Victorian Renters Handbook
REOM Real Estate of Melbourne
ACN: 159 834 769
Address – Level 4, 405A/448 St Kilda Road, MELBOURNE, VIC 3004
Property Management Team
Head of Rental Department – Property Manager
p: 0432 693 269
Director, Licensed Estate Agent/Officer in Effective Control
p: 0431 406 960
9:00am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday (Except public holidays)
p: 03 8598 8333
KEYS WILL NOT BE RELEASED UNTIL RENTERS HAVE SIGNED ALL FORMS, AND THE FIRST MONTHS RENT AND BOND HAS BEEN PAID.
Renting with Real Estate of Melbourne
Congratulations on your renters approval!
You have been approved because we are confident that, like all our renters, you will be able to pay the rent on time, keep the property clean and well maintained, along with any lawns and gardens that might be part of the private lot.
We have created this guide to assist you with being prepared for your tenancy, and to also assist you with having the right expectations during your tenancy with us.
We believe that a smooth relationship can only occur when the right expectations are set from the beginning, so please read through this handbook.
To ensure you have the right expectations regarding the start of your tenancy and the induction process, we ask you to observe the following important points:
Keeping Appointment Times – The time allocated to your appointments has been specifically allocated amongst other appointments, which usually run ‘back-to-back’. This means it is crucial you are on time for your appointments. Please allow up to 30 minutes, dependant on the matter at hand, and we would ask that if you are running late, you please let us know as soon as possible. Likewise, we will always contact you if we are running late to an appointment to advise or reschedule, at your convenience.
EFT Payments are to be made out to:
RealEstateOfMelbourne.com.au PTY LTD Trust Account
BSB: 063 104
Account Number: 1049 2902
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Please use property address as a description
Moving into your new home!
Possession Granted – Please note that possession will be granted once the following has been fulfilled;
- Tenancy Start Date – your tenancy start date has commenced, as per your tenancy agreement
- Rent – your first months rent has been received by our agency
- Bond – your full bond payment has been received by our agency
IMPORTANT – We are unable to issue keys early, or grant access to the property any earlier than the allocated tenancy start date. An example of this is where access to the property is required to move boxes into a garage or bedroom, or a moving company requiring access before the start date of your tenancy. Under no circumstances will keys be issues prior to this date.
By this point, you should be across the following;
- Tenancy Agreement – the specific details of your tenancy with us.
- Payment of Rent – how we would like you to pay your rent
- The payment of rent is via EFT using the details provided
- Zero Tolerance Late Rent Policy
- Bond Lodgement – the RTBA will email you to complete the lodgement of the bond, and you need to ensure you follow the instructions in their email. Note – if there is more than one renter, you will all receive separate emails, and will need to respond separately.
- Property Condition Report
- You must complete and sign this form and any attachments and return it to the agent within three business days of moving into the premises. If you fail to complete this report accurately you may have difficulty claiming your full bond back at the end of the tenancy.
- Inspect the premises and complete the renter section of this form. Make a comment where you disagree with the agent’s description of an item.
- Sign and date the form.
- Return the agent copy to the agent – scanning and emailing is fine.
- Keep the renter’s copy as a record.
- Repairs and Emergency Repairs
- Compulsory Legislation Information Booklet (from Consumer Affairs Victoria – you can download again here) has already been emailed to you.
- Any other property specific matters
- Monies receipted – you will have already received email receipts of any payments you have made, and this will continue for your rent throughout the tenancy.
Should you have seen anything here that you do not already understand, please click the links, or speak directly to your property manager.
Updating your mailing address
In addition to your utilities, you’ll need to ensure your mailing address is updated with anyone you’re in contact with – we hope the following list helps;
- Bank/Building Society/ Credit Union
- Credit Card Providers
- Contents Insurance
- Doctor/Dentist/Other Practitioners
- Health Insurance
- Insurance Companies (Life, home, car, etc)
- News Agent/Publication Subscriptions
- Post Office – Mail redirection
- Social Security/Pensions
- Superannuation Fund
Should you have not provided all contact details as part of your application, or if your contact details change during the tenancy, please ensure you let your property manager know of the correct details – it is your responsibility to ensure your property manager has up to date and accurate contact details for you during your tenancy.
All keys are photocopied/photographed prior to you moving into the property. Keys are the responsibility of the Renter; any replacements for lost or broker keys/fobs/remotes will be at your expense. You are permitted to change locks at the property at your own expense provided you supply a copy of the new key(s) to our office within 24 hours of the locks being changed.
In the event you lock yourself out or lose your set of keys;
During Office Hours – you may be able to arrange for an additional copy to be cut (At your expense) or to just borrow the office copy, and this will need to be collected from the office.
