I’m a Tenant

Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a tenant will ensure your tenancy remains hassle-free. Our resource room offers useful, straight forward information on some practical and legal aspects of renting.

I can’t make the scheduled open for inspection (OFI) time to view a rental property that I’m interested in. What can I do?

Our company policy states that you must view a property prior to submitting an application.

If you are unable to get to a scheduled OFI due to work or other commitments, arrange for a family member or friend to attend the OFI on your behalf to ensure that you will still have the opportunity to submit an application if you like the property.

How can I apply for a rental property?

Our Rental Application form is located below. Alternatively, rental application forms are available from the reception of your local Brad Teal office.

When applying to rent a property, each adult who will be living at the premises must supply payslips as proof of income. If an applicant is not working, please provide either a Bank Statement or a Centrelink Statement or Letters clearly demonstrating previous payments you have received.

All rental applications must be completed as fully as possible for each individual applicant. Ensure you include 100 points of ID, payslips and/or bank statements or any government documents proving income. Failure to provide all the required information could result in your rental application being delayed. If you are unsure as to what you need to provide, please ask a Brad Teal team member.

Download
What is a residential tenancy agreement?

A residential tenancy agreement is a legal contract between a tenant and a landlord or agent. The agreement outlines the amount of rent to be paid, payment frequency, the duration of the tenancy, the amount of money required as refundable security bond, as well as other conditions and rules.

How do you calculate monthly rent and bond?

Rent is paid per calendar month. It is important to understand that the term ‘calendar month’ does not refer to 4 weeks or 28 days. As each month has either 28, 30 or 31 days, a calendar monthly amount is more than 4 weeks rent.

To calculate this properly and evenly, we use this simple calculation.

a) Rent per calendar month x 12 ÷ 365 = Daily Rent
b) Weekly rent ÷ 7 x 365 ÷ 12 = Calendar Monthly Rent

The above calculation calculates 12 equal calendar monthly payments, which will be due on the same date each month.

Payment And Lodgment Of Your Bond

Your bond will be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). The RTBA will send you a confirmation of your lodgement number. You will need to sign the bond lodgement form when the bond is paid.

Do I need to hold contents insurance?

Yes, it is crucial that you arrange your own contents insurance.

Should your goods be damaged or destroyed by circumstances affecting the owner’s property (i.e. fire, storm damage, power outages etc.), it is important to understand that your goods and possessions are not insured by the owner.

How can I pay my rent?

You can pay your rent using the following methods:

Direct Debit. This is our preferred method of payment. At the start of your tenancy, provide us with your banking details and we will set up a direct debit of your account. This is a convenient way to ensure your rent is always paid on time. An administration fee will be charged should your account have insufficient funds, so it is important to ensure sufficient funds are always available.

Where are the meter numbers for utility connections?

The meter number is usually located at the front of the property in the meter box.  However most companies have access to the meter number.

Who can help with connecting my utilities?

As a tenant, it is your responsibility to ensure all utilities including your electricity, gas, phone and internet have been connected in your name. Brad Teal will arrange for the water usage to be connected in your name prior to the commencement of your tenancy. If the property is separately metered, you are required to pay for any water you consume.

‘On The Move’ is a specialist connection company – this is a free service for you. Simply ring 1300 850 360 or go to www.onthemove.com.au to arrange for them to assist you with connecting your utilities.

Is it my responsibility to turn off the main power switch?

As a tenant, is it your responsibility to ensure that the main power switch has been left in the OFF position when you vacate.

Why can my Direct Debit payment be delayed? Why does this trigger an SMS message saying my rental payment is overdue?

Due to how banks process payments from your account, if you pay your rent via Direct Debit and the due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, your bank will not debit your account until the next business day.

As our system is based on the actual date your rent is due (even if this date falls on a weekend or public holiday), this delay by your bank in processing your payment can trigger an automatic SMS reminder to be sent by our system. Once your payment arrives, our system will be automatically updated to reflect that your rent payment has been received.

