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First time renting

Whether you’re moving out as a student and it’s your first time renting, or you’re working full-time and moving into your third rental property, there’s a lot to consider. We’ve listed a few of the important things to think about from the time you find the ideal property to when you move in.

The basics

There is no cooling off period after you sign the lease, so it’s important to read it thoroughly and be aware of the basics about your rental agreement. Some of the basics include:

  • Tenancy start date.
  • Full rent amount, including monthly breakdown.
  • Payment due dates.
  • The amount of bond required.
  • Rental period.
  • How to terminate the rental agreement.
  • Special terms e.g. pets.
  • Name and address of the property owner/manager and the tenant.


Rent is the amount of money that must be paid by the tenant to the landlord so that they can stay at the premises. Rent is most commonly paid by bank transfer or credit card. If rent is late by a certain amount of time (e.g. two weeks), fees and fines can be involved or your landlord may even have the power to evict you. It’s worth negotiating the rental amount with your landlord.   


A bond is a payment made by a tenant to the landlord, which is used as security against the tenant meeting the terms of their lease agreement. A bond is a separate payment to the rent and must be given back to the tenant at the end of the lease agreement, unless any terms have been broken. The cost of the bond is often four weeks’ worth of rent, which is the maximum bond that can be charged in Victoria if the weekly rent is $350 or less. Ensure that you can comfortably pay the bond upfront and remember that the condition in which you leave the property has a direct affect on the return of your bond. 

Your rights

There are tenant rights across a wide range of areas, some that you may not even know you have. These include rights along the lines of when rent can be increased, when you’re entitled to repairs, protection against evictions and when you don’t have to pay for water use. Each state and territory has a Residential Tenancy Act that governs issues between tenants and landlords. There are tribunals to sort out issues if anything goes wrong. 

If you’re looking for somewhere to store your property details and to set up reminders for important dates, download the free RentRight App. To ensure you have your important items protected, such as furniture and laptops, speak to one of our Insurance Consultants about Contents Insurance