After Office Hours – The Renter will need to contact a locksmith at their own expense. If any locks are changed, the Renter is responsible for supplying a copy of any new keys to the Office within 24 hours.
Payment and lodgement of your bond
The bond payment you’ve made to our trust account will be debited to the RTBA once you complete the lodgement email instructions. Once this is done, you will be sent a receipt directly from the RTBA.
The condition report is proof of the condition of the property at the start of your tenancy; as such it is an extremely critical document.
Therefore, you will receive 2 copies; one for you as the Renter to retain and one to be returned, signed in confirmation of the details contained within along with any additional notes you feel necessary. This is to be returned to our office (either directly, or via email) within 3 business days of the commencement of your tenancy. If the Agent copy is not returned to our office within the 3 business days, we will use the initial condition report as our benchmark for any exit reports, regardless of whether or not you disagree with the content.
Renters contents insurance
It is important that you investigate whether you should have your own Renters contents insurance, and we would strongly encourage you to consider obtaining it. Building Insurance is the Rental Providers responsibility, however your personal possessions and any valuables you have in the property are not covered by the Rental Providers Building Insurance. Home Contents (or Renters Contents) Insurance is the responsibility of the Renter.
Please note that should your goods be damaged or destroyed by circumstances affecting the owner’s property (i.e. fire, storm damage, power outages etc) then your goods and possessions are not insured by the owner.
If you would like assistance with your Contents Insurance, we would recommend you contact Mile from Cowden Insurance on 0413 485 193 or 03 9686 6500, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
During your tenancy
The Real Estate of Melbourne Office has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for rental arrears. Rent must be paid into our account on or before the due date. Your rent payments make up a large part of your tenancy history. Dishonoured payments are noted on your file and should always be avoided.
Rent arrears policy
- Day 2 – Text/Email – Advise 2 days in arrears
- Day 3 – Text/Email – Advise 3 days in arrears
- Day 4 – First phone call along with email notification
- Day 7 – Second telephone call, advise 7 days in Arrears. You will be informed that, at 14 Days in Arrears legal action (Notice to Vacate) will be served.
- Day 10 – Send reminder via SMS and Email. 10 Days in Arrears and Immediate payment is due.
- Day 13 – Send final reminder via SMS, Email, Phone Call.
- Day 14 – Final advice that unless rent is paid by end of business day, legal action will be taken the following work day.
- Day 15 – You will be issued a Notice to Vacate, 246(1) for rental arrears – You will also be issued with application to VCAT for a warrant of possession and payment of rental arrears.
All non-urgent maintenance or repair requests must be lodged in writing (easiest is via email) – phone requests will be required to be followed up with an email as well. You can also use the online portal to lodge a non-urgent maintenance or repair request. Once the request is received it will be acknowledged within 1 business day, and once a trade has been arranged (after Rental Provider consultation) you will receive a notification with their details.
Refer to our Urgent Repairs page for the procedure and trade details – we suggest bookmarking the page via the link.
We will conduct a routine at the property approximately every 6 months, with the first occurring 3 months into your tenancy. The main purpose is to provide a report to the owner that you are maintaining the property, and also to check for any repairs and make any recommendations to the owner.
The inspections include the following checks:
- The property is being maintained in a clean and tidy condition;
- The grounds are being maintained in a clean and tidy condition – This includes mowing, weed removal and the watering of lawns;
- The property is not damaged in any way;
- There are no more than the number of people specified on the tenancy agreement living at the property;
- No pets are housed at the property, unless otherwise agreed to;
- Any maintenance issues identified are attended to.
How can you prepare your rental property for inspection? Download our guide
General property care
- Controlling mould and condensation are part of the Renters responsibilities; the property must be kept clean and free of mould. Ensuring good ventilation (Opening windows and internal doors, and using exhaust fans), regulating heat in the property and the use of mould inhibiting cleaners are viable methods of controlling mould.
- All smoke detectors will be in working order upon commencement of the Tenancy Agreement. It is then the Renters responsibility to change batteries, as required. Batteries need to be changed when the detector continually emits one beep, at intervals.
- If, for any reason, your smoke detector stops working, it must be reported to the Property Manager immediately.
- To protect the paintwork and interior furnishings, all smoking is to be done outside the property.
It is expected that the property be kept reasonably clean, and this is also a tenancy agreement requirement.
- Walls, switches, power points, skirtings, doors and doorways – please keep these free from marks and dirty finger marks.
- Cobwebs/dusting – please remove cobwebs to windows, walls and ceilings. Keep vents dusted. Light fittings and ceiling fans -keep them dusted regularly.