Can I have a pet at the property?

For an existing rental, please contact your property manager and advise what type of pet you would like to have at the property prior to obtaining the pet. Your property manager will need to obtain permission from the landlord. If the landlord agrees, a pet clause will be drawn up for signature by both parties.

Only an approved pet will be permitted at the property. For any new pets, the above procedure will need to be followed.

For a new rental application seeking to have a pet onsite, permission from the landlord will need to be obtained. If the landlord agrees, a pet clause will be included in the rental agreement.

Does the real estate agency keep spare keys for each property? What are these used for?

We are not required by law to hold spare keys for any rental property.

Where we do hold spare keys for a property, such keys are only used by a tradesperson or a member of Brad Teal Real Estate conducting inspections. However, a tenant must either provide us with prior approval to enter the property or a Notice of Entry must be sent to you, notifying you of the upcoming intention to enter.

How often can my rent be increased?

If you are on a periodic or month to month tenancy, rent can legally be increased every 6 months.

If you are on a fixed term tenancy your rent cannot be increased during the lease term unless an increase has been written into a lease. A rental increase can be issued to you that will take effect at the expiration of your current lease.

Where a rental increase is to take place, your rental manager must provide you with 65 days written notice. You will receive this notification via registered post and normal post/email.

How often will you inspect the property?

We will conduct a routine inspection at the property after the first three months of your tenancy and then approximately every six months thereafter. Each inspection provides us with the opportunity to provide feedback to the owner as to how you are maintaining the property. It also allows us to check with you regarding any repairs that may be required.

The inspection may involve taking photos of any repairs required. A photo of the front and back gardens may also be taken.

What are the notice requirements for a landlord inspection?

Under the residential tenancies Act Section 85 –

A landlord or the landlords agent has a right to enter the rented premises together with any persons who are necessary to achieve the purpose of the entry with 24 hours’ written notice.  This notice of entry must  be in writing and it must state why the landlord or agent wishes to enter.

 You are permitted to enter during the times of 8am and 6pm except for public holidays.

 You are allowed one general inspection in any six month period.

 

Do I have to maintain the garden?

Yes. Weeding of gardens beds, paths, paving and other outside areas is the responsibility of the tenant, as is trimming of bushes and shrubs.

Lawns must be regularly mowed and edged, keeping them neat and tidy. Should you wish to have someone regularly mow your lawn, let us know and we would be happy to recommend a service to you. This cost is borne by the tenant.

What happens if my rental property has a pool?

Unless otherwise stated in the residential tenancy agreement, it is the tenants responsibility to maintain and clean the pool.

As an occupier of a property with a pool or spa, tenants have a responsibility to comply with Victorian safety legislation and guidelines. These responsibilities include reporting to your property manager pool fences or gates that are in disrepair. You must also ensure that all pool gates open outward from the pool, are self-closing, self-latching and latch shut on the first swing.

Around the swimming pool fence, objects that could be used to climb the fence must be removed from the area, (e.g. chairs, toys, Eskies, pot plants, etc.). It is illegal to prop open a pool or spa gate.

If a residential pool or spa has a depth of 30cm or more, it is required to be surrounded by a safety barrier. This includes inflatable pools. It is a breach of your lease to install a spa or pool (either permanent or temporary), during your tenancy.

Adult supervision in combination with pool fencing is the most effective methods of preventing a child from drowning.

What happens if I lose my keys?

If you have misplaced your keys during business hours you may come to our office, pay a deposit of $100 and borrow our office set for up to one hour. The deposit will be refunded once all keys have been returned.

Please note that we do not hold (and are not obliged to hold) spare keys to all properties.

If this is the case or you have misplaced your keys after hours, you will need to call a locksmith to assist you (this is at your cost). Our recommended locksmith is JAB Locksmiths 0400 800 257.

Can I install picture hooks?

