Things to think about/prepare for before moving in
Congratulations – your application has been approved! Moving into a new place can be exciting but also stressful; especially if you are living independently for the first time. We have created a Moving In Checklist to makes things a little easier to remember. Click here to download the checklist. (will be a word doc)
There are some important things to consider before you sign anything. Some things you need to think about include:
A bond is a type of security that the landlord will ask you for to cover costs if you leave without paying rent or cause damage to the property. If at the end of your lease you are up to date with your rent landlord is happy with the condition you leave the property in your bond will be returned to you when you move out. If you pay the bond, you must receive two copies of the condition report signed by the landlord. It’s important that you complete a condition report as this can be used as evidence if there’s a dispute about the condition of property.
Bond is usually around 4-6 weeks of rent. E.g. If a rent for a unit is $300 a week, then 4 x $300 = $1200 bond).
If you don’t have enough money you might be eligible to receive an interest free loan through the Rent Assist bond loan:
Go here to see if you are eligible: RentAssist bond loan | Housing.vic.gov.au
Tip: Never pay a Bond in cash. Get a bank cheque or money order (from the Post Office) made out to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) and complete the Bond Lodgement form together with the landlord or agent. Before moving into any rented premises, ensure the lease holder has written permission of the landlord. You can find more information here: Victoria Bonds | Flatmates.com.au
Rent in advance
In addition to the bond you are required to pay rent in advance. Rent in advance around 2-4 weeks of rent. In Victoria, if the rent is less than $350 per week you are not required to pay more than one month’s rent in advance.
For more information go here: Victoria Rent Payments | Flatmates.com.au
To work out what your rent will cost per day, week, fortnight, monthly check out this Rent calculator:
A condition report is a document given to a tenant at the beginning of their tenancy that records the condition of the property on a room-by-room basis. The condition report takes note of the condition of the property before you move in for comparison when you move out. This report is then used to determine if there was any damage caused to the property while you were living there. When you move out, at the final inspection you and/or the real estate agent will refer to this report. You may be asked to pay for damages that occur during your lease so it’s important that you go through this report carefully before you move in. Important things to know:
- You must be provided with two copies of the signed report (or one copy if sending electronically).
- Fill in, sign & date the report within 5 business days after moving in.
- You can include comments within the report where you disagree with the description of an item and note anything which seems unsafe, insecurely fixed or needs repair.
- Take photos that show the condition of the items
Click here to download more information about condition reports.
Here is a useful link with more information: Victoria Condition Reports | Flatmates.com.au
Residential Tenancy Agreement – “Lease”
A lease is the name for the contract that you and the landlord agree to when renting a place. When you sign a lease the landlord must give you a copy. Make sure you read it before you sign and ask questions if you are not sure or don’t understand.
Go here for more information about fixed lease vs periodic lease & what they mean: Signing a Lease | Youth Central
Moving all your stuff
A removalist company can help move your things for a cost. Contact a few removalist companies to get some quotes and choose the one that best suits your needs & budget. If you have friends or family that can help out you could hire a van and move your stuff yourself.
Tip: Always ring a few companies to compare prices before deciding who to hire. Make sure you have everything packed nicely in boxes & clearly labelled to save time so you don’t get extra fees for extra time spent packing your items.
Connecting electricity & gas (also called ‘utilities’) can be connected by choosing & contacting a company by phone or looking online. There are varying fees for connecting utilities so ask the company what they charge & choose the company which best suits you. If you are on Centrelink benefits you may be eligible for a concession rate. Ask the utility provider for more information.
Water is usually already connected when you move into a place. If the property is separately metered, you are responsible for paying for water & sewerage disposal charges. If it is a shared meter it’s the landlord’s responsibility to pay these charges. Check with the landlord to find out who is responsible for water charges.
There are many internet providers to choose from that offer a variety of plans & connection options. Just make sure you understand the costs involved before signing up. Consider if your budget can allow you to cover these costs. Be aware of extra costs such as:
- Connection & establishment fees
- Phone line rental
- Wi-Fi modem/router
Consumer affairs Victoria
Advice on your rights as a tenant
Tenants Union Victoria
For residential tenants living in Victoria who require information on their legal rights.
Heaps of information about renting & your rights & responsibilities.
Advice for young people on managing money and bills, living in a share house & general advice about moving out.