How long will it take to lease my property?
At Nickolas Properties, our average time to lease your property varies depending on market conditions, however in recent months it has averaged less than 8 days. We begin marketing your property the day it becomes available to rent and unlike many other real estate companies, we have a team of specialised leasing consultants focused solely on finding you a qualified tenant in the quickest possible time.
How do you determine the best rent for my property?
We always strive to get you the maximum rent possible, however we also must keep in mind setting the correct market rent to get your property rented as soon as possible.
To do this, we consider these factors:
- Demand - is there currently a high or low demand for rental properties? This can be seasonal and affected by a number of factors.
- What is available now - we look at properties currently available for rent and consider their location and features for comparison to calculate a maximum rent for your property.
- What we have rented right now - We compare your property with what we have currently rented, taking into account property location and features.
These factors allow us to give you enough information to set the right rent for your property.
What if I want a rent amount that is higher than your recommendation?
You may place your property on the market at whatever rental amount you wish. However, keep in mind that it is market demand that sets the rent, and if the market (i.e. prospective tenants looking for a rental property) think that the asking rent is too high, your property may stay vacant longer than necessary.
With this in mind, be aware your annual rental return will be reduced by 2% for every week it is vacant!
What is the length of the average tenancy?
For residential properties, the fixed term is usually 6 or 12 months.
What tenancy documentation is required?
All tenancies are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act.
The tenancy documentation includes:
- A statutory Tenancy Agreement
- A statutory Premises Condition Report
- A Rental Bond Lodgement Form.
- A New Tenant Checklist from the NSW Office of Fair Trading.
Who signs the tenancy documentation?
This is your choice. However, it is usual practice for us to sign these documents on your behalf. We will, of course, send you copies of any documents signed on your behalf.
May I give you some special instructions?
Yes. You may give us some special instructions in relation to the property and the way it is managed, provided the instructions are lawful. These special instructions will need to be either specified in the Management Agency Agreement or provided in writing to us.
If the tenant has a pet, can I ask for an extra bond (a pet bond)?
Unfortunately no! Charging a bond in excess of the tenant`s normal rental bond is illegal in NSW.
What happens when the Tenancy Agreement expires?
The Agreement continues on a continuation (or holding over) basis. Each party will then be required to give the following notice period to terminate the Agreement:
- Tenant: 21 days
- Owner: 90 days
It is not necessary to renew a Tenancy Agreement when the fixed term period ends. In fact, in Sydney, most landlords and tenants choose not to enter into a renewal agreement once the initial fixed term expires.
While we can request that a tenant renew their Tenancy Agreement for a further fixed term, we cannot insist that they do so. Any renewal agreement must be mutually agreed between the parties.
What keys must be supplied to the tenant?
All tenants listed on the Tenancy Agreement must be given a full set of keys. This includes keys to all external doors, windows, garage or letterbox locks. We retain a full master set of keys at the office.
This may necessitate having keys cut at your expense.
How secure must the property be?
The law requires that an owner must provide and maintain locks and other security devices to the property in order for the property to be "reasonably secure".
It is recommended that key operated deadlocks be fitted to all external doors and windows.
What if the tenant wants the locks changed?
If the tenant wishes to alter the existing locks or add other security devices to make the property more secure, the tenant must obtain the owner's prior consent and pay all costs. The tenant must provide the owner/agent with a copy of any new keys.
What about smoke alarms, light globes and tap washers?
It is the landlord's legal responsibility in NSW to provide working smoke alarms and light globes, and to fix any leaking taps prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
During the tenancy, the tenant is responsible for replacing any smoke alarm batteries and light globes.
We are not legally qualified to check the functionality and suitability of certain types of smoke alarms and as such recommend the use of qualified professionals for that purpose.
Who pays for water usage?
If there is no individual meter for the rented premises, as in the case of blocks of older style units, a tenant cannot be changed for water usage.
However, the tenant is responsible for any cost of water used during the tenancy if the property has an individual water meter and has legally prescribed water efficiency devices.
It should be noted though that Sydney Water requires that water availability and usage accounts must be paid in full by the owner of the property. We then request reimbursement from the tenant for the water usage component of the account.
The property is a house, who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens?
Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant is responsible to maintain the lawns and gardens to the standard they were given at the start of the tenancy.
If the property is provided with watering systems these need to be working and kept maintained during the tenancy.
Can I inspect the property whenever I like?
You can, however, the tenant needs to be given 7 days notice. The Owner/Agent are limited to a maximum of 4 inspections in any 12 months period.
How can I terminate the tenancy?
There are 3 main ways that a tenancy can be terminated.
To end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term
Either party can give at least 30 days notice to end a tenancy when the fixed term of the agreement is due to expire.
To end a tenancy after the fixed term has expired (i.e. a continuing tenancy)
A tenant is required to give at least 21 days notice and the owner must give at least 90 days notice to terminate the agreement any time after the fixed term has ended.
To end a tenancy due to a breach
A 14 day termination notice may be given at anytime if either party breaches a term of the agreement, or if the tenant is more than 14 days in arrears of rent.
Can a tenant break the Tenancy Agreement?
Residential Tenancy Agreements are legally binding contracts. However, if a tenant wishes to break the Agreement and vacate the property before the fixed term expires, the tenant is responsible for the following:
- rent until the date a new tenant takes over the property, or until the fixed term expires (whichever happens first)
- any agreed advertising costs
- the owner's costs of a leasing fee.
It is important to note that the owner/agent must make reasonable efforts to minimise any potential losses the tenant may suffer in this situation.
Who pays for damage by the tenant?
The question of what constitutes damage and what is considered acceptable "wear and tear" is always an issue in property management.
In cases of damage to a property attributable to a tenant that is not considered normal wear and tear, normally the bond will provide sufficient protection to remedy the damage.
If not, the owner can take action in the Tribunal against the tenant. Also, landlord protection insurance can cover this type of situation.
What about someone to contact in emergencies?
If it may be difficult to contact you on a routine basis, we suggest that you nominate someone locally to act as your representative in case of an emergency and that this person is advised of the extent of their authority.
That person's name and contact details should be recorded in the Management Agency Agreement or alternatively, provided to us in writing.
What should I do if I change my address, bank account, phone numbers, email address, etc?
Please notify us in writing as soon as possible.
What happens to any mail that comes addressed to me at the property?
We ask the tenants to forward to us any mail addressed to you, however, they are not always as diligent with this as we would like.
It is strongly recommended that you request Australia Post to redirect your mail to you.