Most Frequently Asked Questions by Landlords

Find out everything you need to know in our 'big book' of frequently asked questions by landlords.

Find answers to property owners' most frequently asked questions in our ‘big book’ of FAQs here. 

We know it can be tough to keep up with all the rules and regulations that come with renting out a property, especially when you’re managing it on your own. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of our most frequently asked questions by self-managed landlords. 

From how often you need to check in on your property to how to organise the lease, handling bond or what kind of insurance you should have, we’ve got everything you need to know right here to be successful!

What is the best way to advertise my property? 

The internet is packed with sites that allow you to search for a new home, and while they’re all pretty useful, there are 3 key players in the game in Australia:,, and

In today’s digital world, you don’t need to spend thousands on an ad campaign. Advertising online is much cheaper than print and allows access to a much wider audience. The problem for landlords is that the costs to advertise on these sites can be quite steep and some of them only grant access to agents. 

There is the option to use social media, sites like Facebook or GumTree allow you to advertise for free but the issue we find with these sites, in particular, is that the traffic is lower and the quality of applicants is much lower.

The first step when you’re looking for a tenant is to maximise exposure for your ad to increase visits, and enquiries, then convert those to applicants and tenants. 

The good news is that this is where RentBetter can help! If you’re using the platform to manage your property, you’ll get access to advertise on all 3 property sites for a fraction of the cost.

For just $199 you can list your property ads with ease (or even cheaper if you’re on a property management subscription plan) - see our pricing here.

How much should I advertise my property for? 

It’s a question every property investor asks. It’s no surprise that price is one of the main drivers in a prospective tenant’s decision-making process, then it pays to get this right. Having dealt with thousands of property owners we know how hard it is to reset price expectations. 

To figure out the right price to advertise your property at, we always recommend doing a search on for properties with similar dimensions in your area, so you know your price is competitive.

There is no point in asking for a price you think is fair when the person next door with a similar property is half the price. 

Another important factor to consider is how long those comparable properties are taking to find a tenant, especially if the property is vacant.

If you’re looking to find out how much you should rent your property for you should check out RentBetter’s Rental Estimate Report. 

Register your details here and we’ll send you a full report, including property information and up-to-date local market data instantly via email.

How do I organise viewings or inspections? 

Property viewings (also known as open inspections) are an essential part of being able to market your home.

Every week thousands of inspections are conducted around the country. Depending on the market conditions at the time, a property can be rented after just a single inspection, or in some cases, multiple inspections are required. 

Inspections are the most effective way to showcase your property but they can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you've got a busy schedule or are not located near your property. 

It helps to be prepared. See our checklist here for what you should do to prepare for your viewings/inspections.

Another common question we get is about open vs private inspections - Should you set an inspection time or keep them private?

We say that it’s ultimately up to your personal preference but typically we advise keeping inspection times private initially until you can see the level of interest in your property. 

At that point, you might like to continue to engage directly with tenants, or you can set a public inspection time so that it is easier to communicate the time with prospective tenants.

Did you know that you can easily organise your property viewings through RentBetter? Find out how here. 

How should I handle the Application Process? 

These days, applications are mostly handled online to make it as easy as possible for tenants to access them but if you’d prefer to kick it old-school you’re welcome to go the paper-based route! You can find a good template with a quick google search. 

On the other hand, we’re more fans of helping the environment so, if you’re using RentBetter, you’ll have access to industry-standard applications through 2Apply online and tenants can easily apply directly through your ad. It’s quick, it’s simple and environmentally friendly!

There are two questions that every owner should ask themselves when tenants apply for their property: 

1. Can they pay?

2. Will they treat the property with respect?

It is impossible to guarantee with 100% certainty that you are picking the right person but there are some tools that can help you make the right decision.

We strongly recommend that you take the time to make a few phone calls for reference checks, and also run a tenant check report.

It’s important to find out whether your prospective tenant has paid their rent on time in the past and if the tenancy database indicates any marks against their name. 

The best database to search to conduct your search through is the National Tenancy Database (NTD). This is the most comprehensive database of tenant information in Australia and you can access the NTD to run a Tenant Check here. 

All Tenant Checks include: 

  • Past tenant history
  • Identity information
  • Bankruptcy information & court records
  • Directorship information

How do I set up a Lease Agreement?

Having a Lease Agreement in place is one of the most important parts of a tenancy. The Lease Agreement (or Tenancy Agreement) is a legally binding, written agreement between a landlord and a tenant. 

Each state and territory has their own regulations and you can find these templates online but all Lease Agreements must include the following:

  • The name and address of the tenant, and the property owner
  • The period of the agreement and the dates when the agreement starts and ends (or state that the agreement is periodic)
  • Details about how the tenant should pay the rent and how much rent is to be paid
  • Details about what the tenant and the property owner or provider can and cannot do, are known as the 'standard terms'.
  • Any special terms - these should be agreed upon in advance, e.g. Pets allowed but must be kept outside or carpet cleaning, no smoking etc. 
  • State if it’s a Fixed Term Agreement - where a tenant/resident agrees to rent a property for a fixed amount of time (for example 6 or 12 months) OR a Periodic Agreement - where a tenant/resident lives there for an indefinite period.

