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Are you currently renting a residential property in Victoria, Australia? Want a tool to help you with all the details without all the messy paperwork? If yes, then you’ll be pleased to know that Consumer Affairs Victoria just developed a smartphone app that helps renters before, during and after a tenancy. They’ve called it “RentRight”.
You can download the RentRight app here:
App download link: http://goo.gl/cC53si
Here are my thoughts on the RentRight app:
After downloading RentRight from the App Store, I was impressed by the fresh and easy-to-get-around interface.
On the home screen, you’re able to set up your property account, email your property manager, find out information about the Condition report and start up the Rental Calculator. I’ll break down each of the main functions of the app below. Besides these handy features, you’re able to access one of the most important pages to an app like this, the Contact page which provides you with a directory of organisations that can help out.
My Account Page
As the name of the page suggests, this section of the app allows you to store all your important property details. By filling in your contact details and your property and property manager details, this will save you a lot of time later, especially if you use the “Email property manager” for things like repairs, damage, utilities or moving out. The app uses all your pre-filled info to auto-populate the email fields so all you need to do is type your message.
Email property manager
As mentioned above, in order to use this function of the app effectively, you’ll need to fill out all the details in the “My Account Page”. Use this section for notifying your property manager about damage to the property, to request repairs or reimbursements, advise them that you intend to vacate, or that the landlord has breached a duty.
I like how it asks you to confirm that you actually have your property manager’s permission for electronic communication first, before possibly spamming them with unsolicited emails! This is actually so you can legally serve notices on them using the app – for example, the ‘notice to vacate’ when you plan to leave.
You can generate quick emails for the following purposes via the Email property manager function:
– General Email
– Repairs, damage, utilities
– Moving out
– Breach of duty
– Authorisation to email
This section is pretty straight forward – it gives you information on the steps to obtain a mandatory condition report from the landlord. It provides you with a link to a condition report in PDF format and also provides links to more information on the Consumer Affairs website
Info for renters
On this page of the app, you’ll find a whole swag of information on renting from “Types of rental agreements” to “Tenancy Database” to even a link that provides tips on renting a home, which is an audio guide.
I love numbers, especially when they add up in my favour! The calculator page on the app, serves to give you an idea of the costs that will be involved in establishing a new rental agreement and ongoing expenditure. Very quickly the app will show you (based on a weekly rent cost) how much you’ll be paying per day, fortnight, month and year (it’s not as simple as multiplying the weekly cost by two or four). It also helps you prepare for a new move by asking you to specify common startup costs such as bond, internet connection, phone connection etc. Very practical indeed.
Things I liked about or learned from the Consumer Affairs RentRight App:
- I learned Property managers are legally obliged to give you an emergency contact telephone and fax number at the start of the tenancy. You can use this number if you need urgent repairs
- I learned if you have not received permission to communicate with your property manager vial email, the service of any notices could be invalid
- I liked how the app prompts you to seek permission from your property manager to use their email address before adding to the app
- I liked the user-friendly layout
Improvements to the Consumer Affairs RentRight app:
- Take out autocorrect from the email and street fields
- Include a mortgage calculator too to show that renters should ultimately aim to own their properties (personal pref)
Consumer Affairs Victoria’s RentRight app is definitely a must-have for all new or current Victorian renters. I highly recommend it especially to have all your rental property details (contact especially) in the one easy location on your phone.
Download and get more information about the Consumer Affairs RentRight App here:
Consumer Affairs Victoria Facebook page: http://goo.gl/aXUO8n
RentRight Facebook competition entry form: http://goo.gl/dJnY9z
App download link: http://goo.gl/cC53si