Leasing in South Australia

Leasing in South Australia

South Australia is a state located in the southern central portion of Australia. With a population of 1,726,900, this state has a thriving real estate market that an investor like you might want to try. If this is your first time managing your own property or becoming a landlord, here are some imperative matters that you need to keep yourself updated with so that you will be ready to start leasing in South Australia without hassle.

Leasing in South Australia: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in South Australia?
What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?
How do I craft a tenancy contract?
How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?
How can I make property management easier?

What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in South Australia?

If you are going to open your property in South Australia for lease for the first time, you certainly need to secure permits from the concerned government agencies. Securing permits may seem exhausting and you might find yourself a little confused in the process. However, completing these legal requirements will give you peace of mind when your tenants are beginning to show up.

Here is a short list of permits and documents that you will need to lease your property:

  • Planning and Building Permit. If you have a land that you wish to convert to a residential property, securing planning and building permits is very important. You will also need to secure one whenever you are going to perform significant repairs and maintenance. You can get these permits from the council building surveyor.
  • Heritage Permit. If your property in South Australia is a declared state heritage or is sitting near a heritage site, you need to secure a permit from SA Heritage Register in order to make the necessary repairs and maintenance on your property.
  • Swimming pool or Spa permit. As the owner of a property that has a swimming pool, you are responsible for the safety of the occupants. It is therefore important to secure a permit from the local council certifying your swimming pool safe before leasing your property.  

 

Leasing in South Australia

 

What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?

Leasing a property in South Australia is very easy, as long as the applicant tenants submit the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (IDs, passports, healthcare card or birth certificate).
  • Character references.
  • Rental history.
  • Employment details.
  • Proof of income.
  • Recent bank statements.

 

Here is a link on the documents that you need to provide your tenants on or before occupancy day. These are all provided by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).

Their rental history will give you an idea about their payment habits, in addition to their behaviour inside the property as attested by their former landlords.

The employment details and recent bank statements will also give you proof that they can pay for the agreed rental fee on the specified date.

 

How do I craft a tenancy contract?

Tenancy contracts can either be verbal or written. Whatever the case, once you and the tenant have agreed on the terms and conditions, it becomes binding and legal. However, crafting a written tenancy contract would be preferable on your part because it can give you proof that the tenant is in violation of the contract once a dispute arises.

In simple terms, here is what a tenancy contract constitutes:

Rental fee

The rental fee is one of the factors that bring tenants in your property. Make sure that the rental fee is in proportion to property’s actual market value. If the tenants think that the rental fee is too high for them, they will not hesitate to look for another rental property that will suit their budget.

The duration of the contract

How long is the tenant going to use the property? The duration of the occupants’ stay will become the basis for the tenancy contract. In addition, this issue must be stated clear right from the start in order to prevent confusion later.

There are two kinds of contracts that a tenant might want to consider:

  1. Fixed-term contract. Fixed-term contracts have a definite end dates. For example, the tenant chose to rent your property for six months to one year. During that time period, he will have to pay the agreed amount of rental fee on the agreed dates until his contract expires.
  2. Continuing contract. This one has no definite end date. All you have to do as a landlord is to make sure that the property is in top shape during the tenants’ stay.

The amount of bond required

A bond is a payment or deposit given by a resident or tenant to the landlord before moving into the property. This acts as a security against the tenant for not meeting the terms and conditions of the tenancy contract. In South Australia, the maximum bond that can be imposed is equivalent to four weeks’ worth of rent. It is the responsibility of the landlord or the property owner to lodge the security bond with the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs within two weeks.

The rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant

It is the duty of a landlord to turn over the property in a clean and reasonable condition before the tenancy stars. The landlord also needs to provide specific instructions about domestic appliances that need instruction. Moreover, the landlord should organise repairs and maintenances and keep the property to a reasonable standard. Failure to do so may compel the Housing Safety Authority to set the rental limit and declare your property substandard.  

Any extra terms and conditions that you wish to include in the tenancy contract must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 1995.  

Before making the tenants agree and sign on the contract, make sure that they have fully read and understand all of the terms and conditions that you have specified. Always make sure that you provide a satisfactory answer to all their queries during the phone, online, or personal interviews.

 

How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?

Disputes between a landlord and a tenant happen all the time. Communication between the landlord and the tenant is a key element in preventing conflicts. It is also a cheap way of settling your differences with the erring tenant. If talking to the tenant fails, you can issue them a notice to tenant to remedy breach of agreement.  

However, if you believe that you have used all of the possible channels of communicating with the tenant, you can bring the issue on a third party mediator. This third-party mediator is the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or SACAT.

SACAT has a Residential Tenancies List that is made to hear disputes between tenants and landlords. If you think that talking to the tenants personally has no effect, you can take these steps to lodge a complaint to SACAT:

  • State your complaint by signing a SACAT application form.
  • Pay the necessary fee for lodging the complaint (except bond claims).

Once you have lodged the complaint and paid the fee, copies of the notices will be sent to all concerned parties. The SACAT will then ask for important documents such as receipts, letters, statutory declarations, photographs, and other necessary documents. The original copies of the documents should always be available any time the SACAT require them.

The SACAT will then set a time and date for the hearing and inform the landlord and the tenant about it. If the hearing date coincides with your schedule, you must inform the tribunal immediately in order to sort out another hearing date.

 

How can I make property management easier?

Sometimes, managing your rental property can be troublesome, especially if you have two or more properties. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your property management more efficient. One of them is by thoroughly updating yourself with relevant federal or state laws regarding tenancy. This way, you can always be confident that you are following all the proper procedures whenever you are signing a contract with tenant.  

Professional property managers are always updated with the current regulations regarding tenancy, especially in the specific state they have been working in. If you are looking for property managers in South Australia, send us a message and we'll connect you with a reputable property manager to fulfill your needs.