FAQs

FAQs


1. Property Buyer FAQs

How to: Tell a suburb is right for you?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about a suburb that makes you feel at home but there are some crucial elements you need to consider before taking the plunge and moving to a new hood.

What are your priorities? A big local supermarket? A park to walk your dog? A private school that’s close by? Mountain views? Take some time to write a list of the things that are important to you in your everyday life and then choose the type of suburb that fits your lifestyle.

There are four main types of suburbs in Australia and most homes will fit into one of these categories. Just figure out which lifestyle suits you best and you’re on your way to finding the perfect suburb.

Inner city

apartmentview_550

 

If you want a glittering night life, modern amenities at your door and to be in the hub of everything that’s happening in your city, then choosing a suburb that’s close to the CBD is good move. Theatre, live music, great restaurants and nightly entertainment right at your front door, that’s typical of the Inner City suburb.

  • Do you go out for dinner or to a pub four or five nights a week?
  • Do you not own a car?
  • Will all your belongings fit in a compact apartment?
  • Do you work the in CBD of your city?
  • Do you value having your work, home and gym within walking distance of each other?

If you answered yes to most of the questions then Inner City suburb living is for you.

Trendy urban

brick home Sydney

 

If you love the energy and night life of the inner city but can’t cough up the coin to live there, then the Trendy Urban suburb may be just the place for you. Trendy Urban suburbs are still close enough to the city to catch all the action of the bright lights but are slightly more affordable and family friendly. Trendy Urban suburbs tend to have weekend produce markets, little strips of funky restaurants and decent local schools. Trendy Urban suburbs are the perfect place for young families to make the transition from childless living to family fun. You can usually rent reasonably cheaply in the Trendy Urban suburb so you can save your pennies and spend them at the quirky pubs in your area.

  • Are you on a budget but still want to live close to the city?
  • Do you need a local park for your kids to play?
  • Do you love the hustle bustle of the city but want to live somewhere a little more chilled?
  • Do you need a backyard?
  • Do you crave the convenience of city living but also love a quiet stroll around suburban streets?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above you’re a Trendy Urban suburb dweller. 

Family friendly

houses in suburbs

 

The Family Friendly suburb is ideal for bigger families, possibly with kids in high school, who need lots of space. Buying property in a Family Friendly suburb is usually quite affordable and you’ll get something twice the size and brand new for the same price as a shabby, two bedroom, 1960s town house in a Trendy Urban suburb.

Family Friendly suburbs are generally close to large shopping hubs and decent supermarkets. They also usually have good transport options for kids traveling to and from school or sport practice. The Family Friendly suburb is a quieter, larger and less city centric option than the Trendy Urban suburb.

  • Do you have kids and/or pets?
  • Does your family have more than one car and therefore the need for space to park them?
  • Do you need a big outdoor area?
  • Do you enjoy entertaining large groups of people?
  • Is a decent local supermarket more important to you than the hottest new nightclub?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, a Family Friendly suburb is the place for you.

Outer rural

Queensland home bushland

 

The Outer Rural area is ideal for people who love nature, fresh air, peace and quiet and beautiful views. Whether it’s near bush, sea or country side, the Outer Rural area is where you want to be if you’re leaning into to a slower, quieter life away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Do you crave peace and quiet?
  • Do you work from home or in a rural area?
  • Do you keep large animals like horses?
  • Do you love cooking? (because depending on where you live, home delivery pizza might not be an option)
  • Do you enjoy solitude?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, the Outer Rural life could be beckoning to you.

Of course anyone can happily live anywhere, as long as they know what their priorities are and what they’re willing to sacrifice for the things they really want. A family can live in an Inner City suburb if they’re happy to compromise on space. A young single business man can live in an Outer Rural area if he doesn’t mind the commute to work everyday. And if you look carefully, there’s pockets of peace in even the most manic urban jungle. It’s all about finding someone you feel honestly at home.

How to buy properties in Australia?