- Curtains/blinds – keep these cleaned, dusted and also (if suitable) machine or dry clean curtains and netting on an annual basis.
- Windows/sills/window tracks and flyscreens – keep regularly cleaned and dusted. Please note most modern windows are easily removed from their tracks by lifting the sliding window up at the bottom, and pulling this out for easy cleaning.
- Floors – please keep regularly swept and mopped. Floors in the kitchen and wet areas may need to be scrubbed to keep surfaces, tiles and grouting looking clean.
- Ventilation – please ensure that all rooms are kept adequately ventilated to avoid problems associated with condensation, causing mould and possible health problems.
- Wet Areas, bathroom, toilet and laundry grouting/tiles – please ensure all tiles are kept free from grime, soap scum and mould.
All carpets should be professionally cleaned on a six to twelve month basis, simply because of general living. The best time is after winter or at the end of a wet period.
We recommend professional steam cleaning and we do not recommend the use of ‘do-it-yourself’ hire machines. These machines lack the ability to adequately withdraw soapy water the machine may have.
We highly recommend the following cleaning companies for carpets, and also general cleaning of properties if you require it;
- Superhero in Disguise – 0422 414 998 – email@example.com
- Slick Cleaning – 0413 771 402 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Koko Cleaning Services – 0403 334 613 – email@example.com
- Zecco – 0425 180 800 – firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Kitchen
- Please ensure chopping boards are used in bench tops, so that bench tops are preserved from unnecessary cut marks and associated damage.
- Please notify your Property Manager if the surface laminate has started to bulge or life at a join.
- Be sure that if you notice grouting or silicone sealing coming off/loose around any tiles near or around the taps and/or taps dripping/leaking to let us know by repair request.
Oven and Stove Tops
- Please ensure that stove tops, grillers and ovens are kept free of burnt on food. Food, crumbs and spills when left long enough become burnt on, blackened and carbonised, making them very difficult to remove.
Exhaust Fans/Vents and Range hoods
- Ensure the exhaust fan cover is clean and kept free of grime build up. From time to time these should be taken down and removed to be soaked in hot soapy water, and then scrubbed clean. Please use extreme caution when removing these. If you believe this is unsafe (i.e. a high exhaust fan), then let us know so we can arrange to have these cleaned.
- Cupboard shelving, doors, door frames and inside drawers/cutlery tidies should be cleaned at least on an annual basis and food in sealable containers to avoid insects and vermin gaining access to food and breeding and also creating a disease risk from germs, faeces and urine
- Dishwashers provided as part of your tenancy need to be cleaned on a regular basis, and any build up of food remains removed.
In the Wet Areas-Bathroom, Toilet and Laundry
- If you notice cracking to glass in shower screens or shower doors please report this to us immediately. If the shower screen is cracked due to impact damage, this will in most cases need to be paid by the Renter.
- Should a sink or basin become blocked, first try a drain cleaning product, as per instructions. If the sink or basin is still blocked after treatment, please let us know so we can arrange for a plumber to attend to the problem.
Foreign objects down drains
- Please take care not to allow inappropriate items into drains, including the toilet system. If a plumber is employed by us to clear pipes, drains, basins or sinks and it is determined that the blockage was caused by something considered foreign, this expense will be billed to the Renter for payment.
- Should you notice loose tiles to walls, the shower recess or to tiles over the laundry trough etc, please be sure to let us know.
Wall water damage
- Should you notice water damage to a wall adjacent to a shower recess, bathroom basin etc please let us know immediately. This can be identified by bubbling or peeling paint, or even water or mould marks to the flooring/carpet.
- Please report any taps leaking either from a tap head or tap handles. This includes washing machine taps.
- Water left to trickle into the bowl continuously may inflate your water bill and therefore needs to be reported to us when noticed.
Hot water system leaks
- Should you notice the hot water service leaking from the valve or from the base of the unit please let us know. The leaking valve is usually fixable by a plumber, however water leaking from the base of a water storage unit usually indicates the unit has rusted through and may need replacement in the near future.
Outside the property
For up to date water restriction information please log onto https://www.water.vic.gov.au/liveable/using-water-wisely
Watering Your Garden and Water Restrictions
- Watering your lawns and gardens must be done within watering restrictions; however we insist that watering is conducted to the maximum allowed by the restrictions in place. Watering is still required unless the current water restriction has banned all forms of watering.
- Please ensure that all watering systems are working properly, and are checked regularly throughout the tenancy to ensure they continue to work effectively. Watering systems can only be used should current water restrictions allow.
