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Renter FAQs


There are no silly questions.

Below are some we are commonly asked. Should you still have further questions, please feel free to contact us.

  • What costs will I need to pay?
    The fees payable are an initial marketing and letting fee to secure the best tenant and monthly management fees that covers the ongoing management of your property.
  • How are maintenance and repairs handled?
    Your Property Manager will handle minor repairs with a cost limit set out at the start of each tenancy. For any larger more significant repairs, organised quotes will be cleared with you before they are contracted. If in the case that an urgent repair is required by law as legislated by the Residential Tenancy Act, it will be given clearance regardless of cost. At HarrisLeech, we only employ highly experienced and licensed suppliers whose work is insured.
  • How quickly will you find a tenant?
    There is no set time frame in which we guarantee finding the right tenant for you. Some properties will rent straight away while others may take a little longer. We aim to find a balance between the right rental price and the length of tenancy to ensure the best outcome for both the landlord and the tenant. It is important to price your property within the current market accordingly. Our trained Property Managers are consistently up-to-date on trending market prices for the area. Combining experience with professional knowledge, they will be able to advise you on this matter. It is our priority to ensure that you receive the best possible rental return whilst minimising delays in sourcing tenants. If a property is appropriately priced and well presented, finding the right tenant for your property will be a more efficient process.
  • How will you guarantee that my property will not be damaged?
    With a stringent screening process in place, we are able to minimise the likelihood of your property being damaged, however accidents do happen and there can be no guarantee that your property will not be damaged. As an agency, we conduct routine inspections to minimise the severity of any problems that may arise. These inspections take place three months after a new tenancy begins and every six months thereafter. As an owner you are welcome to be present at these inspections if you wish, please let your property manager know you’d like to attend and they’ll make a note to invite you. If necessary, at the conclusion of a tenancy we will be able to withhold the bond payment to cover repairs charges for any damages incurred throughout the tenancy period. This, however, is only necessary in extreme cases. There is usually no need to pursue this course of action as our tenants generally leave the properties in a condition indicative of normal wear and tear.
  • How will you find me a tenant?
    We will use a range of resources to secure the right tenant for your property. This will include our extensive tenant database and internet marketing resources such as own website and Australia’s leading real estate portal, We will also use on-site signage. We know from experience that this combination generates significant interest and provides us with the opportunity to present you with the most appropriate tenancy applications as per your property’s requirements.
  • How will I receive my rental payments?
    Rental payments will be made by electronic funds transfer into your nominated account on a prompt monthly basis.
  • How do I pay my rent?
    Before taking occupancy, we require tenants to pay the first month’s rent in advance. Making rental payments in advance of the monthly rental period are required throughout the tenancy. Failure to pay your rental may have serious consequences (see arrears). HarrisLeech accepts rental payments made via Direct Debit or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) only. If, under extenuating circumstances you are unable to make your rental payment on or before the due date, please contact our office to discuss your situation.
  • What is a Tenancy Agreement?
    Before taking occupancy you will be required to sign a copy of the tenancy agreement. Since a tenancy agreement is a legally binding contact, you are encouraged to read the document carefully prior to signing. Once signed by both the tenant and the landlord, one fully signed electronic copy will be returned to you for your records.
  • How are rent arrears managed?
    When it comes to outstanding rental payments, we simply encourage communication. If ever you find yourself behind on rental payments, please call HarrisLeech as soon as possible, even if it is in anticipation of an upcoming due date. Keeping us up to date and informed is a simple and effective way to combat any further complications. After a few days… After three days of outstanding rental payments, you will usually receive a reminder email or text message. If and when you receive this, please contact HarrisLeech regarding the outstanding amount if you haven’t already. Please also feel free to contact us should you feel you have received the notice in error. After a week… After eight days of outstanding rental payments, you will usually receive a phone call and email urging you to either make the rental payment or contact our office immediately. This communication should be taken seriously as the landlord may soon have the right to take the matter to VCAT. Again, if you think you received this notice in error, please contact HarrisLeech as quickly as possible. Beyond 14 days… In the event that you fall more than 14 days in arrears it is very likely that we will commence proceedings with VCAT. This could result in the termination of your tenancy and the landlord regaining possession of the property. Please note, that an application for compensation may also be made at this time. This could result in a partial or total loss of your bond. We really do not like taking tenants to VCAT and will always try to work with the tenants directly to avoid this situation. That said, the ultimate right to pursue this course of action lies with the landlord.
