Renting in Brisbane - What You Need to Know
1 Decide What Kind of Property to RentDeciding what kind of home you want to be renting in Brisbane requires that you ask yourself several important questions. Your foremost question should centre on what type of dwelling you would prefer to live in. Is it an apartment, townhouse, duplex, or stand alone house?
After you decide what kind of home you would like to live in, you must then consider other details. These are factors that could impact how comfortable and happy you will be during your tenancy. These factors may include:
- How many bedrooms you will need
- How much rent you can afford to pay each month
- Whether or not you will need or want to live with a roommate
- If there are features - like a fenced-in yard for your pets (and will the landlord permit pets?)
- If maintenance like lawn mowing is included with your monthly rent
- What utilities are included with rent
- What amenities like nearby schools, shops or hospitals are found in the neighbourhood
Once you have all of these criteria outlined, you can then start looking for properties available for renting in Brisbane. If you're like the bulk of the population, you'll head online first for your search. If you have access or time, it's still worth looking in the local newspaper and real estate agent windows for listings. Some landlords still list this way! Of course, at Position One Property we have our available rentals on our website under Find a Rental.
2 Apply for TenancySo you've found a great new home! We strongly recommend personally inspecting the property to be sure it suits your needs. Photographs online can be phenomenal and by law must be an accurate representation of the property. But there's nothing like seeing the place 'in the flesh'. If you simply cannot be preset, there are businesses who provide a personal concierge service to out-of-towners who need to secure something prior to their arrival in town.
There are also strict laws around taking photographs of currently rented properties. Photographs that show any of a tenant's possessions may not be used by property managers/owners in advertising unless the tenant provides prior written agreement. It follows that a prospective tenant inspecting a property that is becoming available for rent, but is not yet vacated by the previous tenant, is not permitted to photograph the property without written permission of the current tenant. Often taking video or still photos is popular so prospective tenants can 'remember what was there' after they've left - and particularly when overload occurs as a result of inspecting a number of properties in quick succession! Our advice is to never assume it's okay - please always ask for permission to photograph to avoid any disputes. This legislation is covered in greater detail on the Residential Tenancies Authority website under photographs of the property.
The next step of the process for renting in Brisbane calls for you to apply to live in your chosen rental home. Most Brisbane landlords or lessors require that prospective renters complete a paper application and submit to a background check. This check ensures that you meet all of the qualifications to satisfy your lease. It also checks that you do not have any past evictions on your rental record.
If your application is denied, you have every right to ask for what reason so that you can correct the issues before applying for another rental home. However, if your application is approved, well done - you are one step closer to moving in!
During the meeting with the property manager, it will work in your favour if you:
- Be on time for the inspection, particularly if it is a personal appointment rather than an "open for viewing"
- Dress nicely and be polite, this will be representing you to the owner, should you apply to rent the house
- Introduce yourself and anyone accompanying you to the meeting
- Have your questions about the home ready
- Respect the property as you tour it
- Have available all of the documentation needed, such as proof of your identity and income, to confirm your tenancy for the home if you plan to apply right away
- Pay the deposit to hold the home
It is important that you get a receipt for the deposit, and Position One Property will always ensure you receive this. Also find out for how long the deposit will hold the home for you. You must inform the landlord of your decision to take or to pass on the home before the end of that hold period. If you decide to pass on the home, you will receive your deposit back from the property manager. The property manager will have it held in a trust account.
3 Sign Your Lease and Move Into Your New HomeThe inspection you've made of the property gives you the chance to look for damages or parts of the home that need to be repaired or serviced. You should request that these issues be addressed before you sign the rental agreement. If certain conditions exist - say a mark on the carpet - this will be noted on the Entry Condition Report which will be completed by the property manager. If there is anything you would like to be noted, now is the time to bring it up. Normal wear and tear occurs and is allowed for, but Entry and Exit Condition Reports are designed to protect both tenant and landlord. You'll find more details on Entry and Exit Condition Reports at the Queensland Government Website under Renting.
The lease on your new rental home will cover topics like:
- Who is the primary lease holder
- Who is permitted to live at the residence
- The term of the lease
- The amount of any bond required prior to moving in
- The amount of the rent and how often and on what date the rent should be paid
- What payment forms are allowed to be used to pay rent, such as a cheque, credit card, etc
- Other terms as outlined by your landlord
Do make sure you read the details carefully so you know what is expected of you. The contract is a two-way-street - both landlord and tenant have obligations and both have rights. The contract is to protect both parties and make life easier. If you don't understand something, do get assistance and clarification.
4 Buy any Necessities and Be Sure to Notify of Change of AddressYou will receive a copy of your lease agreement upon moving in. After you have signed this agreement, you can then hunt down the necessities that you will need to live happily and comfortably in your new home.
We also recommend you take out renters insurance to protect you and your possessions against theft and damages. If you happen to acquire additional belongings prior to moving in - such as housewares, new linens, furniture, and other belongings, your policy should be updated to include these items.
You should also change your address at the post office and notify important places about your move. You will want to change your address at work, school, the bank, Centrelink, the electoral commission, the doctor's and dentist's office, Medicare, the driver's license office, and other locations that impact your daily life.
Here's a handy checklist for making your change of address exercise a breeze :
Change of Address Checklist 29 July 2016
The process for renting in Brisbane requires a focused effort for a short period of time, but is not onerous or unreasonable. You can find the ideal place to call home and move in quickly by following these easy and straightforward steps. This process can be expedited by choosing homes that are professionally managed in Brisbane by a reputable company like Position One Property. Call Us Today on 07 3843 4511.