Category Archives: Renting

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The Six Dos And Don’t’s When Applying For A Rental Property

Are you applying for a rental property, but you’re not sure how to put your best foot forward? Here we’ve canvassed some of the top tips when it comes to applying for a rental property from some of our property management specialists.

Do –

Have all your information clearly printed on the application with all supporting documents attached. This just makes the process that much easier and quicker for everyone.

Don’t –

Leave blanks on applications. This will only slow down the agency processing the application and means you could potentially lose the property to another fully completed application.

Do –

Make sure all referees are aware that you are applying for a property and ensure they’re happy and available to answer any questions. Sometimes these calls can come as a surprise to referees who are then less willing to give out a reference over the phone. Again, this further slows down your application and may mean you’ll potentially miss out on the property.

Don’t –

Dress poorly when going to a rental inspection. Treat the meeting as you would a job interview and make sure you leave a positive first impression. Dressing neatly gives the impression that you will be a neat and tidy tenant.

Do –

Make sure your payroll/HR department are also aware that you are applying for a rental property and give them permission to verify your salary information over the phone to the property manager. This information is important for a property manager to confirm as it will help to determine your capacity to meet regular rental payments. Note that this information is kept strictly confidential.

Don’t –

Be dishonest in your rental application. If you would like the landlord or property manager to consider allowing you to have a pet, be upfront about this expectation, be honest about your job status and salary and if you’re planning to live with a roommate. It’s always better to have these conversations before signing any paperwork to ensure neither you nor your property manager are put in an uncomfortable position after you’ve begun your tenancy.

If you are a fist time renter, you may be concerned about proving your rental history. Don’t worry, the main things your landlord and property manager will be looking for are your ability to meet regular rental payments, to take care of the property and meet the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

If you do miss out on a rental property, don’t be disheartened! Speak with the property manager managing the property about other potential properties on the market, or to keep you informed of similar properties as they become available.

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Buying vs Renting – Which puts you in front in the long run?

If you’re weighing up which option is right for you, consider both the short and long-term pros and cons of both.

The benefits of pet-friendly rental properties

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.16 million renting families are pet owners – and over 60% of Australian families have pets.

Buying vs Renting – Which puts you in front in the long run?

When it comes to the decision of buying a property versus renting one, there are a few factors you need to consider. On the one hand, buying a property certainly has significant immediate costs, but on the other, renting means you’re effectively paying off someone else’s mortgage.

So if you’re weighing up which option is right for you, consider both the short and long-term pros and cons of both.

Rentingcouple moving into their rental property

Pro 1 – Cheaper in the short-term

In a lot of areas, the option of renting property is usually going to be cheaper, at least up-front if not week to week, than paying off a mortgage on the same property. Not to mention that in most countries, the only up-front cost is usually a bond amount, a relatively small amount of funds kept in trust in the event the home is damaged or unreasonably warn at the expiry of the lease.

This also means costs associated with owning a home, like land/property taxes, building insurance and maintenance are handled by the landlord.

Another plus is the ability to rent a home in a desirable suburb, close to transport, offices, entertainment and other lifestyle amenities as a rented home in these areas is usually within most peoples’ budget versus the sale price of a home in the same area.

Pro 2 – Flexibility

One of the obvious pros to renting is the flexibility. That’s the flexibility of not being locked into a long-term commitment, as you are with a home you buy. At the end of your lease, you’re free to move, or stay on if it suits. When it comes to offloading a property you own, you face the drama of selling the home for the price you need, you’re up for the costs associated with this, and you’re at the mercy of current market conditions.

This kind of flexibility allows you to move jobs, travel or simply change your mind about an area with the opportunity to move relatively quickly.

In some areas, particularly popular ones, you may even be able to break your lease early if the rental agent/landlord is able to find a replacement tenant easily, or for a pre-determined fee. In some cases, there are even rental clauses which stipulate acceptable reasons for breaking a lease, such as job transfer.

Pro 3 – Financial stability

When it comes to your monthly expenses as a renter, your budget can be more stable than that of a mortgage holder. Without fluctuating interest rates, taxes, and maintenance costs to worry about, and the cost of rents generally only changing upon renewal of some leases, you can potentially have more financial stability than a home owner.

Con 1 – The home will never be yours

It’s true that at the end of day, the home you’ve been paying to live in will never be yours, whereas the mortgage repayments of the home owner will mean the home will one day belong solely to them. Whilst renting gives you flexibility, it can also mean that at a time when you’re looking to settle down, you don’t have the stability of a home of your own.

However, depending on the area and country you live in, research which has recently come out of Australia has begun to suggest that renters could be no worse off financially than home owners in the long-term. This is largely dependent on what you choose to invest in if not property though, such as shares.

Con 2 – You won’t be able to personalise your home

Things like renovations and home improvements usually can’t be done on your rental property unless negotiated with the homeowner and even then, you might find that some things will be at your expense or will mean that you’re rent could potentially increase.

It could also mean that things like pets aren’t permitted, and you’re restricted to looking for properties that will allow animals.

So the look and feel of the home will usually not be up to you, and if you’re looking for extras, like air-conditioning or ceiling fans, or features like security screens, your landlord may agree to put these in only if you agree to a higher weekly rent amount.

Con 3 – Renting long-term has its pitfalls

If you decide to rent until retirement, unlike a homeowner who very well may have paid off their mortgage and will now have no ongoing loan repayments to make, you will need to be able to afford rent even after you leave the workforce.

Depending on your other investments, and how well you’ve saved for retirement, it may very well be feasible to continue renting for life. But if you’re unable to continue renting in your area during your retirement years, you may only be left with the option of relocating to a less desirable area or a far more modest home.


