Why are property condition reports needed?
A condition report is conducted by us before you move into the property you are renting and again when you move out. You will receive a copy of these reports and this is your opportunity to note any differences found. Please ensure you report back any differences to the office within seven days as per the legislation. This is important because it can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning or damage, particularly at the end of a tenancy.
What about my utility connections?
It is the tenants’ responsibility to have electricity, gas and telephone connected in their name and to have the account finalised when they vacate.
Tenants should rely on their own enquiries prior to signing the lease with regard to phone/cable/internet/TV or line (digital or otherwise) connections.
How often are inspections carried out?
Routine inspections of the property are carried out eight weeks after the tenancy has commenced and then generally at least every six months thereafter. The owner has the right to complete four inspections per year if they prefer.
What do I do in an emergency?
This might be a hazardous electrical fault, flooding or an essential service that has broken. First call your property manager. If they are not available, please make sure to tell whoever you speak to the nature of the situation. We will ensure the situation is dealt with as promptly as possible.
In the case of an after-hours emergency, plumbing, electrical or otherwise, please visit our tradesperson emergency contact page.
Do I need contents insurance?
Landlord insurance does not cover tenant belongings. It is your responsibility to ensure you have contents insurance for your own possessions against theft or damage.
How do I pay rent?
The tenancy agreement states rent is to be paid by using the DEFT Payments System, either by phone or internet banking. Leah Jay strongly recommends that you retain all receipts issued when making rental payments.
Rent is payable weekly or fortnightly and must reach our office on, or before, the due date. It’s worth making an allowance to ensure it’s received in time.
What happens if I fall behind in my rent?
If you have difficulty paying rent, always contact your property manager to discuss this. If your rent goes into arrears at any stage of the tenancy, we will contact you via phone, SMS or email to advise you. If rent falls 14 days overdue a Termination Notice is automatically served on the 15th day. This seriously affects your tenancy history.
What if my property needs maintenance/repairs?
All maintenance and repair requests must be lodged through our maintenance system, LeahJayFIX. For anything requiring urgent attention within 24 hours, please contact your property manager.
Can I keep pets?
While we encourage our owners to allow pets to be kept, sometimes they don’t feel the property is suitable and therefore won’t give permission. Pets are only allowed to be kept at the property with written permission from the landlord/property manager – otherwise this is a breach of the lease agreement.
How much bond do I need to pay and where does it go?
A rental bond is typically an amount equivalent to four weeks’ rent. This is payable prior to the tenancy commencing. The bond is then forwarded to the NSW Fair Trading Office Renting Service Division to be held in trust during your tenancy and released upon vacating. The bond will be released when the final inspection has been completed and final funds have been paid.
Do I have any responsibilities in relation to swimming pools?
With effect from 29 April 2016, a property cannot be leased, or a tenancy renewed, that has a swimming pool or spa unless the owner has a valid Certificate of Compliance, or relevant Occupation Certificate. A copy will be provided to you by the owner, or your property manager.
To protect yourself from invalidating this certificate and to avoid receiving an on-the-spot fine of $550 from the council, please ensure no furniture, or other items, are placed near pool fencing.
These regulations also apply to temporary swimming pools or spas. Therefore none are to be erected within the leased property.
Why do I pay rent in advance?
Rent is paid two weeks in advance, beginning at the start of the tenancy and is allocated on the rental ledger. Therefore, your next rent will be due two weeks later and then fortnightly until the end of the tenancy.
What happens when the lease expires?
Details of the expiry date can be found in the lease agreement. If this date passes, the lease becomes a ‘continuing agreement’. This ensures all parties are bound by the original lease terms.
A lease renewal can be requested from your property manager. The owner of the property has the right to renew the lease, let arrangements continue under the terms of the original lease, or issue the appropriate notice requesting that the property is vacated.
It is important to communicate whether or not you wish to continue living in the property with your property manager well before the expiry date of the lease. This allows everyone to make necessary plans and arrangements.
What happens if I want to leave the property before my lease expires?
It is essential that the property is not left without notifying your property manager – this will likely result in the loss of your bond and could also create a bad rental history record, which may make it more difficult for you to rent again in the future.
Lease break penalties apply under the Residential Tenancy Agreement (clause 42). You are obliged to make the following payments:
- Rent until vacate date (which is taken as the day the keys are returned to our office).
- Lease break fee equal to six weeks’ rent if the lease break is in the first half of the fixed term period, or four weeks’ rent if the lease break is in the second half of the fixed term period.
Click through to read more about breaking a lease.
What if I want to break my lease but have another person who wants to take over the property?
The lease break penalties outlined above still apply. Any agreed handovers must be done correctly and legally. The existing tenant and proposed tenant should contact the property manager as soon as possible and advise them of their intentions. There is no automatic obligation to agree to this request. The proposed tenant must complete an application form, provide references and carry out all the other steps that are necessary for anyone to be approved as a tenant.
If the application is approved, the new tenant should not move into the property until a final inspection has been carried out and the necessary arrangements are made with your property manager for the release of your bond.
Can I sublet or transfer my lease?
Subletting and transferring is not permitted without prior written approval from our office. Any new tenants must complete an application form and go through the normal approval process and then sign on to the lease depending on the circumstances. This request may be refused should the applicant not meet our criteria or if the property is unsuitable for additional tenants.
This is not encouraged, as the ‘head’ tenant is 100% responsible for the tenancy. Please note that during a fixed term lease agreement this may not be possible.
What about water usage?
You will be notified in advance if you need to pay for water usage and will be invoiced by Leah Jay separately from the rent. Please do not pay Hunter Water direct. You will be given 21 days to pay the account.
For a full outline of what you must know, please refer to the Tenant Information Statement provided by the Department of Fair Trading.