- Supplied hoses, fittings and accessories must be kept in good condition and please ensure that everything is returned and in place upon vacating of the property, free of any damage.
- If garden maintenance is not included in your rental payments, it is your responsibility to maintain the gardens and grass during the period of your tenancy. If you do not wish to, or for any reason are unable to carry out this maintenance, we recommend engaging a gardening company to maintain the property on your behalf. It is also advisable to obtain quotes for this service beforehand, or contact the office, so you are aware of the costs involved.
- Please ensure any rubbish is regularly removed from the property. This includes car parts, tyres and things like lawn clippings or “general junk”.
- Formal household rubbish and waste must only be placed inside rubbish containers (i.e. wheelie bins) and removed weekly from the property, or otherwise as required. This cannot be allowed to accumulate.
- Should oil drippage occur at any time, this must be cleaned up immediately to prevent oil seeping in and permanently staining the driveways. Please note any permanent staining will result in compensation being charged to the Renter.
Parking on Lawns/Gardens
- It is important that at no time can cars or any type of vehicle be parked on any lawns, gardens or any area not created for, or designated as a vehicle parking area. Damage to lawns and landscaping can be costly. Engine oil drippage to gardens and lawns will also create permanent damage to the soil area, being costly to rectify. Any damage of this type will be charged to Renters in full
Pets and Animals are not to be kept on the property, unless by written permission of the Rental Provider. If pets have been permitted on the premises by the Rental Provider, it is the Renters responsibility to;
- Maintain a fit, proper and humane environment for the pets
- Not keep more pets on the premises than authority has been given for
- Ensure that no damage occurs to the property due to the pets
- Maintain a valid and up to date council registration of any and all relevant pets
Subletting, Breaking the rental agreement, and changes to the rental agreement
Subletting a premises (When an existing Renter wishes to rent part of the premises to another person, including rooms and car-parks) is a breach of the signed Tenancy Agreement and will result in a 14 days Notice to Vacate being served on all occupants of the premises, unless:
- A written request has been sent to the Rental Provider and Managing Agent
- Written Permission has been returned to the Renter
All changes to Renters at the above address (whether moving in or moving out) must be made in writing to the Property Manager and Office with at least 28 days notice, to allow the organisation of Bond Transfers and, if necessary, new Tenancy Agreements. There will also be fees payable for all Renter transfers, and any new Renters to the property must submit an application to the property manager and receive approval in writing prior to moving in.
In cases where none of the original occupants, listed in the original Tenancy Agreement, vacate the premises, the current Tenancy Agreement shall be deemed void and a new Agreement will be signed for the remainder of the original rental agreement Period.
Breaking the rental agreement
Breaking the rental agreement is when a Renter wants to end the tenancy agreement earlier than the end of rental agreement date, you will be liable for fees and charges. Break rental agreement fees are as follows:
- Rent until the day the property is relet and an approved new tenancy commences, or the rental agreement end date, whichever is sooner;
- Agency re-leasing fee as calculated proportionately to the unexpired time of the rental agreement term. This amount shall be confirmed at the time of an approved Renter takeover;
- The property will be listed on 8 internet sites, at a cost to the Renter of $184.00 inc GST;
- The cost incurred in erecting a leasing sign board at the front of the property should it be appropriate at the cost of $110.00 incl GST;
- NTD Credit checks of $15.00 per person on approved applications.
Before contacting Real Estate of Melbourne, have you tried all of the below:
Hot water systems;
- Is the pilot light on? (This is the most common cause of no hot water)
- Is the power switched on?
- Has the power box tripped the safety switch or blown a fuse?
- Have you topped up the water level with the filler valve?
- PLEASE NOTE: If a plumber is sent to the property and the issue is found to be the pilot light you will be liable for the call out fee.
- Has the power box tripped the safety switch or blown a fuse?
- Have you checked the globes are at the recommended watt/voltage to ensure they will last a reasonable period of time (Replacing globes at a higher wattage can cause them to blow more regularly)?
- Has the power box tripped the safety switch or blown a fuse?
- If the safety switch has been tripped, reset. If it trips again, unplug all appliances from all power points, reset the switch and re-plug each of the items one at a time to identify what is causing the problem.
- Is there a power-outage in the area?
- PLEASE NOTE: If an electrician is called out to the property and the issue is found to be a faulty, Renter supplied appliance, the Renter will be liable for the call out fee.
- Has the power box tripped the safety switch or blown a fuse?
- Is the filter clean? Is the unit set to ‘heat’ or ‘cool’ respectively?
- Have you cleared the drain of any hair and soap build up? Have you tried using a plunger?
- Have you tried clearing the drains with specific cleaning agents for drains