The Australian Government’s foreign investment policy has been developed to encourage investment in Australia and ensure that such investment is consistent with the needs of the Australian community. The Government recognises the important contribution offshore investment makes to the development of Australia’s industry, resources and community.

Definition of Foreign Investment
A foreign interest is briefly described as:

  1. A person not ordinarily resident in Australia
  2. A corporation, business or trust in which a foreigner and any associates have 15% or more ownership or in which several foreigners have 40% or more aggregate of the ownership.
  3. ATemporary resident’ including all foreign nationals living in Australia who;
    • Holds a valid temporary visa which permits them to stay in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months (irrespective of how much time is remaining until that visa expires);
      or
    • Have submitted an application for permanent residency (PR), and hold a bridging visa which permits them to stay in Australia until their PR application has been finalised

Short-term visitors such as tourists, business people and those here for a medical procedure are not temporary residents.

Residential 
Proposed acquisition of residential real estate is exempt from examination in the case of Australian citizens living abroad who are holders of permanent visas or entitled to hold a ‘special category’ visa.   Other situations where approval is normally granted includes:

  1. Foreign nationals purchasing residential real estate as joint tenant with an Australian spouse.
  2. Foreign companies purchasing second hand dwellings for the use of their Australian based staff provided that they sell or rent the dwelling if it is expected to remain vacant for more than 6 months. There is no limit to the number of established dwellings which can be purchased, where required for employee accommodation.
  3. Foreign nationals being Temporary Residents [i] purchasing:
    • An established dwelling to be used as their principal place of residence (not for investment  purposes);
    • Any new dwellings; and
    • Single blocks of vacant residential land (other acquisitions of vacant land will require notification and will normally be approved subject to development within 24 months).
  4. Foreign students resident in Australia are able to purchase an established dwelling as their principal place of residence. [ii]

Redevelopment of second hand dwellings
Foreigners may apply to redevelop a second hand dwelling.  Development must increase the number of dwellings and no rental income can be obtained from the existing dwelling prior to demolition. Such redevelopments are required to demolish the existing dwelling and commence construction of the new dwellings within 24 months in line with vacant land.

Commercial
Proposed acquisitions of commercial development is normally approved unless it is contrary to the national interest.  Accommodation facilities such as hotels, motels, hostels and guesthouses are treated as commercial real estate rather than residential real estate. Acquisitions of such facilities – or individual units within them – valued below the relevant developed commercial property threshold are exempt from the FATA and do not require notification and approval.  This is determined by the Government on a case by case basis.  For further information,

click here to view the Foreign Investment Review Board web site.

 

[i] The exemption for ‘temporary residents ‘applies to contracts entered on or after 18 December 2008 (the date that the Assistant Treasurer announced the policy changes) – that is, notification is not required even if a temporary resident signed/exchanged contracts to purchase such property before the Regulations were amended on 31 March.

The exemption includes acquisitions of property by temporary residents via their trust or Australian incorporated company.  The existing notification requirements continue to apply to non-residents, who must notify all proposed acquisitions of residential real estate.

[ii] The $300,000 Restriction no longer applies

2. Rental FAQs

How does Belong Properties Management System work for me?
As a tenant, what documents should I expect to receive before I move into a property?

While the documentation you receive at the beginning of a tenancy can vary from state to state, you will find there a number of items that are required across most jurisdictions.

These include a copy of the tenancy agreement, information about renting in your state, a copy of the bond lodgement form and the condition report, which is to be completed, signed and returned to the agent or owner within the required time frame.

You may also receive a receipt for the initial rent amount, lease fees and bond payment, as well as copies of access keys and any remote controls. The property owner or agent may also provide you with emergency contact details for urgent out-of-hours repairs.

3. Landlord

Do I need to buy Insurance?

We highly recommend you hold insurance cover on your property. The insurance should cover rent arrears, damage or lost to carpets, blinds/curtains, light fittings, any appliances inside the property and public liability claims.
We can arrange immediate cover for this, or alternatively contact your current insurer or broker.

