Tenant's Guide to Renting

Freeman's cares about ensuring that quality tenants get a great experience whilst renting through our agency. Please find below a comprehensive guide to renting with our office to help get you started.

Before you rent

We suggest that you familiarise yourself with our application process before you even begin your house-hunting, that way, you can prepare copies of all relevant documents to ensure your application is submitted as soon as you find the right property for you.

Depending on your circumstances, you will be required to submit a combination of the following:

- Basic personal details
- Details of your current and past addresses
- Next of kin contact details
- Details of rental history including rental references
- Personal and professional references
- 100 points of identification:
Drivers licence, passport, 18+ card, birth certificate (50pt each)
Bank statement, credit card, telephone account, electricity statement (25pt each)
- Employment details or proof of income
- Last two pay slips
- Employment contract
- Letter of parental support
- Bank statement showing savings or large lump sum deposits

Finding a property

This is absolutely the most important step in the rental process. Finding the ‘right’ property is a decision that will affect you for the entirety of your lease, so it is important that you carefully consider exactly what you want in a home.

The good news is that Freeman's manages over 850 rental properties across the Cairns region. That means that if you are looking for something special, chances are we have it! Finding your new home couldn’t be easier… simply use our ‘For Rent’ search.

Once you have found one, or a handful of properties, that you are interested in, it is a requirement that you inspect the property before you can apply. You may also have someone view the property on your behalf.

The next step is to arrange an inspection using Freeman’s online booking system.

Conducting an inspection

Making a time to inspect a property with Freeman’s could not be easier!

- If you have used the Freeman's property search, simply click ‘Book Inspection’, select an available date and fill out your details (so we can contact you if anything changes)

- If you have found a Freeman's property on another website, simply click to go to our property search page then find the property you wish to inspect and click ‘Book Inspection’

In both cases, you will receive a confirmation email providing the time and date of the inspection with an application form attached.

Alternatively, you can call the number listed on the property advertisement to book via telephone.

Submitting your application

Once you have found and inspected a property that you are satisfied with, the next step is to submit a tenancy application. The Tenancy Application can be found under Tenant Resources on this website.

In order to complete your application, you will need to provide the documentation listed above.

There are a number of ways to submit your application. You may hand it in at the property on inspection, to our office or you can fax or email it to us. Click here to view our contact addresses.

Processing your application

Most real estate agencies will have you believe that processing rental applications is some great mystery. In actual fact, what we do is really quite simple.

To process a rental application, we:

- Check that we have received all application forms from everyone wishing to apply with you
- Ensure that you have filled out absolutely everything we need on our end and that we have received all your documentation
- Cross reference your identification to make sure that all the details provided line-up correctly
- Conduct a basic affordability test for all people applying on your lease
- Contact your employer and ensure that your employment and income details are correct
- Screen candidates through a rental database to ensure that we are fully aware of any discrepancies from the past
- Contact the property owner who will make the final decision on which application to progress
- Organise for the successful applicant to sign the lease
- Notify unsuccessful applicants

How long does it take to process your application?

As your application is a high priority, our office will endeavour to have an answer to you within 48 hours. If your application is approved, you will be required to pay a minimum of two weeks rent to secure the property. Once paid, this amount is non-refundable.

Accepting and signing a lease

Once you have been accepted for a property, we will make an initial telephone call to advise that your application has been successful and to arrange a time for you to come and sign the lease. In order to secure the property, we require all individuals who will be on the lease to visit us at our office within 24 to 48 hours of being approved so that we can stop advertising the property.

When you meet with us, we will carefully explain the details of the lease including our expectations and obligations. As we need to explain all your tenancy details thoroughly, please allocate up to 45 minutes for your tenancy induction. We will also explain our “three strikes” policy for late rent payment, the bond lodgement process, action for emergency repairs and help to arrange payment methods if necessary. At this point, you will be required to sign the lease, pay two weeks of rent in advance and pay the agreed bond amount (the equivalent of four weeks rent in most cases).

Please make all bank cheques and money orders out to FREEMAN'S RESIDENTIAL TRUST.

Bond

A rental bond is a sum of money that tenants are required to pay to cover any unforeseen problems.

This can cover unpaid rent, damage to property by tenants and cleaning should the property be left in an unsatisfactory condition.

A bond is typically the equivalent of four weeks rent but this can vary in some instances. When paying your bond for a property, you must have the correct amount in the form of a separate money order or bank cheque.

Further bond details (Queensland specific)

Shortly after moving into a property, the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) will mail out a bond receipt to the address on the bond lodgement form. This money is held by the RTA for the entirety of the tenancy and released, or reallocated upon vacating.

If the agent and tenant agree on the bond to be refunded, they will together submit a bond refund request form to the RTA. Once this is complete, you will be refunded the agreed amount as directed by the form. This is typically processed inside of 14 days. If the tenant and agent disagree on the return of the bond, you may file a dispute to the RTA within 14 days of the initial claim. If the claim by the property owner is more than the bond paid, you may be ordered to pay the extra amount.

Utility connections Getting connected.

It is a tenant’s responsibility to ensure power, gas, phone and internet has been connected in your name. You may also be required to get your water supply connected in your name depending on whether the property is deemed water efficient.

Changing your address

Be sure to update your address where necessary. This might include the Department of Transport, banks, superannuation funds, schools, work and so forth.

Please also ensure you advise us of your new home telephone number and post office box if applicable.

Property condition report

Please ensure that you return your signed copy of your property condition report to us within three days of the tenancy start date. If this is not returned, please be aware that the original inspection will be used for end of tenancy comparison, regardless of whether you agree to the original report or not.

Tenants contents insurance

It is important to note that should your goods be damaged or destroyed by circumstances affecting the owner’s property (i.e. fire, storm damage, power outages, etc), then your goods and possessions are not insured by the owner.

Example One: An electrical fault in the building starts a fire and the property is destroyed. Your possessions will not be covered by the owner’s insurance.

Example Two: You are away on holidays and the power cuts out due to an electrical fault in the building. You return home to find your fridge and freezer goods spoilt. The owner’s insurance will not cover your fridge and freezer goods.

Example Three: A storm blows a tree onto the house and in the process, your belongings are damaged. The owner’s insurance will not cover your possessions.

A quality tenant’s contents insurance should cover these examples. Please contact your insurer for further information. You need to ensure that all your goods are adequately insured as neither Freeman's nor the property owner will be liable for damaged or destroyed tenant possessions.

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