Are you ready to rent? Lease not being renewed? Moving areas due to work? – There is a number of reason why you need to rent. The question is do you go through a Real Estate company, with a property manager or do you rent privately through the owner of the property?

If you want to rent directly through the owner, where do you find properties to rent? Many would -be tenants are looking more and more on social media or community internet sites. Having just looked at one such community site, there is 3600 properties to rent within the Perth region, so there is a great choice out there.

The next question has to be – Are all the owners going to abide by the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)? The short answer is no! Many do, but it is an upcoming trend that many owners are not complying with the RTA and this is causing major concerns for all parties – the tenant, the landlord and Tenancy Advocates.

Some owners do not know, or do not understand the RTA. They happily place tenants into the property without having a tenancy agreement signed, lodging the bond, ensuring the property is given to the tenants in an acceptable state, completing maintenance in a timely manner and allowing tenants privacy. Not knowing or not understanding the RTA is no excuse and there is extremely large penalties for landlords not complying with the RTA.

Unfortunately there is a small majority of landlords who know exactly what the RTA requires from both parties but choose not to abide by it, usually for their own gain. They may require more than the allowable bond (4 weeks), then they may not lodge it at the Bond Board, they may charge more than 2 weeks rent in advance, the property may not be an acceptable standard when you commence the tenancy, and an entry property inspection may not be completed. Then when the tenancy ends, the landlord may justify keeping the bond because the property is not clean or maintained, there may be damages that they are claiming, that were actually there when you moved in.

If you are renting or looking to rent, it is recommended that you go through a reputable Real Estate company. The property managers will manage the property for the owner, and comply with the RTA, all forms will be competed, the bond will be lodged, property inspections will be held regularly (yes you can be present for these) and they will ensure that maintenance is completed. When the tenancy ends and if you’ve maintained the property and always paid the rent on time, they will return your bond, plus many will give you a reference for futures tenancies.

If you are having problems with your tenancy, whether it be with an owner, a real estate company or Government Housing, it is imperative that you act quickly, as issues can often escalate to the point of legal action being taken and very quickly you can find yourself in front of a Judge, trying to negotiate an acceptable outcome.

If you do have an issue with your current tenancy or previous one, act now and make an appointment with the Tenancy Advocates at Midlas on 9250 2123. They will assess the issue, give you options and negotiate on your behalf and should the matter go to Court, they can advise you on the procedure and how to present your case.

Midlas Mission: We partner with individuals and organisations to promote independence, strength and wellbeing in our community through support, advocacy and education.