About Rental Arrears Management

We use the 3-5-10-15 arrears control procedure:
1-5 days in arrears.
The tenant is send reminder notice via SMS and e-mail. This is usually sufficient for the tenant to pay the rent.
10 days in arrears.
The tenant is formally advised that if payment is not received within 5 days a Termination Notice will be served.
14 days in arrears.
Depending upon our arrangements with you, we will serve the tenant with a Non-pay rent Termination Notice and lodge tribunal.
Should they choose to pay their rent, your portfolio manager will contact you to discuss whether to proceed with the termination notice.

About Property Inspections:

There are four kinds of inspection we normally conduct:

  • Periodic

It is a service that is vital and one that we take seriously. We conduct routine inspection twice a year.

  • Initial Inspection

We complete a detailed ingoing condition report, complete with colour photography, prior to your tenants taking possession of your property. This is referred to at the completion of the tenancy to determine the payout of the tenants bond.

  • Pre-vacating Inspection

When the tenant has given notice to vacate the property, we will carry out a pre-vacating inspection. These are carried out so that the rent can be reviewed, the property can be re-assessed for any work/maintenance and to ensure the tenants are fully familiar with what we require of them when they vacate the property.

  • Final Inspection

Once keys have been returned to us our final inspection is carried out using the initial inspection report as the reference. Any cleaning or repairs are completed prior to the refund of the tenants bond.

About Tenant Selection

We check their ability to pay rent, proof of income, identification and verification the tenant can maintain the property to all required standards.

What to expect from our service?

A managing agent’s responsibilities include but not limited:

  • Finding suitable tenants
  • Ensuring the tenancy agreement is correctly completed and signed
  • Lodging the rental bond
  • Managing the tenancy for you on a day-to-day basis, including:

  • Arranging repairs
  • Collecting the rent and maintaining rent records
  • Conducting regular property inspections
  • Handling disputes that may arise
  • Paying bills on your behalf (eg. Water, levy & council rates).
  • Paying the rent to you, less any costs and agency fees, either into your nominated bank account or by cheque. This is usually done monthly.

4. Tenant

Rental Increases

The rental can be increased on the property only when the current tenancy agreement has expired, or is due to expire. A minimum of 60 days written notice must be given before the landlord can increase the rent.

Where Can I pay my Rental Bond?

Your rental bond will be lodged with the NSW Department of Fair Trading.
To make customer payments faster, from January 2016, all rental bond refunds will be made by electronic transfer to a nominated bank account. Rental Bonds Online is a new online service helping tenants, agents to lodge, manage and refund bond money easily and securely.

Should I fill in the condition report when commencing the lease?

Yes. We suggest you have a thorough check for the property and fill in the condition report accordingly. This is an important part of the agreement that will be used to determine any damage or costs that you may be responsible for at the end of the tenancy. It is important that you complete the condition report, sign it and return one copy to the agent within 7 days of the commencement date of the tenancy.

Once Your Application Has Been Approved

On approval of your tenancy application, you will be asked to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one week’s rent. This deposit not only secures the property for you, but also becomes the first weeks rent when the tenancy commences.
You will be arranged to sign the Residential Tenancy Agreement and lodge bond (4 weeks rent). A signed copy of the agreement will be sent to you.
The balance of money must also be paid to the managing agent, prior to the collection of the keys. This includes the full bond and advance rent.

What if my application isn’t approved?

We will advise you if your application declined by owner. If you are interested in another one of our rental properties you may request to transfer your application to that property.

What can I do to improve my chances of success?

We look for tenants with good rental history. Most importantly, we need to establish that your rent has been paid on time and the property has been well maintained and cared for.

What can I do to improve my application?

Be organised. Make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation to accompany your application, and provide plenty of contact numbers for your references.

How long will it take to process my application?

We will commence checking your application as soon as we receive it; however the total time taken depends on how readily we can contact your references and how many other people have applied for the same property. Average time is 1-3 business days.

What do I need to provide for my rental application?

Proof of Identity
– Proof of Income /ability to meet rental payments (e.g. bank statement, pay slip)
– Proof that you will make a good tenant.(e.g tenancy ledger, agency reference letter)