  • Can you assist with connecting utilities?
    At the start of any tenancy, the tenant is responsible for contacting all relevant utility providers to arrange the accounts under their own name. HarrisLeech recommends using HOOD for this. They are a one-stop utility connection service and could save you a lot of hassle. HOOD T: 1300 242 824 W:
  • Common maintenance questions
    Electrical/No Power Have you checked your fuse box and/or appliance switches? The safety switch may have been activated. If this is the case, it simply will need to be reset. If there has been an overload, the safety switch will need to be reset. This may be identified if lights and/or power point switches are not working. Unplug and then plug each appliance in one-by-one whilst crosschecking with the meter box until the faulty appliance is identified. Reset safety switch. Have you recently replaced the light bulb? Have you checked the connection with the power provider? Please contact your power provider to check the electrical connection is working, there may be a power outage in the area. If you live in a residential complex, please check with your neighbours if they are also without power. If more than one property has no power, you may need to contact the Owners Corporation. No Hot Water Did you arrange the connection of your gas/electricity with the supplier when your tenancy began? Have you checked to see if your hot water system needs topping up? If yours is a gas hot water system, have you checked to ensure the pilot light is still lit? Some units can be easily relit, others may require a tradesperson. Have you checked the fuse in the meter box? Have you made sure that the tap on the hot water system is turned on? Stove Element is not Working Have you checked to make sure the connections are not dirty or loose? Sometimes just ensuring that the connections are clean and secure can solve your problem. Garage Remote Control is not Working Have you checked the batteries are not flat? Try using the control at a closer range; it may be a simple case of flat batteries. Kitchen/Bathroom Sink is Blocked Have you tried a drain unblocking agent? If you sink is taking an extended period of time to drain away the water, please try using a drain unblocking agent – this can be purchased from the supermarket in the cleaning section. Make sure that you have removed hair and old soap from a bathroom plughole and old food from a kitchen one. Pouring boiling water down the drain can also help clear a blockage. Please do not put fat and oil into the drain, as these will cause clogs in the pipes. If you have a major blockage, please report it to your Property Manager.
  • What is a condition report?
    In every case where a bond has been paid, HarrisLeech will provide a Condition Report to the Tenant. This report will note the general condition of the property along with any fixtures, fittings and chattels. Prior to occupancy, the tenant will be emailed an electronic copy of the Condition Report. The tenant is required to enter any additional information on the report and return it to HarrisLeech within five business days. If the Condition Report is not returned, the original issued copy will become conclusive evidence as to the condition of the property.
  • How do I give notice to vacate?
    There are a number of ways in which a vacancy may come to an end. In every case, one or both parties must give notice in writing. This includes the expiration of a fixed term tenancy agreement. Steps for vacating a property at the expiry date of a tenancy agreement as a tenant: 1. Give the landlord and agent written notice of the tenant’s intention to vacate at least 28 days prior to the expiration date on the agreement. If the Tenant remains in occupation of the property after the expiration date of the agreement without entering into a new fixed term agreement, the Tenant must give notice of their intention to vacate specifying the termination date, assuming it is not before the 28 day notice period ends. Giving notice of termination as a landlord: A landlord may give a tenant notice to vacate in certain circumstances. The period of notice can be anything from immediate notice up to 90 days, depending on the reason. Special circumstances or conditions may be required before a tenant is given a notice to vacate. The “Renting a Home Guide” given to you as a Tenant at the start of your tenancy has a more comprehensive list. Note: neither a landlord nor a Tenant can give notice to end a fixed term tenancy agreement prior to the expiration date unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • How are keys and locks managed?
