When moving into a new rental, it’s quite common that between organising your belongings with a removalist, finalising your old tenancy with your current real estate agency and organising yourself and your family for moving day, not everything will line up perfectly for you. This can prompt tenants to ask their new real estate agent if it’s possible to get keys a day or two earlier than the lease starts on their new rental property.

This is a question we get quite often, and this blog will explain some key factors to consider when asking the question.

Key factors to consider when asking for the keys to your new rental early:

  • The last tenancy at the property
  • The vacate process and time frames involved in finalising a tenancy
  • Availability of contractors if repairs are needed
  • Availability of staff members to complete needed inspections and reports

The last tenancy at the property

Vacates can be processed and finalised well before a new tenant takes possession of the property. There are, however, some that will take longer than expected to finalise.

Consider the last tenancy at the property you have been approved for in all aspects, including: 

  • The duration of the tenancy
  • The number of tenants living in the property
  • General wear and tear
  • Damages above wear and tear
  • Sufficient/acceptable cleaning being done at the property
  • Abandonment

These factors and more determine the amount of time it takes a property manager to process and finalise a vacate. This, in turn, determines when the property will be ready for you to take possession.

The vacate process and time frames involved in finalising a tenancy

The vacate process timeline in a nutshell includes:

  • Vacating tenants handing back keys to the agency
  • Property managers completing a vacating inspection within 3 days of the keys being returned
  • Exit inspection report is generated and sent to the vacating tenants
  • If needed, vacating tenants have 48 hours to return to or have their contractors return to the property to action anything on the exit inspection report
  • Property manager re-attends the property to ensure all items picked up on the exit inspection report have been actioned and are acceptable

Sometimes the vacate can be finalised after the re-inspection if all items noted on the exit condition report have been rectified sufficiently by the vacating tenants and/or their contractors; however, if the property remains unsatisfactory after the re-inspection, the property manager needs to arrange for a contractor/s to attend the property and bring it back up to standard for the new tenants.

Availability of contractors if repairs are needed

If for any reason works are unable to be completed before the start date of the new lease, and the repairs needed are non-urgent, the property manager will explain this when you come to collect keys so that you’re aware of the situation. The contractor will then be given your contact details to arrange access with you at a suitable time after you start moving into the property.

Availability of staff members to complete the Entry Condition Report

One of the most important documents you will receive at the start of your new tenancy is the Entry Condition Report. This report is to be completed by a staff member right before you take possession of the property and details the property’s condition by each area and feature.

This report is booked into your property manager’s calendar to be done at least 2 days before you take possession of the property if any last-minute cleaning items are picked up and need to be rectified.

The report involves a 21-page document and up to 1000 photos of the property showing each area and feature of the property both inside and out. At the start of each new tenancy, new photos need to be taken, and a new document needs to be generated with any changes from the start of the previous tenancy being documented.

Typically, this report takes between 1 and 2 hours for your property manager to complete, depending on the property’s size and how much the property has changed since the start of the last tenancy. We will always check to see if anyone else can report for you in our office if you request keys earlier.

Is it possible that my new rental property will be ready before my lease start date?

If there is an opportunity for you to be able to get keys sooner than the previously discussed start date, for example, if the property is 100% satisfactory when the exit inspection of the previous tenancy is completed, a member of our staff will always contact you to check if you would like the property earlier than first organised.

If you would like to request the keys to your new property earlier than the lease start date, we encourage you to contact our agency to discuss if this is possible or not. We will always try to work with you and make your move easier where we can. If bringing the start date forward is impossible, the information above will help you understand the reasoning behind this.

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