Tenant's Frequently Asked Questions
How do I pay my rent?
As part of making it easier for you to pay your rent Black Picket Fence has selected the Macquarie Bank DEFT Payment system. The DEFT payment system allows for rental payments to be made 24 hours a day 7 days a week via one of the approved payment methods. This includes direct BPAY transfer from your online bank account, user initiated phone or DEFT website direct debit and credit card payments.
How do I request maintenance?
All maintenance requests must be submitted to our office in writing. Please ensure to provide as much information as possible to help us process your request without delay. In most instances your request must first be approved by the landlord prior to any work commencing. Submit a maintenance request online.
What is an emergency repair?
- A burst water service or a serious water service leak
- A blocked or broken lavatory service
- A serious roof leak a gas leak
- A dangerous electrical fault
- Flooding or serious flood damage
- Serious storm, fire or impact damage
- A failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
- A failure or breakdown of an essential service or hot water, cooking or heating appliance
- A fault or damage that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
- A fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a resident of the premises
- A serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area or premises that unduly inconveniences a resident in gaining access to, or using, the premises
- All other repairs are considered to be routine repairs.
Is it my responsibility to maintain the smoke alarms?
Under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990, both tenants and landlords have responsibilities for smoke alarms in their rental properties. Upon the commencement of your tenancy Black Picket Fence will arrange for the property to be made compliant in accordance with legislation. Landlords have obligations to install, clean and test smoke alarms and replace batteries before the start or renewal of a tenancy. Tenants have obligations to clean, test and replace batteries during the tenancy.
What do I do if I have lost my keys or lock myself out?
Unfortunately should you lose your keys or lock yourself out of your premises, Black Picket Fence cannot guarantee a key will be available from our office for replacement. If you require a call out from Black Picket Fence during office hours a fee of $55+GST will be payable onsite or $110+GST out of office hours.Black Picket Fence cannot guarantee a representative from our office will be available to attend & therefor we recommend contacting a locksmith at your own cost.
Am I responsible for water consumption?
Landlords are allowed to pass on the full water consumption costs to tenants provided all the minimum criteria have been met. This includes; the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), the rental premises are water efficient, and the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption. In the instance the premises is not water efficient the landlord can pass on any excess water consumption charges in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement. As each property is different we recommend asking your property manager prior to commencing your tenancy with us.
What are the consequences if I need to break my lease?
If a tenant ends the agreement early without grounds (also known as a break lease) they are responsible for compensation and/or remaining rent until an end date in the agreement is reached. In most cases this includes continuing to pay rent and any other charges in accordance with the existing agreement, until another suitable tenant is found. The re-letting fee of one week’s rent plus GST* and the smoke alarm inspection fee are charged to the tenant. If you need to break your lease we recommend speaking to your Black Picket Fence property manager as soon as possible to help minimise your expenses.
*This fee is not rent and therefore not GST exempt and the tenant pays the GST component of the re-letting fee.
What happens if I pay my rent late?
We understand there are at times unforeseen circumstances that may result in delayed rental payments, however Black Picket Fence has a strict rent arrears procedure that will be maintained regardless of the reason. These procedures are followed to protect the Landlords investment. If you happen to fall into arrears please contact your property manager immediately to discuss.
These actions form part of our arrears management procedure and will occur at the time specified:
- 1-7 days Reminder text, phone call or letter.
- 8 days Notice to Remedy Breach issued with 7 days to remedy the breach.
- 17 days Notice to Lease issued with 7 days notice to vacate the property.
After my lease has expired can I just stay on at the property month to month?
Black Picket Fence recommends to all our landlords that tenants remain on fixed term leases for their investment security. Two to three months prior to the expiration of your lease Black Picket Fence will contact you regarding another lease term at the property. After contacting the landlord for their instructions a lease renewal is prepared and sent through to you. This lease renewal must be returned to our office within a specified time frame or the landlord will be contacted with further instructions regarding re-listing the property for rent.
Can I have another person move in with me?
Permission must first be sought from the landlord regarding any change to your tenancy prior to the proposed new tenant moving into the property. Any change of tenant or additional tenant must submit an application to our office with all supporting documentation. This application will then be processed and presented to the landlord for their approval. If the additional or change of tenancy is approved Black Picket Fence will notify you in writing and prepare any additional paperwork
Do I have to be home when you attend to do a routine inspection?
If you wish to be home for your routine inspection you may choose to do so, however it is not necessary. Two months into your tenancy you will be issued with an entry notice advising a date and two hour time frame in which a Black Picket Fence representative will enter to complete an inspection. Depending on the agreement signed with the landlord, a routine inspection will be completed every three to four months during your tenancy.
Is it my responsibility to change light bulbs during the tenancy?
The Residential Tenancy Act does not specifically refer to the supply of light bulbs or the maintenance of light bulbs. However industry standards hold that the Lessor is responsible for maintaining specialised bulbs such as fluorescent tubing and expensive globes, whilst the tenant is responsible for arranging the replacement of everyday inexpensive globes.
How do I get my bond back?
When you have vacated your property and handed keys back we will conduct your final inspection. The condition of the property will be closely compared to the entry condition report signed at the start of your tenancy. You will then be contacted regarding any damages (not considered fair wear and tear) and any missed cleaning items etc. If the premises are not cleaned to the agent’s satisfaction within a reasonable time frame following the final inspection, a professional cleaner will be engaged to clean and the cost will be deducted from the bond.
If the agent and tenant agree on the bond to be refunded, Black Picket Fence will prepare the Refund of Rental Bond form to be signed by all tenants and submitted to the RTA. Once this is complete, you will typically be refunded the agreed amount by the RTA inside of 14 days. Please note, if all outstanding funds are paid prior to vacating a full bond refund can be processed by our agency within days of vacating the premises.