Tenant information booklet
Tenant information Introduction We have constructed this comprehensive tenant handbook as a service and reference manual to our tenants to familiarise you with our Property Management processes and procedures and tenancy management expectations. We hope that this handbook assists you and ask that you become familiar with its contents. Should you have an enquiry which you believe is not answered, please contact our office. The McGrath Property Management Tenant Handbook is designed to assist you and to answer the questions that all tenants want to know. Should you have any questions your Property Manager will be happy to assist you.
Preferred method of contact Email - This is the most effective and quickest contact method if you have email access.
cannot require possession of the property during this time. During this time frame your rent cannot increase, unless otherwise negotiated at the start of your tenancy negotiations.
Appointment - To see your Property Manager in person, please contact the office to make
Continuation term of the agreement:
a time that suits you both. The nature of our role takes us out of the office and by making an appointment we can ensure we are there for you.
At the end of the Fixed Term of your Tenancy Agreement your tenancy does not automatically end, it reverts to a continuing tenancy. This means that:
Phone - If we are not available when you call, your call will be returned as soon as it is possible to do so.
a) You can vacate at any time by giving 28 days notice in writing to vacate
b) C ontinue with your tenancy under the same terms and conditions of the fixed term unless you receive notice of a change to the agreement in the prescribed notice period in accordance with the Act.
Condition report Please complete, sign and return to our office within 3 days of the Tenancy Agreement commencement date as required by the Residential Tenancies Act. Otherwise the original will be noted as correct.
Rent arrears management Rent arrears - what it means: Should your rent fall into arrears you will be contacted by your Property Manager by direct contact, SMS and/or email. Should you be experiencing difficulty in meeting your rent commitments please contact your Property Manager for a confidential discussion.
What is my rent payment ledger? Your rent payment ledger is a history of the frequency of your rental payments which details the date in which your payment was made and the paid from and paid to dates. The ledger is an important document for you as your complete rent payment history is recorded here. Any rent recovery action taken against you will also be recorded on the ledger. Increasingly, real estate offices are requiring a copy of rent payment ledgers when assessing an applicant’s suitability for a tenancy. Likewise many credit and financial institutions will require a copy of the ledger when determining a credit or loan application. From this it is evident that it is vital to your interests that rent be paid promptly and on the due date at all times.
What is a termination notice for rent arrears? Should your rent fall 14 days in arrears we will serve a Termination Notice for rent arrears upon you. Put simply, the Notice advises you that your rent is in arrears and that should payment not be received, your tenancy will be terminated. The service of such a notice is recorded on your rent payment history ledger and may result in your name being recorded as a defaulting tenant on an Australia wide tenancy database. Such a listing will affect your future tenancy applications should there be outstanding rental monies for your tenancy.
Term of your tenancy
You can apply to your Property Manager to renew the Agreement for a further fixed term.
Renewing the tenancy agreement: You can apply to renew your Tenancy Agreement for a further fixed term Agreement. Although you are not required to renew the Agreement it does give you the added security of an extended tenancy. An increase in rent during the new term may or may not apply. When you apply to renew the Agreement, we need to gain the landlord’s consent. Consent to renew will be based upon not only the landlord’s property investment needs but also upon the manner in which you have conducted your tenancy ie prompt payment of rent and your good care and maintenance of the property. Once consent has been granted your McGrath Property Manager will confirm with you the term of the renewed agreement, when it will commence and when you can sign the Agreement.
Emergency repairs Emergency repairs include such situations as: • Burst water service • Gas leak • Blocked or broken toilet • Fault/damage likely to cause injury • Serious roof leak • Electrical shock/fault Phone your property manager to report these types of situations immediately. If after hours, leave a detailed message of the problem and refer to the Emergency contact numbers listed in the Urgent Repairs Section of your Residential Tenancy Agreement.
What is the fixed term of the agreement?
General repairs and maintenance
The fixed term of your Tenancy Agreement is detailed on page one of the Agreement.
All general repairs and maintenance must be forwarded to your Property Manager in writing so we can act accordingly. Provide as much information as possible on the repairs needed as well as access authorisation for the repairs to be done. Repair Request Forms are available via our website www.mcgrath.com.au select ‘tenants’ under ‘renting’ tab in the menu bar at the top of the homepage.
The fixed term can be described as the initial term of the tenancy. During this term you and the landlord are bound to the tenancy in the time frame set out in the section on page one of your agreement. In other words you cannot vacate during this term without penalty and the landlord
Property inspections The Property is inspected by our Property Manager 2 times per year in accordance with the property owners request. You will be notified in writing 7 to 14 days prior confirming our intention to inspect.
Keys, locked out? Office Hours - you can collect our Management set of keys (please call first to ensure
How is the inspection conducted? The final presentation of the property is crucial to the prompt refund of your bond, so please take the time to ensure that you attend to all the items in the Vacating Checklist that was provided to you. We view the manner in which you present the property when you vacate as the manner in which you wish the bond inspection to be judged.
After Hours - contact a Locksmith at your cost.
