Tips for Tenants - Renting with First National Real Estate Bentleigh

Before deciding to rent a property there are a few rules and regulations that you need to take into consideration.

A Residential Tenancy Agreement or 'lease' will be drawn up and is the legal contract that both you and your landlord must abide by.

A lease should include information such as:

Location of the property

Total rent

Amount of the bond

Commencement and end date of your tenancy

The landlords' name

Never sign a blank form if you do not understand something. Contact the correct establishments and ask for advice.

Tenant Services

At First National Bentleigh, we value our tenants.
We understand that finding a home that is clean, comfortable and well maintained is important.
We appreciate quality clients and actively support you through the rental experience.
During your tenancy, First National Bentleigh will undertake regular inspections as part of our service to you, as well as to the landlord.
We welcome and encourage you to be present at these inspections, to let us know your concerns or be able to address any concerns you may have.
First National Bentleigh offer the easy to use DEFT Payment System to help you pay your rent.
Our professional yet personalised approach ensures that your tenancy will be a positive experience from start to finish.
To find out more about our Tenant Services, please contact us

Applying for a Rental Property

We know that people rent properties for all kinds of reasons.
As a tenant of First National Bentleigh you will be valued, respected and supported as our customer.
First National Bentleigh will also provide advice, guidance and support to tenants who are entering the rental market for the first time.
In return, we ask that you fulfil some obligations.
These include:
When you are applying for a rental property, you will be required to provide personal information and information about your rental history, employment history and references.
You must provide verification of your identification (100 points).
Accepted forms of identification include:
Driver’s licence (40 points)
Passport (40 points)
Proof of Age Card (40 points)
Copy of Birth Certificate (20 points)
Medicare Card (20 points)
Utility Bills / Bank Statements (30 points)
Reference from previous Owner / Landlord (20 points)
Student ID or Concession Card (20 points)
Current Motor Vehicle Registration (10 points)
Should your application be successful, you will be required to pay a holding deposit to secure the property which is equivalent to one month’s rent.
A rental bond will also be required at the time of taking possession of the property.
To apply for a rental property click here:
To find out more about our Rental Application Process, please contact us

Beginning a Tenancy

At the start of your tenancy it is important you should:
Carefully read and understand the tenancy agreement before you sign it.
Obtain First National Bentleigh Property Manager’s contact details.
Pay the required Bond.
Pay rent, in advance.
Fill out, and keep a copy of the Condition Report.
Tenancy Agreements
A tenancy agreement, also called a lease, is a legal contract between you and the landlord.
There are two types of tenancy agreements:
A fixed-term agreement is for an initial set period.
A periodic agreement has no end date.
The tenancy agreement outlines:
The rent you need to pay and how to pay it.
The length and type of tenancy.
The amount of bond required.
Other conditions and rules.
First National Bentleigh strive to make this process easy and stress free for both landlords and tenants.
As part of the tenancy agreement, First National Bentleigh will ask you to pay a bond.
A bond acts as a security that you will meet the terms of your tenancy agreement.
If you fail to keep the property clean, cause damage or are in rent arrears, your landlord may claim some or all of the bond when the tenancy ends.
Your bond money is held by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA).
Once a bond is paid, First National Bentleigh will provide you with a completed and signed official Bond Lodgement form to sign and a receipt will be issued by the RTBA.
Condition Report
If you have paid a bond, First National Bentleigh will prepare a Condition Report, which notes the property’s general condition, including fittings and fixtures.
You are required to complete this form within 7 days of taking possession of the property.
The Condition Report can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning, damage or replacement of missing items.
Water Meter Readings
In the Melbourne metropolitan area, if the property has a separate meter,you will be responsible for water usage and sewage disposal.
Please contact your water provider (e.g. South East Water) who will read the meter and commence billing.
Utility Connections
When starting a tenancy, you need to:
Contact the utility providers of your choice to ensure gas and electricity are connected.
Arrange for bills to be in your name.
Leave enough time to arrange any connections prior to moving in.
Or as an alternative First National Bentleigh can arrange for all the above utilities to be connected by our “preferred” Utility Company DirectConnect.
To find out more about the tenancy process, please contact us

During a Tenancy

During a tenancy, tenants, landlords and First National Bentleigh have various rights and responsibilities.
These include:
Paying Rent
First National Bentleigh offers the easy to use DEFT Payment System to help you pay your rent.
The DEFT Payment System is a quick, easy and secure way to pay your rent.
The DEFT Payment System provides you with the options of paying by credit card or direct debit from your nominated account.
BPay can be done online or over the telephone and we will provide you with your unique reference number and biller code.
To find out more and register for DEFT, visit www.deft.com.au.
It is important that you:
Pay your rent on time.
If any rental payments are late or not made, you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement.
If rent is 14 days or more behind, First National Bentleigh will issue you a 14-day Notice to Vacate.
Periodic Inspections
As part of our service to our landlords, First National Bentleigh will conduct regular periodic inspections on the property after the first 3 months of the tenancy then 6 monthly thereafter.
You will be notified in writing prior to this inspection.
We encourage you to be present so you can notify us of any concerns you have regarding the property.
Repairs and Maintenance
During a tenancy, repairs and maintenance fall under two categories: urgent repairs and non-urgent repairs.
Please advise First National Bentleigh of any repairs or maintenance required as soon as possible.
Urgent Repairs
First National Bentleigh will respond immediately to your calls for urgent repairs.
Urgent repairs include:
A burst water service
A blocked or broken toilet system
A serious roof leak
A gas leak
A dangerous electrical fault
Flooding or serious flood damage
A failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided to First National Bentleigh for hot water, water, cooking, heating or laundering.
Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply.
Any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure.
An appliance, fitting or fixture that is not working properly and causes a substantial amount of water to be wasted.
A serious fault in a lift or staircase.

