KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A TENANT
Before deciding to rent a property there are a few rules and regulations that you need to take into consideration. A Residential Tenancy Agreement or ‘lease’ will be drawn up and is the legal contract that both you and your landlord must abide by. A lease should include information such as;
Lease/tenancy agreements differ between states, so please make sure you have the documentation from your appropriate state.
Location of the property
Amount of the bond
Commencement and end date of your tenancy
The landlords’ name
Never sign a blank form, if you do not understand something, then contact the correct establishments and ask for advice.
KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN RENTING
When renting, little problems can turn into big problems if you are not aware of who is responsible for taking care of the issues that may arise.
As a tenant you are obliged to do the following:
Keep the property clean
Not cause damage to the premises
Inform the landlord ASAP if any damage is done
Ask for the landlords permission to install fixtures or make alterations, renovations etc
Avoid causing a nuisance to the landlord or neighbours
Do not initiate or participate in any illegal activities on the property
The landlord is obliged to:
Keep the premises in good repair
Ensure the security of the property by making sure all doors have locks and windows are secure
Immediately provide the tenant with a key after changing any locks
Avoid disturbing the tenant unnecessarily
Once you have signed a lease / tenancy agreement and paid a bond you should be provided with a Condition Report. This report records the condition of the property. Check this report carefully and immediately discuss any issues you may have with the landlord.
Photographs are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Keep these in case the landlord objects about returning your bond at the end of your tenancy.
The law distinguishes between urgent (emergency) repairs and those which are not so urgent. Urgent repairs are:
a burst water service or a serious water service leak
a blocked or broken toilet
a serious roof leak
a gas leak
a dangerous electrical fault
flooding or serious flood damage
serious storm or fire damage
a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply to the premises
a failure or breakdown of the hot water service
a failure or breakdown of the stove or oven
a failure or breakdown of a heater or air-conditioner
a fault or damage which makes the premises unsafe or insecure.
If urgent repairs are needed you should notify the landlord or agent right away. The landlord or agent must arrange for the repairs to be done as soon as possible. http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tenants_and_home_owners/Renting_a_home/During_a_tenancy/Getting_repairs_done.html
- Inform the landlord ASAP if any damage is done