If you wish to install any new picture hooks, please let us know in writing what type of hooks you wish to use. Please assess the type of walls that are in the property and the type of picture hooks that are suitable. We will then let you know in writing if you are permitted to install any of the requested picture hooks.

How do I organise an urgent repair?

It is company policy that all repairs are lodged in writing. You can lodge written repair requests by downloading a maintenance request form below or use the maintenance request forms handed to you at the commencement of your tenancy. You can also lodge your repair requests by sending an email to your property manager.

What is an urgent repair?

Urgent items are generally those that could cause injury to the tenant or damage to the property.

Urgent repairs may include:

Water pipes that have broken or burst

Blocked or broken toilet (if a second toilet is not available)

Serious roof leak or gas leak

Dangerous electrical fault, dangerous power point, loose live wire etc.

Flooding, rainwater inundation inside the property, or serious flood damage

Serious storm, fire or impact damage (i.e. impact by a motor vehicle)

Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises

Failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the premises for water or cooking

Hot water service failure on a weekend, or long weekend

Fault or damage that makes premises unsafe or insecure

Fault likely to injure a person, cause damage or extreme inconvenience

If you have an urgent repair, please refer to the ‘urgent’ repair tab on this resource page.

How do I go about getting my full bond back?

At the end of your tenancy, to ensure your full bond is paid to you quickly, you will need to ensure the following:

a) Any outstanding rent is paid promptly.

b) The property is cleaned. All carpets must be professionally cleaned and grounds returned to their ingoing condition. The property must also pass the final inspection conducted by this agency.

c) Any monies outstanding are paid in full eg: water, any damages, compensation amounts and break lease fees

d) All keys, remote controls etc. have been returned.

Once these criteria have been met, with the owner’s permission we can then refund your bond to you. Delays to the return of your bond generally relates to one or more of these criteria not being met.

A bond cannot be released without a bond claim form signed by all tenants or an order from the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

I wish to vacate. How much notice do I need to give?

If you are on a fixed term lease, you will need to provide your property manager with 28 days’ notice to coincide with the expiration of your lease.

If you are on a periodic or month to month lease, you are also required to provide 28 days’ notice.

All notices to vacate must be provided in writing (emails are fine). Your property manager will provide you with written confirmation, along with a vacating checklist for your convenience.

I need to leave the property but I am still in a lease. What can I do?

All notices to vacate a property must be provided in writing (emails are fine).

Where you are breaking a fixed term lease, the following costs will be incurred by you. You are required to pay:

(a) the weekly rent until a tenant approved by the owner takes possession, or until the lease term expires (whichever occurs first); and

(b) any reletting fees and advertising costs incurred to relet the premises.

Should the premises remain vacant before a new tenant is secured, it is also your responsibility to ensure the grounds are watered and maintained, including clearing the letterbox for this period.

My lease is coming to an end – do I have to re-sign another fixed term lease? What are my options?

As your fixed term lease ends, we do recommend that you renew the lease for a further 6 or 12 months, for your peace of mind. Should you choose not to renew your lease, your landlord can legally increase the rent every 6 months.

Where both parties agree to a renewed lease term, a new lease will be drawn up for signature by both parties.

If I give notice to vacate do I still have to pay rent because I paid 1 months’ rent in advance when I moved in?

Yes, you do. Your rent is always paid in advance. Some tenants mistakenly believe that the first month’s rent is held in trust for use at the end of tenancy, like a bond. The first month’s rent you paid is for your first month of tenancy.

The ‘rent in advance’ concept is the same principle as any other transaction. If you go into a shop and select a can of drink from the fridge, open the can, drink the contents and then walk to the counter to pay, you would agree you might find the store owner not pleased with your actions.

Paying ‘rent in advance’ works exactly the same way. You purchase the time period in advance, and then consume the time period by residing in the property. Once the time period is finished or consumed, you then pay for the next time period again before using it, by continuing in the lease and occupying the property.

What happens if I pay my rent late?

We pride ourselves on our careful tenant qualification and screening processes. Applications are approved on the basis that we are confident that the obligation on tenants to pay rent on time, every time, will be honored.