Non-Urgent Repairs
In the event of non-urgent repairs, it will be necessary to write to First National Bentleigh informing us of the nature of the repair.
To find out more about your rights and responsibilities during a tenancy, please contact us

Ending a Tenancy

Ending a Tenancy Agreement
There are three main ways to end a tenancy:
All the parties can agree to end the tenancy.
First National Bentleigh gives you a valid Notice to Vacate as per Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
You give notice to First National Bentleigh that you intend to vacate as per Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

Notice Required
If your tenancy is approaching the end of a fixed term and you wish to end your tenancy, you should provide 28 days’ notice in writing. Written notice can be given up to and including the last day of the fixed term.
If the fixed term period for your tenancy has ended and you wish to end your tenancy, you should provide 28 days’ notice in writing.
If the fixed term lease expires this does not mean that you "just " vacate, you must still provide a written notice.
The tenancy is viewed as a whole this means that all tenants are responsible, therefore if submitting a 28 days notice we will assume that all tenants at the property are vacating.
If not all tenants are vacating please contact us to discuss.
If you are using registered post please refer to “Renting a home. A guide for tenants”.

If you have signed a fixed term tenancy agreement and you wish to end the lease early, you should be aware that there might be costs involved.
If you wish to end your lease before the end of the fixed term, please give as much notice as possible, this gives us the best chance possible of finding a replacement tenant and can reduce the costs you may have to pay.
Costs that you could be liable for are rental costs until a new tenant is found or the fixed term agreement expires, advertising costs and re-letting fees.

Vacating the Property You are required to remove all your belongings from the property by the agreed date of vacancy.
You are also required to leave the rental property in good and clean condition, please see our Final Inspection Checklist.
You should complete an Exit Condition Report before you vacate the rental property.
First National Bentleigh will conduct a final Inspection of the property at which time keys are returned to First National Bentleigh.
If the property does not meet First National Bentleigh’s Final Inspection standards, these issues will be discussed with you and you will be given the opportunity to resolve them.
The cost of which will be deducted from your bond.
Agreeing on the Return of the Bond
At the end of the tenancy, if both tenant and landlord are in agreeance the bond will be returned to the tenant.

Please be aware that the Bonds needs to be dealt with within 10 business days of the tenant vacating the property.
Final Meter Readings
If you have separate meters for gas, water and electricity you should let the providers know in advance you will be moving out.
If you do not do this, you may be charged for utilities in the next billing period.

Providing a Forwarding Address It is a good idea to leave a forwarding address and telephone number when leaving a tenancy.
The new address and telephone number should be given to First National Bentleigh, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) (if an application has been made) and the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) on the Bond Claim form.
You can also get your mail forwarded to your new address by completing a form at any Australia Post Office.
There may be a fee for this service.

To find out more about your obligations and responsibilities at the end of a tenancy, please contact us


DEFT Payment Systems Operated by Macquarie Bank since 1995, DEFT Payment Systems offers a simple, easy and secure way to make your rental payments to First National Bentleigh.

You can make payments online when it suits you, anywhere, anytime.
(PH) 1800 67 21 62

Office of Housing

The Office of Housing is a division of the Department of Human Services. It provides housing services including the Bond Loan Scheme and public rental housing to eligible Victorian residents.

For further information contact your closest Housing Office (listed in the White Pages A-K under Human Services, Housing Services). (PH) 1300 650 172 (local call charge)

(E) Housing@dhs.vic.gov.au

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(TTY) 13 36 77 then ask for 1300 650 172

Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) The REIV is the peak industry association representing Victorian estate agents.

(PH) 1800 061 218 (country callers) (PH) (03) 9205 6666

(E) reiv@reiv.com.au (W) www.reiv.com.au
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Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) The RTBA holds all residential tenancy bonds as a trustee for tenants and landlords. The RTBA can only repay bonds if both the tenant and the landlord agree, or as directed by the Victorian Civil and

Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) or a court.

Locked Bag 007 Wendouree Victoria 3355

(PH) 1300 13 71 64 (local call charge) (FAX) (03) 8684 6299

(E) rtba@justice.vic.gov.au (W) www.rtba.vic.gov.au
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Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) VCAT operates like a court but is not as formal, and deals with a wide range of issues, including disputes arising from the Residential Tenancies Act.

55 King Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 GPO Box 5408CC Melbourne Victoria 3001 (PH) (03) 9628 9800 (PH) 1800 13 30 55 (country callers, free call) (FAX) (03) 9628 9822 (E) vcat@vcat.vic.gov.au (W) www.vcat.vic.gov.au
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Renting a Home Guide

Click here to view our guide

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