Wood Property
Renting an apartment

Renting an apartment – Here’s how it works.

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When renting an apartment, owners want a good renter on a long-term lease, but what should you do when that lease comes to an end?

There are 6 simple steps.

1. Prepare and present the apartment for lease.
2. How to market and promote your apartment.
3. Open for inspections and the casual interview.
4. Rental applications and approval process.
5. Signing the lease agreement
6. Moving in to the new home

Leasing an apartment happens smoothly and easily as the process moves through each step. Some steps may overlap to minimise the time an apartment is vacant.

You can read through the 6 stages or watch the video.

Note this relates to a tenant moving out and a new tenant moving in. The process is slightly different for an owner is moving out and a tenant is moving in.

1. Prepare and present the apartment for lease.

The goal is to make the photos and inspections impress potential renters, and to avoid the cost of ad hoc repairs during the tenancy.

Complete all the maintenance jobs. These might be small things that might turn into a larger problems if they are not fixed. Check to see if your apartment needs repairs done like:

  • repainting or reflooring.
  • replacing old blinds.
  • fixing or replacing light fittings and globes.
  • cleaning air-conditioning filters.
  • adjusting any cupboards or drawers.
  • tightening loose rails, handles, knobs, toilet seats, cupboards, etc.

We want to ensure everything is working well. Some apartments may need serious work to the kitchen or bathroom as well as electrical and plumbing.

As a general rule, you are better to get repairs done sooner rather than later. Renters tend not to look after an apartment as well if it is not well maintained by the owner.

Once that is done, we are ready to go to market!!!

2. How to market and promote your apartment.

Now the apartment is looking good, we are ready to tell everyone about it.

We take high quality professional photos for the major property websites including realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and of course, woodproperty.com.au. The photos are also used on lots of other websites, email alerts and social media.

Wood Property have thousands of potential renters on our target list and we promote apartment for lease directly to them.

The marketing channels used to promote your apartment are:

  • Direct email / text to our database of apartment renters searching for suitable properties.
  • High profile listings on the major real estate web sites such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au
  • Social media promotion of your apartment to the local and target demographic

All this promotion is designed to maximise the demand, giving you a larger potential renter pool. This means more applications to select from at the maximum rent.

3. Inspections and the casual interview.

With the apartment looking great and the marketing program generating renter interest, we can now show people through. Inspections can be done via private appointment or at an advertised open for inspection.

This is when a renter checks out the apartment to decide if they want to live there. They imagine their furniture in place, cooking diner, entertaining, working from home, lounging on the couch or getting some fresh air and sunshine. Hopefully it is a match.

During this inspection our leasing team chat with the renters to understand their situation with work, study, family, friends and life generally. We find out what they are looking for, price range, when they need to move in and any other specific issues like length of lease. This sort of informal background is helpful when it comes to the application and approval step.

4. Rental applications and approval process.

With inspections well underway, we start receiving lease applications from people who love it and would like to move in.

Rental applications require each person to provide the following information:

  1. Rental references from previous agents.
  2. Employee references.
  3. Financial details such as current savings.
  4. Job details including evidence of income.
  5. Proposed lease start date.
  6. How much rent they wish to pay or offer.

We then conduct a detailed review of this information, checking references and financials, and overlay it with the discussion we had at the inspection.

Once we have found one or more applications that we are happy with, we speak to the owner to provide a summary and seek their approval.

5. Signing the lease agreement

It is always an exciting call to let the successful applicant know they have a new home. We then begin the process of documenting and formalising the lease. The first step is for the renter to pay the first month’s rent. This acts as a holding deposit while we prepare the lease agreement for signing.

Once the renter and owner sign the lease (often the agent signs on the owner’s behalf), the deal is done. The renter is provided with detailed instructions about everything they need to know practically and legally. This includes;

  • how and when to pay their rent,
  • organising utility connections,
  • booking their move in with the building management,
  • induction for a carpark stacker if required and
  • any other important instructions.

About 3 days prior to the renter moving in we complete an ingoing condition report which is a detailed report with hundreds of photos recording the exact condition of the apartment when the renter moved in. This report is provided to the renter on the day they move in, and they are invited to make any comments or adjustments to it. This report is then kept and used to verify any changes in the condition when the renter moves out before returning the bond.

6. Moving into the new home

It is always an exciting day for a renter to move into their new home.

On the commencement date, the renter pays the bond and collects the keys. The agent confirms any specific issues about the apartment such as storage cages, car park stackers and any other apartment specific information.

The bond is transferred to the Residential Bond Authority which holds it for the duration of the lease.

All done.

And they are the 6 steps. Lots of little but important things to do that Wood Property complete thoroughly and professionally every day, to make it easy for everyone.

Some other notes…

It is reasonably common in Melbourne for renters to stay on after a lease on a month-to-month basis (periodic lease). They may love living in your apartment and are a great renter but they are just not sure what lies around the corner. Work, life or love can change quickly sometimes and they may like the flexibility.

Interestingly if a renter is on a month-to-month lease, the owner cannot ask them to move out unless they are selling the apartment, moving in themselves, or the renter defaults on the lease. It is therefore helpful for owners and renters to work closely with their property manager to get the best outcome.

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Written by a 4th generation real estate agent Apartments Made Easy gives you the tools and tells you all you need to know about how to buy, sell, own, lease, and manage your apartment successfully.

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