If your rental payment falls behind by 14 days, you will be immediately issued with a notice to vacate.

If a tenant that is consistently late in paying their rent despite all our best efforts, the landlord may choose not to renew your lease. The tenant will be required to vacate the property at the end of their lease and also be furnished with a poor performance reference should a new owner or agent require one.

Please call us should you have any queries regarding our Late Rent Policy.

The owners of the property I am renting have decided to sell. What happens next?

Depending on the expiry and terms of your lease agreement, a number of different scenarios can occur.

If you are within the term of your lease agreement, the new owner must honour the terms of that lease. Should the property be purchased by an investor, they will likely wish you to stay on as a valued tenant. The new purchaser will assume the responsibility as your landlord.

If the property is sold to a purchaser that wishes to live in the premises, they also must honour the terms of your lease agreement, but will likely ask you to vacate the property at the expiration of your lease. You will be given notice to vacate. This notice should give you sufficient time to find a new home.

Can't find the answer to your question? Email us and we'll find you the answer

Vacating Procedure
TV Antennas
Special Conditions
Pets
Routine Inspections
Repairs and Maintenance
Rental Payments
Pilot Lights
Picture Hooks
Moving In
Parking
Occupancy
On the Move
Notice to Vacate
Locked Out
Light Globe
Lease Break
Contents Insurance
Gardens
Final Inspection
Contact Details
Condition Report
Bond
Maintenance Request Form

Your Details

Property Details

Tenancy Application Form
Urgent Repairs

If matters arise regarding your tenancy outside of business hours, you should first refer to the publications ‘Brad Teal Tenancy Handbook’ or ‘Renting a Home – A Guide for Tenants’ , which were given to you when your tenancy commenced. Most questions will be answered in either of those publications.

If you have an urgent repair, you should contact one of the approved trades people listed below and then notify your property manager on the next business day that an urgent repair was required.

Urgent repairs are:

  • a burst water service
  • a blocked or broken toilet system
  • a serious roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm or fire damage
  • a failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by your landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating or laundering
  • failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • an appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted
  • a serious fault in a lift or staircase

Approved trades people for urgent repairs are:

Electrical

Plumbing / Gas

Locksmith

Glazier

SES

Tenancy Vacate Premises

Your Details

Property Details


Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a tenant will ensure your tenancy remains hassle-free. Our resource room offers useful, straight forward information on some practical and legal aspects of renting.

What is commercial real estate?

Commercial real estate refers to property used solely for business purposes. It generally consists of offices, restaurants, petrol stations or retail shops. The term “commercial real estate” may also be used to refer to industrial real estate.

What is industrial real estate?

Industrial real estate generally refers to property used for manufacturing and production and usually consists of factories and warehouses. The term “commercial real estate” may also be used to refer to industrial real estate.

How are commercial rents calculated?

To calculate a commercial rent, multiply the amount per square metre of usable space by the available space. Occupiable space can be the building area, land area or a combination of both. For example, if the rentable square meterage is 1500 and the price is $1 per square metre, your monthly lease amount is $1,500.

Variations in the rate per metre can be influenced by a number of factors including:

  • Surrounding tenants
  • Location
  • Quality or age of the building
  • Size
  • Services
  • Type of property
  • Type of construction
  • zoning
What is an outgoing?

Expenses incurred that are considered necessary to maintain a functional property are referred to as outgoings. Unlike a residential real estate lease where the landlord pays for most outgoings on a property (such as council rates), a commercial lease differs. Most tenants will be required to pay the owner for any outgoings on a commercial property lease.

These expenses are in addition to any agreed rental monies.

What do outgoings consist of?

Any of the following may be considered outgoings under a commercial lease:

  • Statutory charges, such as council rates, water and drainage charges
  • Any costs incurred in operating the building
  • Insurance costs
  • Servicing of any essential safety measures, such as fire extinguishers, exit signs and so on
  • Cost for ongoing building maintenance. These may include cleaning of gutters, servicing of air conditioning and heating units, building roller doors and so on
  • Where a property is strata titled, owners corporation fees
Who pays outgoing expenses?

