Welcome to Renting with Higgins
We are constantly told that we are the most friendly and approachable Rental Agents in town! It is important to us that we work equally with Tenants and Landlords during the tenancy and with any situations that may arise, in line with the Legislation, to ensure each party has a happy outcome.
Rental Bonds Online
It is now much easier to pay your bond. For new residential tenancies from 30 January 2017, you have the option of using Rental Bonds Online (RBO), Fair Trading’s easy and secure service to manage bonds online.
To use RBO, all you need is an email account, a mobile phone, internet connection, a Visa, Mastercard or the ability to pay by BPAY, and an Australian bank account. We will assist you with this once you’ve been approved as tenant.
It is your legal responsibility to pay rent before the due date. Please always ensure that your rent is paid by the method stated on your Residential Tenancy Agreement and identified with your Tenancy Code.
What happens if things don’t go to plan?
Life shows us that things don’t always go to plan – changes in employment and relationships often hamper the ability to pay rent on time. Make sure you contact us! It is far easier to assist you if we know what is happening.
How we manage Rent Arrears
1-3 days in arrears – Friendly reminder to pay rent SMS is sent
4-7 days in arrears – SMS, Reminder phone call and correspondence – Landlord is advised
8-14 day in arrears – SMS, Reminder phone call and correspondence advising of possible termination
15 day in arrears – A Termination Notice for Non Payment of Rent – 14 days’ notice to vacate – is served
Many tenants do not know that it is a Breach of Agreement not to pay their water usage by the due date. Continual non-payment of water usage may cause the Landlord to instruct us to terminate the agreement, as the will have paid the bill to council and are out of pocket! Many of our tenants pay an extra $10 per week to prepay their water usage account and has proved very beneficial.
Moneys owing after Vacation
If monies are owed in excess of the bond, all Tenants named on the Residential Tenancy Agreement may be listed with TICA a Tenancy Default Database.
It is ALWAYS best to communicate with our property management team to manage your arrears.
Pets / Animals
Please do not stretch the friendship by housing an animal if you have not been permitted by the owner. This is a clear breach and it will be reported on any future reference and may jeopardise your future suitability to another property.
Please be aware that the owner’s property insurance does not cover your personal belongings. It is your responsibility to obtain a Contents Policy to guard against damage or theft of your belongings.
Inspections and Maintenance
We conduct 4 inspections per year to identify all repairs and maintenance required – however small – so that the property remains in great shape. We’ll provide 14 days or more written notice of the inspection and text you a reminder on the day.
It is really helpful if tenants report all maintenance as soon as possible so that minor issues do not become major more costly problems and then take far longer to repair. Help us to help you!
It is important to note that minor or cosmetic items do not require the same urgency as emergency issues, however we strive to attend to things as quickly as we possibly can.
We pride ourselves on the proactive maintenance service we have provided our Landlords for many years.
The far north coast is a humid place, particularly in the hot wet summers. Ask us for fact sheets and tips to help with cleaning in these conditions.
Always consult the front page of your Residential Tenancy Agreement for emergency repairers – particularly for out of hours. We do prefer that you ring Higgins Real Estate first if possible so that we can assess the best course of action.
- Check whether the safety switch has been tripped. Perhaps you have a faulty appliance. Turn appliances on one at a time to find the culprit. Not that?
- Check if the neighbourhood power is out – then perhaps call your energy supplier.
- If neither – its important that we know about this ASAP.
- No Hot Water?? Please ensure we know about this BEFORE the weekend (if at all possible). It is more difficult to help you over a weekend and no-one wants a cold shower!!
We need to know about this ASAP so we can call our tradesman. If a major problem -please turn water off at the meter and call us first or the tradesman noted on the Residential Tenancy Agreement.
It’s Important that you know … that if any maintenance conducted by tradesman proves to be due to a tenant’s faulty appliance or proven misuse of facilities – the cost of such call out and account may well have to be borne by the tenant.
If ever you have a disagreement or need independent or further clarification of the clauses in your Residential Tenancy Agreement, ask us for fact sheets from Office of Fair Trading & Tenants Advocacy Service, which will confirm the information we provide and do cover a range of issues.