When conducting your bond inspection, we use your Ingoing Condition Report as a comparison. Any differences, allowing for fair wear and tear will become your responsibility and may affect your bond. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, should you be aware of any damage or areas that require cleaning please advise your Property Manager when returning your keys.
Mail and utilities
What happens to my mail when I vacate?
We advise all Tenants to insure their own contents as they are not covered under the Landlord’s policies.
the office holds a set) and return them within the hour to our office. Identification must be produced before keys will be given.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide a mail re-direction service nor are we responsible for the delivery of your mail when you vacate. To ensure that you receive all your mail once you have vacated please contact Australia Post to arrange for a mail redirection. Mail can be re-directed for a moderate cost for up to 6 months after you have vacated.
Moving out If you are on a Fixed Term Agreement notice may be given at any time up until the end of the fixed term, but cannot take effect until the term ends. You must give at least twenty-eight (28) day’s notice. If you are on a Periodic Agreement twenty-eight (28) day’s notice must be given. Vacating Notice Forms are available via our website www.mcgrath.com.au select ‘tenants’ under ‘renting’ tab in the menu bar at the top of the homepage. Notice must be provided in writing.
Breaking a tenancy agreement: If you wish to vacate the property DURING your Tenancy, please contact your Property Manager immediately and make an appointment at which time the Property Manager will advise you of your obligations during this process.
Returning your keys: We would like to have your keys returned to us by 12noon on your vacate date, but you are required to return them by 9am on the next business day (including Saturday), and all keys, remotes and security cards as provided to you at the start of your tenancy. Upon receipt of the keys we will consider that you have vacated the property and that it is ready to present for your bond inspection. Please note if keys are not returned by 9am on the next business day (including Saturday) you will be charged an additional days rent.
When will the inspection be done? Your bond inspection is undertaken after returning all keys to our office. Should you wish to be present at the inspection please make arrangements with your Property Manager prior to your vacating date.
Parking of cars All cars, motorbikes, trailers, campervans, caravans, boats and trucks are to be parked in designated parking areas ONLY. Do not park on front lawn areas, or on designated common areas (where applicable). It is the Tenants responsibility to repair any damage when parking cars etc in such areas. Oil stains on driveways are the Tenant’s responsibility to remove before vacating the Property. To avoid such damage we recommend the purchase of a drip tray.
Pot plants It is recommended that pot plants are raised off the carpet or placed in outside areas to avoid water damage or staining.
Pools and pool fencing Please do not make the assumption that you are able to install / erect a pool of any type at the property. If you wish to have a pool of any size, it may require fencing due to Legislation. You must first seek permission from the Landlord in writing for the pool. If permission is granted, it is then the responsibility of the Tenant to ensure that all fencing requirements are met in accordance with relevant legislation. We recommend you contact the VIC Government and your local Council for further information.
Trouble shooting guide Plumbing leaks The most common problem in properties is water leaking from wet areas eg bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, into adjoining rooms. A regular check for water leaks is advisable. If the carpet/floor is wet, sponge and dry area thoroughly and check again after use. Advise your Property Manager in writing if there is a problem.
Clothes dryer • • • •
Clean filter before every use of the dryer Power on Dryer is not overloaded Air temperature hot when running
Please send an email to report any failure to your Property Manager.
Faulty switches or fans Do not attempt to fix it yourself. Do not use switches if faulty. Advise your Property Manager in writing if there is a problem.
or by email. Remember a leaking hot water tap will cause poor supply of hot water and high electricity/gas accounts.
Insinkerator If your food disposal fails to work, you may need to push the reset button. This button is located under the unit and is usually coloured red. Do not attempt to disassemble the unit. If this does not rectify the problem please notify your property manager in writing via a Repair Request Form or by email. Tenants will be required to pay for callouts to repair food disposal units that are blocked due to Tenant misuse or abuse.
Leaking from toilet and blocked toilet Regular mopping and turning off the tap between uses is adequate until the tradesperson arrives. If this does not rectify the problem please notify your property manager in writing via a Repair Request Form or by email. No foreign items are to be flushed down the toilet, you will be responsible for the cost of repair should foreign items be found.
Mould and removing condensation
What is condensation?
Legislation states that you are responsible for replacing the smoke alarm battery if needed during your tenancy. However, should you be physically unable to change the battery you are required to notify us as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for it to be replaced.
Condensation occurs where moist warm air comes into contact with colder dryer air, or a surface, which is at a lower temperature. Condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of materials occurs.
You are not to tamper with, cover or remove the smoke alarm or render it inoperable at any time during your tenancy. To do so is illegal.
How to avoid condensation:
If your property is fitted with a hard wired smoke alarm, please do not try to repair, remove the battery or tamper with it. As with any type of smoke alarm, should there be a fault please notify our office in writing in order for the fault to be rectified.
• After a bath or shower, the room should be ventilated to the outside, not to the rest of the house – just opening a window (closing the door) will help. • Dry clothes outdoors or in a cool area of the premises – this latter suggestion may sound strange, it will take longer but less moisture will be held in the air at any one time.
• While drying clothes indoors, ventilate the room. Dryers should have external air extraction.
