For many first time renters, international or local, renting can be a confusing process but the free RentRight app sorts out all the clutter. Stephen Clarke reports.
When I moved into my first rental apartment, there was so much I didn’t know. I didn’t keep any records, wasn’t given a condition report and had no idea about my rights as a renter.
By my second place I was a little more confident, and by the third, after four years, I feel like I have attained at least a rudimentary knowledge about my rights. Of course, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d had an app like RentRight.
Produced by Consumer Affairs Victoria, this handy free app is an encyclopaedia for renters.
Not just first time renters either, anybody who is renting will find this app a useful tool to have, whether they want to quickly contact their landlord or find out information about their rights as a tenant.
RentRight has a simple, intuitive interface with five sections.
The app informs you that your landlord must give you a copy of a condition report for the property. If you don’t receive a condition report, the app provides a link to one that you can print yourself. That way, if you find that the last tenant kicked a hole in the wall, you won’t be liable.
The info for renters section is a goldmine of information on almost every conceivable issue you could encounter or question you have.
It is also useful for rooming house residents, as there is a section on the minimum standards that an operator must comply with. If you feel that these standards are not being met, it will point you in the right direction. Rooming house operators must register their rooming houses with the local council, and must always meet minimum health, building and fire safety standards.
The calculator is an excellent addition to the app. It allows you to enter your weekly rental cost and breaks it down so you can see how much it will cost you over a certain period.
You can keep track of the up-front costs involved in moving into a property, such as the bond, moving costs and setting up basic utilities. It’s easy to lose track of how much you spend in this usually hectic time.
RentRight allows you to have a direct line of communication with your property manager or landlord and keeps a record should you need anything as evidence in a dispute. You can take a picture of something that needs fixing and send it straight to the property manager.