Regarding what you need to do as a landlord and how to protect yourself:
Before Approving a Tenant
- Ensure you have had a check done on the tenant (which you can arrange through us)
- Ensure you have phoned / checked all the tenants references (they will be asked to supply current employer, current landlord, and personal references on our tenancy application)
- Ensure you have physically sighted proof of identification, proof of income, proof of address, and proof of rental history (e.g. lease agreement, written reference, or tenant ledger)
Once you wish to approve a Tenant
- Meet with them and sign a General tenancy agreement form, which is available here: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/library/forms/housing-and-accommodation/renting/residential-tenancy-agreement.doc
- Complete a property condition report within 7 days of the start of the tenancy, keep one copy for yourself and supply two copies to the tenant. Where possible, it can be helpful to complete this together with the tenant to minimize disagreements about what is noted. You can get this form at https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing-and-accommodation/renting/beginning-a-lease-or-residency/condition-report
- Request a bond of 4 weeks rent from the tenant. When you receive it, make sure to provide the tenant with a receipt, and also have them sign a Bond Lodgement Form which is available here: https://rentalbonds.vic.gov.au/Bond/Lodgment/Begin The bond lodgement form will allow you to lodge the bond with the appropriate authority (RTBA).
During the Tenancy
- Conduct routine inspections of the property, we recommend not more than 4 times a year. Ensure you provide the tenant with written notice using this form: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/library/forms/housing-and-accommodation/renting/notice-to-tenants-of-rented-premises.doc, a minimum of 24 hours in advance of when you want to conduct the inspection. Keep in mind that you cannot inspect before 8am, or after 6pm (or on a public holiday).
- Make sure to keep documentation of any occurrences, e.g. copies of any letters/receipts you send to tenant, photos of any damage etc. just in case there ever a dispute in future.
We strongly recommend completing National Tenancy Database / TICA blacklist checks before approving any tenant (you can arrange this through PropertyNow). In addition to checking tenancy blacklists, you should also consider checking the ACCR criminal court attendance database here: https://auccr.com/free and may order full police background checks through PropertyNow if you wish
Most importantly, consider taking out Landlords Insurance – this covers you for theft, malicious damage, or loss of rent if the tenant stopping paying - http://www.canstar.com.au/home-insurance/what-is-landlord-insurance/
There are many different providers so make sure to shop around.
We also strongly recommend reading renting pages and factsheets on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing-and-accommodation/renting
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any other questions at all.