If you’re using RentBetter to manage your property, the Lease Agreement that’s applicable to your state will be generated automatically for you based on where your property is located. 

You and your tenant will both be able to view and digitally sign the agreement and it will then be stored in your RentBetter dashboard, where you can access it if you need to make changes in future. 

Should I have a Fixed Term Agreement or a Periodic Agreement?

There are two types of tenancy agreements in Australia: Fixed-term and Periodic. A fixed-term agreement has a definitive start and end date, while a periodic tenancy is known typically as a month-to-month arrangement and does not have an end date.

There are pros and cons for both, and you should consider them carefully for your specific situation. 

Fixed-Term Agreements

If you're looking for some stability, a fixed-term agreement might be right for you.

Fixed-term agreements generally provide security and peace of mind in knowing that you have a fixed income for the period of the tenancy - usually 12 months. 

This enables you to budget and forecast your expenses accurately as well as determine when the agreement starts and ends - ideally at a premium time (e.g. summer).

Rental increases can be written into the agreement if required so if there are changes in market conditions you can be prepared.

Periodic Agreements

Periodic agreements (month-to-month) offer a lot more flexibility but they give also control to the tenant as they are able to dictate with a month’s notice if they wish to end the agreement.

Periodic agreements obviously offer less security but are generally good for owners who are perhaps looking to sell or renovate their property as you’re not locked in for a set period. 

When you're deciding on what type of agreement might be best for you, it’s important to consider your short and long-term objectives for the property.

How do I organise the and lodge the Bond for my property? 

A bond is a security deposit that you collect from your tenant at the start of a tenancy. It's a way to ensure that your property is well-cared for and protected during the time your tenant lives there.

The bond process is different in every state, so be sure to check out the rules in yours before you collect the bond from your tenant. Typically, you would ask your tenants for up to 4 weeks' rent as the bond, but it's important that there is always one in place at the beginning of every tenancy.

You might like to check out this article here on how to lodge the bond for your state. 

If you’re using RentBetter you can record and collect your bond directly through the platform based on the recommendations for your state. 

Find out more about collecting Bond through RentBetter.

Do I need a Condition Report for my property?

An important part of being a landlord is keeping track of the condition of your property and every tenancy should have a Condition Report attached to it.

The Condition Report is a document that records the general state of the condition of your property on a room-by-room basis, including fittings and fixtures. 

The report should be completed within the first 7 days of the tenancy, and it is used as a reference point when tenants move out of your property to determine if any damage was caused in the property while they were living there. 

See the full guide to completing Property Condition Reports here. 

There are two ways that you can use RentBetter to help you with your Condition Report: 

  • by completing a digital condition report through the platform, or
  • by hiring a professional to conduct an in-person inspection for you

How should I calculate my rent?

There is a common approach to calculating a monthly rental amount which supposedly provides a simple monthly number that gives you a smooth rental income for 12 months of the year. 

The formula applied is typically to divide a weekly rental amount by 7, then times 365 days and then divide this all by 12.

However, we have found the opposite, and with a majority of our customers and their tenants, this causes a lot of confusion and friction at both the commencement and end of the lease.

This formula leaves a lot of room for error and confusion and can make it difficult if the lease is not completed in a perfect monthly ‘billing’ cycle. 

We typically recommend keeping it simple by charging a weekly rental amount (after all this is how you advertise a property) and collecting rent more frequently - like fortnightly.

What is the best way to ensure my tenant pays their rent?

Rent collection is one of the most important aspects of running a successful landlord and having a profitable rental property. 

The best way to ensure that your rent is collected and paid on time is to ensure that the payments are set up on a schedule and are automatic. When payments are automatic, things run on a set schedule. This means not having to worry about it and there is less room for human error.

On RentBetter, tenants can pay rent using a credit card or their bank account and our system will ensure payments run on schedule as per your lease agreement. One of the other great benefits is that the payments are all tracked, the ledger is automatically updated, and receipts are sent to you and your tenant.

‍If a payment is missed, we’ll send notifications to both you and your tenant. It’s peace of mind to know that you don’t need to check your bank account or chase your tenant - things just run.

Find out more about how you can ensure that your tenant pays their rent on time here.

How frequently should I set up my Rental Payments?

Another question we’re often asked is “how frequently should I set the payments up?”.

We typically recommend collecting rent more frequently than just once a month or every four weeks.

Fortnightly payments are common for tenancies in Australia as it is common for people to be paid at this frequency. It also ensures there is regular contact and payment from the tenant rather than waiting longer periods where the risk increase as more time passes. 

