These inspections are in addition to the ingoing and outgoing inspections which are conducted at the beginning and end of each tenancy.

The length of notice a tenant needs to provide is dependent on the type of lease they have signed. If a tenant has a Fixed Term Residential Tenancy Agreement, they are required to provide 30 days’ notice in writing prior to the end of the tenancy agreement. If the landlord does not want to renew the lease agreement, 30 days written notice is required before end of the fixed term lease If the tenants have a Periodic Residential Tenancy Agreement, a tenant is required to provide 21 days written notice prior to their vacating date. The landlord is required to provide 60 days’ notice.

Please ensure you have connected any gas, power, phone/internet out of your name before the start of the tenancy. Water accounts remain in the owners name as landlords are legally responsible for the payment of accounts regardless of whom is living in the home. Most owners allow us as the agent to have accounts sent to us for payment out of rental funds, we then oncharge the tenants for the associated consumption which then is reimbursed to you.

Obvious maintenance and repair issues should be noted in the property condition report which is required to be completed by the landlord/lessor when the tenant moves into and out of the property.
Tenants must keep the property reasonably clean and are expected to hand it back in a similar condition to how it was at the start of the agreement, taking into account normal use (fair wear and tear).
Repairs are the landlord’s responsibility, but if the tenant or resident caused the damage, the landlord/agent can ask them to arrange or pay for repairs.
Set procedures must be followed when dealing with urgent or non-urgent repairs. Tenants must continue paying rent even when they are waiting for repairs to be done.
Items that landlords don’t often realize are their responsibility are as follows;
One of the keys to avoiding disputes is to ensure the property is in good order for when the tenancy commences.

You must keep the premises in a reasonable state of repair during the tenancy and comply with building, health and safety laws.
Your tenant is responsible for basic household maintenance like replacing light globes, vacuuming, cleaning windows, dusting and removing cobwebs inside and out.
You are responsible for the upkeep of the property, for example plumbing and the maintenance of contents already provided such as the stove, hot water system, or air conditioner.
If there is mould or mildew caused by faults in gutters or other fixtures, then you must fix it. On the other hand (where the property allows), your tenant must ensure there is adequate ventilation throughout to help avoid mould problems occurring.

You are responsible for major tree lopping, cutting back overhanging branches (such as those near power lines) and maintaining fire breaks.
Your tenant is responsible for garden maintenance, such as mowing and edging lawns, weeding and light pruning. You should provide them with the necessary hoses, sprinklers etc.
You are responsible for the normal maintenance to any garden reticulation system. Delays in dealing with maintenance problems can lead to claims from your tenant that the lawns or gardens suffered damage because they were unable to water them properly.
Your tenant may still be responsible for hand watering the garden where it is reasonable to do so.
Your tenant should advise if they notice a water leak. If they don’t, and the leak is obvious, they may be liable for the cost of water resulting from the leak. However, tenants are not liable for issues or consequential damages caused by hidden water leaks. Once your tenant tells you there is a water leak the cost becomes your responsibility.
Before the start of a tenancy, it is a good idea to leave clear instructions on the proper use of any reticulation system. In addition, your tenant should always have access to the system’s timer box. Setting and locking the timer yourself means your tenant has no control over the system – and can argue that because of your unnecessary use of water, you should pay the costs. The tenants could also argue that a lack of water caused plants to die.

Your tenant must inform you as soon as possible if they need you to carry out an urgent repair. Urgent repairs are those that are necessary to supply or restore an essential service, or to avoid:
exposing a person to the risk of injury;
exposing property to damage; or
causing the tenant undue hardship, or inconvenience.
‘Essential services’ are urgent repairs including the following services: gas, electricity, a functioning refrigerator (if supplied with the premises), sewerage/septics/other waste water treatment and water (including the supply of hot water).
When your tenant advises you about an urgent repair, you must contact a repairer to arrange repairs to restore essential services within 24 hours. Arrangements for the repairs which are not necessary for the supply and restoration of an essential service must be made within 48 hours. This means we as your agent need to contact a suitable repairer within that time to arrange to have the problem fixed.
Your tenant can arrange repairs themselves:
if they have been unable to contact you within the 24 hours (in the case of repairs of essential services) or 48 hours (in the case of other urgent repairs); or
if after they have contacted you, and the repair is not carried out as soon as practicable.
Your tenant can only arrange for a tradesperson to carry out the repairs to the minimum extent necessary and must use a suitably qualified repairer.
If your tenant arranges for repairs to be carried out, you must reimburse your tenant for any reasonable expenses they incurred in relation to arranging and paying for the repairs as soon as possible.
We will provide the tenant with emergency contact numbers so they can contact us rather than arranging their own repairs.

We ask tenants to notify us in writing about any non-urgent repairs and detail what is needed to be repaired. You should provide instructions to us as your agent to commence action to undertake necessary repairs within a timeframe that is reasonable to the situation.
You do not have to fix items if you disclosed that were not working before your tenant signed the tenancy agreement, or they are items which the tenant could not reasonably have expected to be working at the time they entered into the agreement.
Our intention is to always work within your best interests but within the parameters of the Residential Tenancy Act.
If you have any questions at all regarding this fact sheet you are welcome to contact us.
We look forward to doing business.

Frequently asked questions by landlords & tenants

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