Pro 1 – One day, you’ll own your home

The obvious pro of buying versus renting, it that once your mortgage has been paid in full, you’ll have a home that you own. This means you won’t have to consider the cost of renting into your retirement plan. If you plan to sell your home after retirement, there’s the potential that the property has increased in value, and you’ll have more cash to put towards your nest egg.

Pro 2 – You can change the home to suit your needs

Even before you pay off your mortgage, the house is still yours to change as you see fit. This means painting, fencing, landscaping and large-scale renovations are up to you. This gives you a certain amount of flexibility too, if you buy a home in an area you love, but it’s too small, or in need of work, then you can always address these issues down the track.

Whereas when renting, if the home doesn’t fit your needs in the future, you’ll be looking to relocate to another rental property.

Pro 3 – Security

There’s definitely a certain amount of security that comes from owning your home versus renting it. For instance, no one is going to tell you need to vacate because they’ve decided to sell the property or move back in themselves. There’s no risk a rental agreement won’t be renewed for any reason, or that certain conditions will change that may impact your lifestyle.

This security can make it easier to plan for your future and consider things like pets and children without the risk that your living situation may dramatically change through no fault of your own.

Con 1 – Upfront costs

It depends on your location, but across the globe one thing about home ownership is generally the same, and that’s the requirement of a big lump sum up-front as a down payment or deposit. This means you’ll need a hefty amount of cash just to enter the property market.

There are other initial costs too depending on your location, like taxes, stamp duty, solicitor bills and title fees.

Con 2 – The cost of upkeep

Unlike renting, the costs associated with the upkeep of your home falls to you. Depending on the age and state of your home, location and whether or not you have a free-standing home or apartment/unit will all determine how much you may be spending in maintenance costs over the course of owning your home. It’s best to factor this into your budget before committing to a mortgage.

Con 3 – Your return on investment is not guaranteed

Of course it depends on your area and how this area fairs in the long-run, which can be pretty hard to predict without a crystal ball, but the costs of owning your home versus how much of a return you’ll receive if you decide to one day sell might mean you could make a loss at the end of the day.

Other things to factor in here are how long you plan to be in the home, how much work is needed on the property (could you see yourself taking out additional loans to cover things like renovations?), has the area experienced recent growth? What other long-term factors could impact the neighbourhood positively or negatively?

House With Pool In Front of The Beach

It’s your choice

At the end of the day, the decision to rent or buy is a very personal one, heavily dependent on both your short and long-term plans and goals. For most people, renting is the necessary option for at least a portion of their lives, with home ownership the long-term goal. Weigh-up the personal pros and cons of your situation to figure out the best option for you.

What Are Your New Year Property Resolutions?

Whether 2015 will be the year you buy your first home or the year you finish that renovation, make sure you plan first so that you can realise your property dreams sooner.

At this time of year many of us make those all-important New Year resolutions, but by mid-year a lot of us can lose focus. With a little planning and the help of the below checklist, you can set yourself up for success.

Resolution – Owning your own home in 2015

  • Set a goal of how much of a deposit you’ll save and by when
  • Draw up a budget to help meet this goal
  • Pare down any existing debt
  • Consider moving savings into a high interest deposit account
  • Talk to a lender or broker about the amount you’re able to borrow
  • Start making a list of possible suburbs
  • Make a list of must-have vs nice-to-have property features
  • Start comparing house prices in the areas you’re interested in
  • Start attending open homes
  • When you find ‘the one’ make an offer

Resolution – Selling your home in 2015

  • Start looking at both listing and sale prices in your local area
  • Make any improvements or update tired features in your home
  • De-clutter! Put things into storage, or throw away anything no longer useful
  • Consider home styling as an option to make your home as appealing as possible
  • Talk to your local Harcourts agent about listing your property – they can also help with advice on all of the above!

Resolution – Renovating your home in 2015

  • Research! Budgets can blow-out very quickly if thorough research and planning isn’t taken at the start
  • Set a realistic budget
  • Decide what can realistically be done by yourself and what needs to be left to the professionals
  • Enjoy the fun stuff. Renovations can be stressful, but don’t forget to enjoy choosing features and watching your new home take shape

Resolution – Buy an investment property in 2015

  • Do some thorough research into areas that have historically high rental yields
  • Draw up a long-term budget to see how your investment will be geared
  • Seek independent financial advice
  • Set a maximum price you’re willing to pay
  • Start looking in earnest for your investment property
  • Make an offer
  • If accepted, talk to your local Harcourts office about property management.
  • Harcourts can handle advertising, finding and screening suitable tenants, regular and thorough property inspections and handle organising maintenance, repairs and even the payment of regular expenses.


Who Is Responsible For Digital Television In Your Rental Property?

Where a landlord has installed a property with the equipment necessary to receive digital television, the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 places an obligation on the landlord to repair and maintain that equipment.  

If a property is not equipped to receive digital television, or is only equipped to receive analogue television, it is unlikely that the landlord would have a responsibility to install the equipment required to receive digital TV.

Can tenants install digital television equipment themselves?  

If a property does not have the equipment required to receive digital television, then a tenant may wish to install it themselves. However, as the equipment might be seen to be a fixture, the tenant must first seek permission from the landlord to install it themselves. The landlord would not be able to unreasonably withhold that permission.

Before granting permission to install the equipment, it would be wise for both the landlord and tenant to agree as to who owns the equipment, and who will be responsible for the repair and maintenance once it is installed. Any agreement regarding this should be recorded in writing.

It is also important to note that a tenant may remove any of their own fixtures at the end of a tenancy provided it will not cause irreparable damage to the property. For this reason a landlord may decide that they would prefer to install the required equipment

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment