Renting – sometimes it can seem like infinite weekends lost and applications signed before finally securing a place. Other times, you get in right off the bat without a worry… or before fully grasping what a lease agreement really means.
It’s a big move at the best of times (and with lots to consider), which is why many tenants are uncertain when it comes to their rights and responsibilities in the process.
And whether you’re a long-term renter or new to the market, there’s a few questions that are guaranteed to arise at some point; say, when the toilet is backed up, you realise you’ve locked your keys inside, or your neighbour brings their unauthorised (and regrettably destructive) dog over for a visit.
While unfortunate situations are often unavoidable, they can definitely be minimised by knowing how to handle them ahead of time. We’ve pointed out the five most commonly asked questions by tenants below with answers to each!
Repairs & maintenance
What do I do if I need a repair?
Everyone will encounter one (or multiple) home horrors at some point in their life; a blocked sewer, a gas leak, a breakdown of a major service – or in really unfortunate situations like those we’ve just seen in NSW, flood damage. So what do you do?
The answer is whether it classifies as an urgent repair (such as a safety risk) or a non-urgent repair (normal wear and tear). Urgent or emergency situations call for an immediate fix of something that is preventing the property from being fit to live in, where tenants should phone their property manager (or office) during office hours to report the problem. If an urgent repair occurs after hours, tenants can arrange for a qualified professional to attend their repair, after which they must report it when the office reopens.
If you find yourself in need of non-urgent maintenance, this can easily be done online at the Prudential Real Estate website.
I know you don’t allow pets, but is a small dog okay?
The short answer is, probably not. If your landlord has opted to have a no-pet policy and this is clearly stipulated in the lease agreement, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be open to negotiating this decision without good reason. And while it’s always necessary to check, if this is a deal-breaker for you, it’s a better option to choose a rental property that allows pets upfront – rather than trying to sway your landlord to accommodate one.
How do I pay my rent?
This varies from agency to agency, but at Prudential Real Estate, rent payments are made via direct debit. At the time of lease agreements being signed, tenants will sign a direct debit form to charge rent from their nominated bank account. Should there be any situations where you are unable to pay rent, you should contact your property manager before an attempted debit is made in order to avoid any additional bank fees.
Moving or vacating
How long is my lease? What happens if I need to break my agreement?
Typically your initial lease term will either be 13 or 26 weeks, depending on your landlord’s instructions. In general, longer lease terms are not allowed, however this will depend on your Residential Tenancy Agreement. While landlords and tenants can agree to end a tenancy at any time, the outcomes of ending this early depends on the type of agreement you have – a fixed-term lease, or a periodic lease – as each comes with different notice periods. We have the full details on both in our previous post here, or visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more information.
I’m locked out of my rental… what do I do?
Don’t panic! If you find yourself in this situation, there’s a protocol:
- Get in contact with your property manager or visit your Prudential Real Estate office, so that we can organise for you to borrow the office set of keys.
- If you are stuck after hours, you can call a locksmith, however you will need to pay for the cost of the locksmith/for their service to replace the keys.
- If there is a danger present, such as having children locked in the house or a stove left on, we may be able to take the keys to you. Please note that this is only in an emergency situation and is also dependent on circumstances.
Of course, maintaining a great relationship with your landlord is crucial to handling all kinds of circumstances – and to navigating every question!
Prudential Real Estate has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions portal with the answers to many, but be sure to contact your property manager if you have an issue or concern.
Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown | (02) 4628 0033 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Prudential Real Estate Liverpool | (02) 9822 5999 | email@example.com
Prudential Real Estate Macquarie Fields | (02) 9605 5333 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Prudential Real Estate Narellan | (02) 4624 4400 | email@example.com
Helpful Fair Trading NSW links:
Advertising standards and the law: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-services/advertising-and-pricing/advertising-standards-and-the-law
Landlord Information Statements: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/608383/Landlord-information-statement.pdf