Dependant on your investment property’s location, Australian residential leases have varying clauses, differing and additional requirements as per individual State and territory legality.

 

If you’re savvy, lucky or fortunate to have multiple properties in opposing states it can get confusing as to which set of rules you and your tenants must follow.

 

 

Landlords

 

 

State by State Rules

 

 Australian Capital Territory 

 

Before the commencement of the tenancy agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the Office of Fair Trading booklet 'The Renting Book'.

 

It's available from the Office of Regulatory Services: ors.act.gov.au

 

When your tenant pays you the bond monies, you're obliged by law to issue a receipt and lodge the money with the Office of Regulatory Services - you have two weeks to do this.

 

One of your additional landlord responsibilities is to issue your tenant with two copies of the 'Conditions of Premises Report' within one day of moving in. Your tenant must return this form to you within two weeks, cataloguing their agreement/disagreement with the report.

 

According to ACT regulations, landlords have two weeks to lodge bonds with the Office of Rental Bonds. The tenant can also lodge their bond directly; however, the landlord may refuse access to the property until they see proof and confirmation.

 

Before a tenancy agreement commences, the landlord must provide the tenant with the Office of Fair Trading booklet, 'The Renting Book'. It's available from the Office of Regulatory Services website.

 

Should you decide to sell your rental property, there are several restrictions regarding when to show the property, including: not on Sundays, not on public holidays; and not before 8 am or after 6 pm.

 

 New South Wales 

 

In NSW, landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the 'New tenant checklist' available on the state's Fair Trading website before both parties sign the rental agreement.

 

Fines can be applied if the correct procedures aren't followed to the letter. Landlords must also make sure they're up-to-date on what qualifies as both direct and indirect discrimination, fair trading laws, and good practices.

 

Ninety days' notice is required if no new lease has been signed following the expiry of a fixed-term agreement.

 

In NSW, bond can either be paid in one lump sum or instalments from when the tenancy agreement is signed - with the landlord's approval.

 

Your tenant must fill in the 'Claim for Refund of Bond Money' at the tenancy's end. Once you've agreed upon the bond's return, it must be submitted to NSW Fair Trading and if there are no disputes; the tenant will receive payment in 14 days.

 

If, when you attempt to increase the rent, your tenant feels that the proposed sum is excessive, they're within their tenant rights to apply to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice.

 

 

Northern Territory

 

A Northern Territory landlord is obliged to provide new tenants with the Department of Justice's 'A Guide To Renting In The Northern Territory'.

 

A downloadable PDF version is available on the government department's website: nt.gov.au

 

In conjunction with the tenant moving in, it's the landlord's responsibility to:

 

  • Organise the tenancy agreement
  • Provide the tenant with a copy of the agreement
  • Complete a condition agreement in the presence of the tenant · Provide the tenant with a copy of the condition report
  • Sign the tenancy report once it has been reviewed and signed by the tenant
  • Provide the tenant with a copy of the report signed by both parties within seven days. 

 

A landlord who doesn't follow these procedures - or any other requirements detailed in the Northern Territory's Tenancy Act - could face a penalty of up to $11,000.

 

A tenancy agreement in the Northern Territory consists of two parts. The first sets out tenant rights and landlord rights - once signed, it is legally binding.

 

The second captures the property's condition before the tenancy's commencement.

 

The Department of Justice's 'A Guide to Renting in the Northern Territory', available to download via the government organisation's website, offers detailed guidance regarding renting.

 

It includes: starting a tenancy; paying rent; rights and responsibilities, repairs, moving out; and resolving disputes.

 

 

Queensland

 

According to Queensland's Residential Tenancies Authority, the landlord's responsibilities include ensuring that the premises are fit to live in and in a good state of repair. Security must also be of a reasonable standard, with a key to each lock provided to the tenant.

 

When a tenancy is assumed, no other person or their property should be in the premises. Landlords must also take care not to interfere with the tenant's peace or use of the property - if they do need to enter the property, advance written notice must be given.

 

In the aftermath of Queensland's recent flood crisis, it is essential for landlords and tenants to carefully consider their rights and obligations under their leases for properties affected by flooding.

 

There are many issues to consider, and this guide outlines the essential steps landlords and tenants should take to ensure their interests are protected.

 

It is critical that after flooding, both landlords and tenants carefully consider all the terms of their lease documents, as each lease is potentially different, and each leased premises faces its own set of circumstances.

 

The Property Law Act may assist tenants. If your lease does not deal with abatement of rent in the event of flooding, then section 105 of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) will likely apply, as this section is an implied lease term (subject to any exclusion of implied terms in the lease itself).

 

Section 105 provides that if all or part of the leased premises is destroyed or damaged by fire, flood, storm or tempest (such that the leased premises is unfit for the tenant's use and occupation), then the rent is abated proportionately.