Check if power is connected or check power box for a tripped switch or blown fuse. Advise your Property Manager in writing if there is a problem.
• When people come in with wet coats they should be hung outside to dry (such as on the balcony/verandah).
Hot water systems If your supply of hot water is not hot or does not seem to last as long as it should, your hot water system may need topping up. Locate the filler valve on the side of the hot water system and lift the floppy lever until water flows from the overflow. Repeat this process every few months. Otherwise, check to see that the power is switched on; has the power box tripped the switch or blown a fuse; or has your shower routine changed or increased (tank capacity and/ or tariff rates will affect this). Remember in winter, efficiency of the tank is less than in summer and the water will cool quicker. If you have a Gas Instantaneous Hot Water System and you have no hot water, please ensure the pilot light is lit. If not, follow the instructions on the box. Note: Please follow the above procedure before requesting maintenance. If this does not rectify the problem please notify your property manager in writing via a Repair Request Form
Removal of mould: • Mould cannot exist and grow without moisture. Therefore you must first find and eradicate the source as described above. • Completely remove and dispose of mould-contaminated materials. • Find any mould on porous items that may have absorbed moisture. In particular, insulation, plaster carpeting and other floor coverings, ceiling tiles, wood, clothing and textiles, furniture and furnishings, and paper • If you see evidence of mould these items should be bagged in plastic and removed. Nonporous materials can be saved if they are properly cleaned and dried. It is possible for mould to grow on hard materials like plastic, concrete, glass, or metal, but this can usually be removed with careful cleaning.
• Thoroughly scrub all contaminated surfaces. Use a stiff brush, hot water and a non-ammonia soap/detergent or commercial cleaner. • Collect excess cleaner and cleaning water using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, a mop or sponge.
Washing machine issue • That the power is connected • That the water taps are turned on
• The load of clothes is not off balance or too high
Check power or fuse box. Ensure the power is on and the switch has not tripped. If the problem is not remedied contact your Property Manager.
• Lid is connecting with on/off switch when closing
• If leaking, check hoses for splits
• Water level is a priority and must be kept at a level to allow water to flow through the skimmer boxes at all times. Failure to do this could result in enormous expenditure to you.
When all else fails, contact your Property Manager.
• No metal objects are to be allowed in the pool as it could cause corrosion marks. • No animals allowed in the pool as this creates a huge chemical imbalance. • Ensure regular water testing for correct PH level to prevent mould/fungus forming in the pool. • Vacuum at least once a week to keep pool clear of debris. • Regular checks of the pump to ensure the motor is working correctly and efficiently (making funny noises could be a forerunner to a problem). Leaking of pool water at the pump could mean a cracked casing and will need attention. • Even if a pool is maintained for you, it is your responsibility to report any problems.
Power If your neighbours have also lost power contact your Electricity Supplier. Otherwise check if you have a Safety Switch, which may have tripped. If so, reset the switch. If it trips again unplug all appliances from power points. Reset Safety Switch and plug in appliances one at a time until the faulty appliance is located. If you have a fuse box check this for a blown fuse. Note: If this does not rectify the problem please notify our Agency. Tenants will be required to pay for callouts where a faulty appliance belonging to them has caused the problem.
Pest control How do I deal with pests? Pest infestations in most situations can be easily minimised by following a few steps: • Ensure all rubbish is promptly placed in rubbish bin • Promptly place rubbish bin for collection • Keep all areas clean in particular kitchen cupboards, drawers and stove • In the case of homes keep grounds and gardens well maintained • Place cockroach baits in kitchen, under fridge & hot water system • Regularly use surface sprays – even if pests aren’t evident • In home units check with neighbours if they have an infestation problem, if they do the owners corporation should be notified
• Hoses are securely attached
Water eruption Water bubbling out of the ground could be a serious problem and could lead to further complications. Phone your Property Manager immediately as this is an ‘emergency’ matter.
Emergency maintenance Emergency maintenance must be reported immediately. All emergencies must be reported by telephone to your property manager as soon as possible and then also formalised in writing.
General repairs All general maintenance must be directed to your Property Manager in writing, via email, fax or using the repair request forms that are available from our website www.mcgrath.com.au
Disclaimer This handbook has been prepared by McGrath Property Management as a guide for tenants. Our offices, employees, agents and associates believe that the information and material contained in this handbook is correct at the time of printing but do not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or currency of that information and material. To the maximum extent permitted by law, our offices, employees, agents and associates disclaim all responsibility for any loss or damage which any person may suffer from reliance on the information and material contained in this handbook or any opinion, conclusion or recommendation in the information and material whether the loss or damage is caused by any fault or negligence on the part of our offices, employees, agents and associates or otherwise. The information relating to the law in this handbook is intended only as a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. Whilst our offices, employees, agents and associates believe that such information is correct and current at the time of printing, we do not guarantee its accuracy or currency. Many factors unknown to us may affect the applicability of any statement or comment that we make to your particular circumstances and consequently you should seek appropriate advice before acting or relying on any of the information contained in this handbook. We add that in the first instance always call your Property Manager to address any concerns or issues.