Payment of any outgoings on the building will be negotiated at the beginning of the lease and documented as part of the terms and conditions. These outgoings may include council rates, water rates, strata levies, any insurances or land tax payable.

When does GST apply?

Where a property owner is registered for GST, GST must be charged on both the rent and any outgoings collected from the tenant. The charging of GST applies irrespective of whether an individual or a company (as the property owner) is registered for GST. Bonds are not subject to GST.

Where GST is charged, the owner must provide a tax invoice clearly showing the GST amount. If the tenant is also registered for GST, the tenant may be able to claim a credit for any GST that has been paid.

Why do I have to pay GST on outgoings when some rates like council and water rates have no GST payable?

Under Ruling GSTD 2000/10 of the Australian Taxation Office, where the supply becomes a third hand supply to the tenant due to being a business operating cost for the landlord, the landlord is required to pass that supply on to the tenant. This occurs even though an outgoing is not a taxable supply to the landlord as the landlord is on passing the supply to a tenant.

Where the lease terms for the tenant require the tenant to reimburse the landlord, or require the tenant to pay any outgoings directly, such as council rates, then such payments by the tenant are considered to be payments for “consideration for supply”. Consideration for Supply payments attract GST.

Gross Leases

Under a gross lease, the owner is responsible for payment of all outgoing expenses. The tenant is only required to pay the agreed rental payment each month. As a rule, most smaller tenancies operate on this basis.

Net Leases

Under a net lease, whilst the owner will pay any outgoing expenses, the tenant will be invoiced every quarter and is required to pay for any outgoings agreed upon in the lease conditions. This payment is over and above the agreed rental payment the tenant is required to pay each month as part of their lease agreement. Therefore, the owner will be reimbursed by the tenant.

How could zoning or planning restrictions affect my intended use?

Use of any land and buildings is controlled by Planning Schemes and zoning as set out by both local and state governments. Where any intended use is not permitted under these rules, the relevant local authority can require you to stop operating. Therefore it is important to understand any planning or zoning rules that apply to any particular property prior to making a commitment to either purchase or lease a property.

Zoning and planning schemes define the sorts of activities that may be undertaken at or within a particular property or land. In Victoria, the common zones in use are Industrial 1, Industrial 3 and Commercial 2 which apply to most types of manufacturing or warehousing. Special zones may also apply, as may mixed use, retail, commercial, residential, heavy chemical or petrochemical use zoning.

Each zoning type will attract general or special conditions of operation, so be sure to check with your local authority. Further, even where the zoning appears to be suitable, be sure to check for any restrictive covenant on the land or buildings that may limit their use. A restrictive covenant will be registered on the Certificate of Title and is a private written agreement that restricts the use or development of the land. It is designed to be for the benefit of the landowners. For example, a developer may restrict the use and development of lots within a development at the time the land is subdivided, to benefit or protect other lots within the development. Other examples include a restriction on the type of building materials to be used in housing construction or when building a commercial building.

What are lease options?

It is common when renting out commercial and industrial property to include a lease option within the terms of the lease. A lease option allows the tenant the option to extend the lease past the initial period of the lease, for a number of years according to the options provided by the landlord.

For example, a lease option may be 1 + 1 year, where the tenant signs a 12 month lease with the option to extend the lease for a further 12 months. Common lease options are 1 + 1 year, 2 + 2 years, 5 + 5 + 5 years and so on.

A tenant may consider a lease option advantageous, as it gives them a surety that they will be able to operate their business at the property for an extended period, particularly where they have or intend to invest a significant amount of money to fit out the premises.

What is a disclosure statement?

A Disclosure Statement is a document outlining important details about the lease so the tenant can easily understand the key elements of the lease.

Commercial Application Form

Other Resources