 

According to the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority, it's required that landlords provide tenants:

 

  • Premises that are fit to live in and in a good state of repair
  • Reasonable security, including locks in working order and keys to all locks
  • Vacant possession at the start of the tenancy
  • Compensation for money spent on emergency repairs up to two weeks' rent equivalent.

 

 

South Australia

 

Self-managing landlords in South Australia will find the state's expectations of property owners and tenants detailed in the Residential Tenancy Act 1995 and the online booklet 'Renting: A Basic Guide.

 

Fundamental responsibilities of landlords include: providing and maintaining the property in a clean and reasonable standard; giving proper receipts and maintaining records of all transactions pertaining to the tenancy; paying council rates and taxes; maintaining locks to ensure the property's security; and lodging the bond with the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs (OCBA).

 

The South Australia Residential Tenancy Act regulates private residential leases. The Office of Consumer and Business Affairs provides services and guidance to tenants and landlords regarding their rights and obligations under the Act.

 

Tenants can reasonably expect:

 

  • Maintenance and repair of the property by the landlord
  • Proper receipts for any monies paid
  • The landlord must assume responsibility for council rates and taxes ·
  • Upon request, the landlord must provide records of rents received relating to the tenancy

 

Tasmania

 

In Tasmania, landlord duties and obligations are determined by the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 and Residential Tenancies Regulations 1998.

 

Before a new tenant moves into a property or signs a tenancy agreement, the landlord's required to provide them with a copy of the booklet 'Renting in Tasmania'.

 

It details the rights and responsibilities of both parties according to the Tasmanian Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.

 

Landlords are strongly recommended to complete, in writing, a tenancy agreement along with a condition report, security deposit, and rent in advance.

 

  • Landlords must give tenants between 14 and 28 days' notice to end a tenancy.
  • The Tenants Union of Tasmania guides matters on bond, security, access privacy, repairs and maintenance.
  • A Tasmanian landlord can enter a property between 8 am and 6 pm, provided 24 hours' notice.
  • They are permitted to carry out routine inspections no more than once every three months.

It is illegal for a landlord to charge a prospective tenant to submit an application to rent a residential property - doing so may result in a $6000 fine.

 

Victoria

 

Consumer Affairs Victoria's comprehensive booklet for tenants and landlords' Renting a home: a guide for tenants' is available online at: consumer.vic.gov.au

 

The state has strict guidelines regarding when a landlord is permitted to enter their rented property.

 

The landlord can enter a property at a date and time agreed with the tenant. However, the agreement must be made within seven days prior to entering.

 

The landlord can give the tenant 24 hours notice of intent to enter the property to:

 

  • Carry out duties listed in the tenancy agreement or the state's Tenancy Act;
  • Value the property
  • Show the property to prospective buyers
  • Show the property to prospective tenants (provided it's no more than 14 days before the current lease termination)
  • Confirm a reasonable belief that the tenant are remiss in their duties outlined in the rental agreement
  • Make one general inspection in any six-month period - excluding the first three months of the tenancy

 

Consumer Affairs Victoria has compiled an online renting guide called 'Renting A Home - a guide for tenants'. It outlines state regulations regarding issues that may arise from the time the tenant first views the property to when a lease ends.

 

In Victoria, a landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant with children. Doing so may result in legal action.

 

Landlords can also be fined if they fail to provide tenants with their full contact details, including an emergency phone number on or before the first day of their tenancy.

 

The Residential Tenancies Bond Authority administers all residential bonds in Victoria.

 

If a dispute arises as to how the Authority divides repayment at the end of a lease, the matter may be escalated to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

 

Western Australia

 

Do-It-Yourself landlords in Western Australia are required to provide their tenants with a copy of the form 'Schedule 2 - Information For Tenants (A Statement of your Rights and Duties)' along with the rental agreement.

 

In addition, landlords should ensure they review the guide carefully themselves.

 

The form is not intended to replace the state's Tenancy Act, but it will give a good working knowledge of responsibilities in regard to: use of premises; discrimination; urgent repairs; fixtures; payment of rent and rent increases; the owner's right of entry; and rates and taxes.

 

Western Australia's Department of Commerce has produced a detailed guide to renting a property in the state. It includes everything from locating the right property to court procedures should the lease take a turn for the worse.

 

For an even more comprehensive guide to tenants' responsibilities and rights in Western Australia, the Residential Tenancy Act outlines the role of the Department of Commerce and the Magistrates Court; rent payment, increases and arrears management; who's responsible for rates and taxes; and the correct way to end a tenancy.

 

 

General Disclaimer

The information contained in TenancyCheck.com.au website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).


 

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Sam Bloch

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Sam Bloch

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