Frequently asked questions
How long will it take to lease my property?
At Macquarie Realtors, our average time to lease your property varies depending on market conditions, however in recent months it has averaged less than 10 days. We begin marketing your property before it becomes available to rent. Our point of difference is that we take a proactive approach to cutting down the ‘on the market to leased time via our system of “register for pre-approval”. This way, we have a bank of pre-qualified tenants waiting for the right property to come along.
Determining the best rent price for my property?
Rental return maximisation is a key focus at Macquarie Realtors; however, we also must set the comparable market value/rent to get your property leased out in the shortest possible time.
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.
- Properties on the market for rent – we look at properties currently available for rent and consider their location and features for comparison to calculate a maximum rent for your property.
- Properties rented within the last 3 months – We compare your property with those which have recently rented in the area, 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. While we would start a tenancy with either 6 or 12 months lease we aim at choosing good quality tenants ensuring the property is maintained and the tenants are long-term. This keeps your costs down.
Do I select the tenant?
We use our professional skills and experience to verify that the tenant can afford to pay the rent. Then using their history and referees as a guide we form an opinion on the suitability of a tenant to be able to maintain the property to the standards we expect. We then put forward any prospective tenants that we think would be suitable for your consideration and decision.
What tenancy documentation is required?
All tenancies are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act or the Boarding House Act for share-houses.
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 special management instructions provided they are in accordance with legislation. These special instructions will need to be either specified in the Management Agency Agreement or provided in writing to us.
If I allow a pet at my property, what expectations will be given to the tenant regarding the pet?
If a pet is permitted we will provide the tenant with strict written conditions.
The major conditions would be that:
- You determine if the pets are allowed inside the property.
- The tenants sign a pet condition statement indicating their full liability for injuries caused to neighbours or passers-by. Pets must be removed from the property if it becomes annoying or bothersome to neighbours (after reasonable warning has been given in writing).
- The tenant must be responsible for any damage to property and fixtures caused by their pet.
- The tenant must have the carpet professionally cleaned and sanitised and the property professionally fumigated upon vacating the property.
If the tenant has a pet, can I ask for an extra bond (a pet bond)?
NSW legislation prohibits charging extra bond/pet bond beyond rent amount
What happens when the Tenancy Agreement expires?
The Agreement continues, on a continuation (known as a periodic lease in NSW) basis.
Each party will then be required to give the following notice period to terminate the Agreement:
- Tenant: 21 days
- Owner: 90 days
Do I have to renew the lease at the expiration of every lease term?
It is not necessary to renew a Tenancy Agreement when the fixed term period ends. Some landlords and tenants choose not to enter into a renewal agreement once the initial fixed term expires. Renewing a tenant’s agreement can give you peace of mind that your investment is safer for a longer time and most landlord insurance only cover for loss of rent when tenants are on a lease term.
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 by both 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.
Tenants are responsible for the cost of water usage used during the tenancy provided a separate water meter is installed and all taps and shower heads comply with legally prescribed water efficiency standards. Hunter Water requires that water rates accounts must be paid in full by the owner of the property. Tenants are to reimburse landlords for the water usage component of the account within 21 days of receiving the invoice provided the bill is attached and made available within 3 Months of receipt.
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 are allowed to inspect your property; however legal restrictions of a maximum of four times in any 12 months period apply and tenants needs to be given at least 7 days’ written notice on each occasion.
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. Periodic Rental Lease)
- 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 any time 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 letting 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?
In cases of damage to a property attributable to a tenant (not considered normal wear and tear), the tenant is asked to rectify damage caused or the bond is used to remedy the damage at the end of the tenancy -where tenant instructs, otherwise the owner can take action in the Tribunal against the tenant. Some landlord protection insurance can also cover damages depending on the terms of the policy cover.
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. Emails are acceptable
What do I do if I misplace a rent statement?
You can go to propertytree login and use your Owner login user name and password to locate and reprint rent statements. Alternatively, you can contact your property manager who can arrange for a replacement statement to be sent to you.
What happens to any mail that comes addressed to me at the property?
We suggest landlords put a redirect order at the post office so as not to miss any important correspondence. However, should this happen, we request that tenants forward any mail addressed to you to our office and we redirect to your address.
If I want to sell my property, can Macquarie Realtors help?
Yes, we have our own real estate sales team to service the needs of our property management clients. It is easier for our office to liaise with tenants for inspections towards a satisfactory sales process. For information on how we can help you sell your property or assist you in buying another property, contact your property manager.