Regarding what you need to do as a landlord in WA and how to protect yourself:
Before Approving a Tenant
1. Ensure you have had a check done on the tenant (which you can arrange through us)
2. 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
Once you wish to approve a Tenant
1. Meet with them and sign a Residential tenancy agreement form, which is available here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/rent-agreement-form-1aa (At this time, also supply them with a Form 1AC available here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/landlords-tools-and-checklist
2. 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 possibly, it can be helpful to complete this together with the tenant to minimize disagreements about what is noted. You can get this form here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/property-condition-report-form-1
3. Request a bond of 4 weeks rent from the tenant. When you receive it, make sure to provide the tenant with a receipt, and then lodge the money with the Bond Administrator within 14 days using the form available here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/lodging-bond You can apply for release of monies to you to cover damage or if the tenant breaks the lease/stops paying rent.
During the Tenancy
1. Conduct routine inspections of the property up to 4 times a year. Make sure to provide the tenant notice using this form: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/enterpremisesform19.pdf
2. 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 the Lessors Guide that the Department of Commerce puts out - http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/lessorsguide.pdf - they also have guides and videos here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/property-renting-guides-and-videos