Have you been looking for a house for lease in Belmont or Newtown and you’re desperate to secure your perfect property? Do you think you’ve found your new home? It’s imperative to act quickly, but be sure to tick off everything on our rental checklist before you sign the lease.

Consider the area

How will you get to work? How close is the local school? Is there a shopping strip nearby? It’s important to look at public transport options and nearby amenities before deciding which house to lease. Allow time for a test run in the local area: take the train or bus and check out the traffic at rush hour. Look up school websites and get a feeling for the community. Test out the lattes at the closest café or go for a run in the local park.

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Check everything is in working order

Ask about heating and cooling systems and test them out to check that they work before signing the lease. Turn lights on and off and check the water pressure in the shower. If something is not working, only sign the rental agreement on the condition it is fixed. If you discover any faults after signing the lease, be sure to list these on the condition report to avoid being held responsible.

Have a closer look

Take your camera or smartphone with you and document any existing damage to the rental property, however minor, before signing a condition report. Check for peeling wall paper, frayed curtains and even minor spots on the carpet. This is a time-consuming task but it is vitally important in ensuring you will receive your full bond back at the end of your tenancy.

Confirm pet policies

Are you looking to bring your new puppy or your elderly cat with you to your new home? It doesn’t matter how large the garden is if the owners have a no-pet policy. It’s a good idea to only shortlist properties that specify that pets are welcome or will be considered. Once you are sure of the policy take a good look at fencing or potential hazards for your pets.

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Understand your ‘Out’ Clause

Check the ‘Out’ clause on your contract before you sign. If you are a tenant with either a fixed-term or a month-by-month tenancy and you want to vacate, it will be your responsibility to give the landlord written notice. You may be expected to pay rent until the end of your lease or until a lease with a new tenant begins, as well as re-advertising costs and re-letting fees.

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Written by Kate Shaw and Jason Barnett