TENANT FAQs

Renting a home in WA – A tenant’s guide (Department of Commerce)
  1. www.commerce.wa.gov.au/…/PDF/…/Renting_a_home_in_WA.pdf

How do you break a fixed term lease?
Most owners understand that extraordinary circumstances occur and you may wish to break your fixed term lease early. If this happens you must inform us immediately and complete a ‘break lease’ form.
It is important to understand that, until a new tenant has been found, you will still be responsible for any of the costs associated with your signed lease agreement.
Including but not limited to;

  • Rent payments
  • Garden maintenance
  • Reasonable reletting costs incurred by the owner such as letting fees, carpet steam cleaning, advertising costs
  • Pool chemicals

How many days notice on a periodic lease?
If your lease is periodic (month to month), you must give the owner 21 days written notice to vacate.

What do you need to apply for a property managed by Altus?
We require a fully completed application form with references and ID. We have created a ‘tips for renting with Altus’ sheet that you may find useful.

How much is the bond?
There are two types of bond in a typical residential lease agreement; the security bond and the pet bond.

Most security bonds are four weeks rent. In some cases, where the owners of the property were the last residents, you may be asked to pay 6 weeks.

Pet bonds are $260 and are for cats and dogs only. If you have a pet at the property, it is a legal requirement that this bond be held and used for carpet fumigation at the end of the lease.

What if the light bulbs don’t work?
It is your responsibility as a tenant to change the light bulbs when they no longer work. If a light ceases to work, please try changing the light bulb before asking us to call an electrician.
What happens if I need a plumber or an electrician?
Please call us.
We will arrange for a plumber to come for most maintenance issues including blocked drains, burst pipes, leaking taps or reticulation challenges and remind you that you are responsible for dripping taps (washers) or blockages caused by hair or any other item you may have placed into the drains, including grease.

We will arrange for an electrician for most maintenance issues including no electricity, faulty pond pumps or light switches and remind you that you are responsible for light bulbs.

While we greatly appreciate you waiting until the office reopens to report your maintenance issues, we recognise that emergencies do happen and prefer that you call us, even on a weekend.

We remind you that as per your lease, the issues deemed as an emergency under the Residential Tenancies Act, along with the contractors used by Altus are;

  • Blocked or Burst drains Brown’s Plumbing 0418 910 563
  • Electrical issue threatening human safety and the loss of power points to key items i.e fridge or oven/stove Priority One Electrical 0499 950 962
  • No hot water Brown’s Plumbing 0418 910 563
  • A gas leak Brown’s Plumbing 0418 910 563

It can be easy to get stressed in an emergency, so a gentle reminder to check that there are no power cuts or fuses blown before calling Priority One by calling Western Power on 131351, please ring the Water Corporation on 131375 to see if there is a fault in the area and check the water meter has not been turned off before calling Brown’s Plumbing if you have no water and ring Alinta Energy on 131352 to carry out the same enquiry if there is a gas fault.
Can my friend move in? (sub-letting)
Absolutely, as long as they come to the office and sign onto the lease. Sub-letting is not allowed.

Who needs to be home for a trades person or delivery?
You do. We recognise how frustrating it can be when a deliver window is given of 4 hours. However, Altus doesn’t have the time to wait at your property either. The tradespeople can, and do, contact us for keys to access the property for maintenance with your agreement.

How often are the inspections?
When you first move into your new home there will be an initial inspection after 6 weeks to make sure that everything is going well for you, check on any maintenance requests and make sure that you have settled in. After that inspection occur every 3 months.
In some circumstances where you are treating the property as your own the owner will move the inspections to every 6 months. We do not recommend less frequently than that due to insurance coverage.

Who cleans the gutters?
Cleaning gutters is the owner’s responsibility. We do not want you accidentally injured climbing a ladder to the roof! Please call us if you notice that the gutters need cleaning, it is an important part of keeping the gutters working for a long time.

How long does it take to get my application approved?
Processing an application is…a process. It can take us up to a week to complete that process. All facts and references need to be checked for each applicant and all applications need to be processed before we go to the owner for a final decision.

How long does it take to get the bond back?
How long is a piece of string? Don’t you hate it when people answer with that?
Depending on the presentation of the property when you vacate, the bond return can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple of months. At the moment they are being returned about 3 weeks after we submit the form.
However, we will not submit the form for processing until everything is in order. We must complete a final bond inspection, receive the final water meter reading and ascertain if any damages or maintenance need to be paid from the bond.

Do I have to view the property before applying?
Yes.

Who is responsible for pest control?
Generally the owner is responsible for pest control and many owners schedule it annually. However, if you have pests in the house due to food left lying around or an unclean environment, the pest control will become your responsibility and cost.

What if I get locked out on the weekend?
The Altus office is closed on weekends and public holidays. We recommend that you keep a spare key with a trusted friend or relative, or you’ll need a locksmith.

What’s a PCR?
A Property Condition Report provides a legal record of the agreed condition of the property at the time of leasing. At the end of the tenancy the property should be left in a condition comparable with what the PCR shows was the condition at the beginning of the tenancy.
We strongly recommend that you check the PCR and discuss and sign with any changes you feel are valid within 14 days for your copy to be legally valid.

What happens when I vacate?

What is the Tenancies Act?
The Residential Tenancies Act is the Statement of your Rights and Duties.
You will have been given a copy by your property manager and it is also available at;
www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection