When people relocate to Melbourne from overseas, they find it really difficult navigating through the rental process. It’s a very competitive market and a lot of people show up to inspect properties and the landlord, in conjunction with the agent, will decide on who the lucky person/s will be. Some of the key points to know are:
- Inspections and Inspection Schedules
- Rental references
- Your financial capability
- Length of Lease
- First Month’s Rent and Bond
- Weekly Rental Price Converted to Monthly
- Condition Report
Inspect Houses Before You Put Your Application In
You have to inspect a property before the rental agency will process your application. You can send someone on your behalf to do this. This is to make sure that if and when you are approved to move in that you are fully aware of what you are moving in to. As most agents know me and what I do, I do get to inspect properties privately because they know that I have already vetted the location and also the amenities of the property.
Find out the Inspection Schedules and Be Able to Get From One Place to the Next…FAST
Compared to other cities where you can call an agent and set an appointment to inspect a rental property, in Melbourne, the times are set by the agents and listed online. It is a public affair so everyone who is interested will show up and view the property. Normally, the times are 10 minutes long. Majority of the inspection times are scheduled on Saturday mornings until 2pm. But some are scheduled mid-week lunch time or after work from 5:30pm. Confirm the schedule with the agency the day before.
So if you are looking at a particular area you need to be able to get from one place to the next…FAST. I provide you with a schedule of the properties I am inspecting and then send you videos of the place and my recommendation. Obviously, if you choose one that you like and I find something wrong with it, I will be forceful in letting you know.
Prepare and Submit your Rental References from your current agents/landlord
You need rental references. If you are coming from overseas or interstate, it is useful to get a reference letter from the past two rentals you have been in from your real estate agent or your landlord. If you own your house and you either have sold it or having it leased out, it would be beneficial to have some documentation for this. This way the Melbourne agents can have an idea of how you were as a tenant. You’d find it better if you are able to get the name of the agent/landlord, company name and contact details so the agents here in Melbourne are able to check your references. As part of my relocation service, I will be asking these from you or directly from the rental company you are renting from in your home country.
Have Copies of your Financial Statements and Employment Contract to Submit
You have to prove that you are able to pay the rent. If you are moving because you are immigrating and will look for work when you arrive, it will work in your favour to provide a copy of your bank statement. Your bank statement should include your name and the balance. If you have been relocated to Melbourne because of your work, a copy of your employment contract is essential. This, in some ways, negate the need for you to produce your bank statements. The employment contract will state how much you will be earning and where your work will be. You may want to get the contact details of the Human Resources personnel here in Melbourne so your employment can be verified.
Length of Lease is Usually 12 Months but Shorter is Negotiable
Typically, the usual lease contract you will see is 12 months. There are some agencies that extend this to another month if the end of the lease lands in December. If you are planning on staying for less than 6 months, your options get significantly reduced because of the marketing campaign the agents will have to set up to get the rental house re-let and they have to account for loss of rental income. However, it is not the end of the world if you only have to be in Melbourne for 6 months or less. There are ways around it and it comes down to negotiating on the price and that is something that I will do for you if we are to work together.
What You Need to Know about First Month’s Rent – It’s Paid in Advance
Rental price is advertised as per-week. When your rental application is approved, you will have to submit the first month’s rent and bond within 24 hours of being notified using two separate bank cheques. If you do not hand the first month’s rent, the agents will keep the advertisement up and it could be given to someone else. In most cases, if you find a house that is nice, someone else will find the house to be suitable for them. Agents will check the references of all the applications so if your bond and rent do not show up, they will just move down the list of applicants and offer the house to the next suitable person.
Bond is Usually The Same Amount as the Monthly Rent
The bond is usually equivalent to a month’s rent. Sometimes it can be 6 weeks’ worth of rent depending on landlord. It is not illegal to do so and the agents normally will temper the landlord’s desire to get more bond. The bond, in form of bank cheque, should be issued to RTBA (Residential Tenancies Bond Authority) and they will hold the money until you have moved out and the agents and landlord are satisfied with the condition of the rental place. One thing to remember is your signature. RTBA will check your signature on the bond release form against the bond lodgement form and they are very, very, very strict.
How Do you Calculate the Monthly Rent and Bond?
You might think that you just have to multiply the advertised weekly rent by 4 and you get the monthly rent…which really makes sense but the rental agencies use this formula in calculating the monthly rent. The monthly rent is always paid in advance.
Eg. $400 /week is equivalent to $1,738.00 per month.
$400/week divided by 7 days of the week = $57.14 per day
$57.14 per day multiplied by 365 days of the year = $20,857.142 annually
$20,857.142 per year divided by 12 months = $1,738.10
What is the Condition Report? It’s 6 Pages Long!
When you move in to your new home, you will be given a Rental condition report in Melbourne Victoria that lists every area like the entrance hall, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, dining, kitchen, lounge, garage and it section will specify walls, ceiling, lights, flooring, etc. and comments from the agent. It is a very daunting task and it is in your best interest to fill this out properly with as much detail. This is to protect you when you move out and you have documentation on the state of your home is in. You normally have 3 business days to complete and submit this back to the agency. As part of Finders Keepers’ relocation service, I will be there on or before the move in day and fill this report out. I will also be taking photos of every single item that does not match up with the agent’s copy and submit it to you and the agent.