Of course, we recommend talking to your tenant to find the best solution for both parties to ensure the rent is able to be paid on time, tenants often like to align their rent with the payment cycle.

Rental payments made by the tenant may not always correspond with mortgage repayments, so to avoid any confusion during the tenancy, it's important to discuss the expectation and frequency before arrangements are made.

What do I do if my tenant doesn’t pay their rent? 

Perhaps the greatest fear of any property owner is what to do in the event a tenant stops paying. 

Sometimes people fall upon hard times, perhaps through work or ill health, these circumstances are complex and require empathy and understanding where possible.

In most circumstances, if a tenant falls behind in their rental payments, they are issued with a breach advising them that they are behind and requesting that they rectify the problem. 

If this is not done within the specified time period, then a termination notice is issued requiring that they vacate. 


There is a handy framework to go by for dealing with the situation to protect yourself against lost rental income. When dealing with unpaid rent each state has different legislation to protect landlords. 

The acronym ORNA - Overdue, Resolution, Notification, Apply - will help you in dealing with unpaid or late rent. You can read more about it in our article here and find your specific state's guidelines on what to do.

All the state governments publish compliant documents for you to use, along with telephone support services if you need further advice or assistance. 

Find out how RentBetter can help minimise unpaid or late rent with automatic rental payments and notifications.

How often should I run Routine Inspections?

We recommend performing a routine inspection of your property at least twice a year to ensure the property is well-maintained by the tenant.

‍Each state has its own regulations on how often landlords are allowed to conduct routine inspections. 

You can find them in our article here - Everything you need to know about Routine Property Inspections. 

If you’re interested in a professional handling your routine inspections, you can book them through RentBetter for just $159.

What happens if my tenant wants to break their lease? 

If a tenant wishes to break their lease, they need to abide by the terms of the agreement. There should be specific terms written into the Lease Agreement regarding break of lease procedures. 

If the tenant is on a periodic agreement (month-to-month), then usually they are just required to give the minimum notice and then move out. 

If the tenant is on a fixed-term agreement the process is a little different and there are also costs associated with breaking the lease. These costs can include things like paying the rent until a new tenant is found or re-letting and advertising costs. 

The minimum notice periods required and other terms will depend on your particular state. You can find the guidelines below:









You are able to decline the tenant's request to break a lease if they are on a fixed-term agreement. In many cases, it is usually easier and more cost-effective to just let your tenant go. 

We find that the best course of action is to come to a mutual agreement where both parties are compromising instead of forcing them to stay or paying out the rest of the contract. 

Find out more - What to do if your tenant wants to break the lease.

How do I make a claim against the bond?

When it comes to claiming the rental bond from your tenant, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as whether the tenant owes money or whether the tenant failed to follow their tenancy agreement, causing the owner losses. 

The process differs from state to state but we’ve made a pretty useful article about which you can read here. 

If a landlord needs to make a claim for the bond, they will usually be required to supply supporting evidence for the claim such as the exit condition report and any receipts, quotes, invoices or estimates they’ve received to rectify the issue.

How do I renew the lease with my tenant?

If you’ve got good tenants, renewing the lease for a fixed term is usually preferred over a periodic agreement because it offers stability.

  1. You should start by contacting your tenant with your intention to renew and gauge their interest before the date that your lease expires - we advise at least 60-90 days.

  1. Evaluate the current terms and decide if there are any changes to be made such as a rental increase or other changes to the terms of the agreement.

  1. Come to an agreement with the current tenant over the new terms.

  1. Prepare the new lease and send it to your tenant to sign.

We’ve written more on the lease renewal process here in this article. 

Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance in the property?

It’s a topic that is seen as a bit of a grey area between landlords and tenants when renting a property but it doesn’t have to cause a headache or dispute if you’re clear about who is responsible for what.

Landlords are generally responsible for most major repairs except when the tenant has caused damage to the property. If this is the case then the tenant is responsible for paying for the repairs in consultation with the landlord.

There are some rules and regulations surrounding things like urgent repairs and we go into a bit more detail about that in our article here - How to Deal with Repairs and Maintenance in Your Rental Property.

RentBetter Resources Are Here to Support You.

We’ve got a tonne of information and resources available to help you on right here on RentBetter. If you visit the blog section of the website you’ll be able to find lots of useful information relating to property management, investing, and general advice for landlords and property owners.

Learning how to manage a property will help you find success in your property investment journey. If you are beginning your adventures as a property investor, you should ensure that you have the tools to do it right. Managing a property can be complex, but with good advice and the right systems in place, you don’t have to worry.

It's why so many property owners are turning to software like RentBetter. We offer an all-in-one solution that helps save time and arms you with what you need to manage your property effectively.

If you’d like to learn more about how RentBetter can help you manage your property, you can register for a demo below.