    When beginning a tenancy, HarrisLeech will provide tenants a copy of all relevant keys, to be collected from our office at an agreed upon time. Permission to change the locks must be provided by the owner, if you wish to change the locks, please ensure you put forward this request in writing to your property manager PRIOR to engaging a locksmith. Keys will be given to tenants only once a tenancy has started. At the end of a tenancy, tenants will be responsible for paying rent until keys have been returned to HarrisLeech. We keep a duplicate copy to all properties. Under special circumstances, and upon producing identification, a set of your keys can be borrowed from our offices. These can only be borrowed during office hours and must be returned by close of business on the same day. No service is available outside of office hours and on public holidays. Unfortunately if you find yourself locked out outside of business hours, you will need to arrange a locksmith to gain access, at your own cost.
  • Do I need contents insurance?
    HarrisLeech recommends that all tenants take our contents cover. Insurance for personal belongings is not covered by the landlord’s policy. Neither HarrisLeech nor the landlord can be held responsible for any damage that may occur to your personal belongings.
  • Why do I have to pay a bond?
    HarrisLeech requires all tenants to pay a bond (security deposit). Lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA), it will be held in trust until the end of your tenancy. The landlord may claim part of the bond at the end of the tenancy to cover the costs of a tenant failing to comply with the upkeep of a property according to the Residential Tenancy Act. This may include (but is not limited to) keeping the property clean, undamaged and safe. At the end of a tenancy, the bond will be refunded provided the property is: 1. Returned in accordance with the condition report conducted at the start of a tenancy; and 2. There is no rent owing on the property.
  • What do I need to know about inspections?
    Entry to a Property Landlords and agents can only enter a property when appropriate notice is given to the tenants. On occasion, HarrisLeech may give the tenant 24 hours notice before needing to enter a property. These would include: · Repairs or other legal responsibilities · Believing the renter has broken their obligations Routine Inspections Regular routine inspections of the property will be carried out by HarrisLeech. This first routine inspection will be carried out after the first three months of a tenancy and every six months thereafter. As a tenant, the routine inspection is a terrific opportunity to meet with your property manager. It is a good idea to take the opportunity to raise any areas of concern you may have with the tenancy or property. Sub-letting and Introducing New Tenants If you have any additional people staying with you for an extended period, please inform HarrisLeech. The landlord may require that their name be added to the lease. It is unusual that consent is withheld, however, all new tenants will need to apply using our standard Tenancy Application process. It is worth noting that tenants living on the premises without the landlord’s consent may provide a reason for the landlord to end the tenancy. Final Inspection When your lease is up, HarrisLeech will conduct a final inspection. During this inspection, we will check the initial Condition Report for any sustained damage during the period of tenancy. You have the right to attend this inspection so please advise your property manager if you wish to do so.
  • What are the fees involved to use a Buyer’s agent?
    How do you know when you’re getting what you want and what you’re paying for regarding buyer’s agents and their fees? Or if you’re not? Most buyer’s agent’s fees will start at (NUMBER) per cent and move up depending on the service type the client wants.
  • What services can a buyer’s agent provide?
    A buyers advocate or buyers agent offers various types of services such as: Searching and gathering properties that meet your criteria and then negotiating the purchase of that chosen property (whether by auction or private sale.) Depending on your needs, a buyer’s agent may search for one particular property or an entire portfolio, or they can negotiate a better price for you by compiling insights via due diligence and conducting building and prest reports on your chosen property and then developing a negotiation strategy, or they can bid for you at the auction of a property you may have found.
  • What is a Buyer's Agent?
    Buyers agents and Buyers advocates are licensed and regulated real estate professionals who act on behalf of the property buyer. Their purpose is to research, find and negotiate a perfect property for their client. This is as opposed to a real estate agent who has a contract with the seller and therefore has their best interests at heart. A buyer’s agent will always negotiate in favour of you, their client.
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