Renter’s guide: What to do once you’ve been approved
Congratulations! Your rental application has been approved. Now there’s a few things you’ll need to do before you move in. Follow this easy checklist for a smooth move into your new place.
1. Sign the lease
Before moving in you need to sign a tenancy agreement or lease. It details the rights and responsibilities of you and your landlord. Each state has its own laws governing tenancy agreements.
Ask for a copy of your lease to review before signing it. Check it thoroughly and contact your department of consumer affairs if you have concerns.
Once it’s signed by your landlord/agent, it’s a legally binding document. Make sure you understand it, or seek legal advice if you don’t.
You pay it to the landlord/agent before moving in. It’s kept as security against any substantial damage that may be caused to the property during your tenancy or to cover rent owning at the end of the lease.
Your bond must be deposited into a trust account within 3 to 14 days and it will be released at the end of the tenancy when you may receive a full or partial refund. Maximum bond amounts and regulations differ from state to state.
3. Rent in advance
The landlord may be entitled to receive some rent in advance when you pay your bond and sign the lease. The maximum amount is governed by state laws, so check with your relevant Tenancies Tribunal. Rent in advance is additional to your bond and different from your regular rental payments which are always paid in advance.
4. Condition report
Also called an Inspection Report, this document provides a record of the condition of the property at the start of your tenancy.
It lists all the features of the premises including the condition of the walls, ceiling, windows, painting, carpet, fixtures and amenities.
Both landlord/agent and the tenant record their assessment of the premises and keep a signed copy.
Keep your condition report as you may need it at the close of your lease. The landlord/agent may claim some or all of the bond money for repairs but if the report says these repairs were necessary at the start of the tenancy, this form will be your proof that the bond money should be returned.