Tenants, landlords and agents should know their legal rights and responsibilities when renting residential premises. It is the responsibility of the landlord or agent to organise the tenancy agreement. The Rental Advice Board provides advice and services for the tenant and the landlord or agent of residential properties.
Rights and Responsibilities
It is important for tenants and lessors/agents to know their rights and responsibilities and how the law applies to the two types of residential tenancy.
- fixed term tenancy - where a tenant agrees to rent a property for a fixed amount of time (such as for 6 or 12 months or other agreed period); or
- periodic tenancy - when a tenant lives there for an indefinite period.
A written tenancy agreement is required (even if renting to a friend or family member). It's the lessor/agent's responsibility to organise the agreement and give a copy to the tenant before they move in.
The Rental Advice Board provides advice and services for the tenant and the lessor/agent of residential properties.
Information about what the tenancy agreement must include, tenant and lessor/agent rights and responsibilities, paying the rent, other payments, supply of locks and keys, entry to the premises, looking after the premises, emergency repairs, fixtures and inclusions, selling the premises, and all special terms and conditions.
Information about paying rental bonds, refunding and transferring the bonds, and resolving disputes when the tenant and the lessor/agent don't agree on how the bond should be refunded.
Information about rental agreements including how, where and how often the rent is to be paid. Most lessors/agents require tenants to pay their rent in advance. The tenant will normally pay the first rent before they move in. Once an agreement is reached on the payment of rent, it cannot be changed for the duration of the tenancy agreement unless both the tenant and the lessor/agent agree.
Security and Access
Information about the responsibilities of the tenant and lessor/agent regarding the security of the property and the conditions of access to the property by the lessor/agent. The lessor/agent should only enter the premises at a reasonable time and only if they have a reason set out by law. In most cases, the lessor/agent must give the tenant notice in writing before visiting the property.
Repairs and Maintenance
Information about the responsibilities of the lessor/agent and the tenant with regard to the on going maintenance of the property. Contains information about undertaking emergency repairs and the attachment/installation of fixtures to the premises by the tenant.
Ending a tenancy
Information about the process for ending a tenancy agreement. Information about what happens when the tenant or lessor/ break the agreement, non-payment of rent, retaliatory eviction and other occurrences that may end the tenancy agreement.