Responsibilities for landlords and tenants are explained in the:
- lease agreement signed at the start of the tenancy
- information brochure, given at the start of the tenancy
- Residential Tenancies Act 1995
The tenant has a responsibility to meet all conditions included in the lease agreement as well as:
- pay rent in full when it is due
- keep the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and free from health and fire hazards
- not cause or allow damage to occur, either intentionally or through negligence, to the property
- not allow the property to be used for illegal purposes
- allow other neighbours and residents to live in comfort, peace and privacy
- notify the landlord of any repairs or maintenance needed as soon as possible
The landlord has a responsibility to comply with all conditions included in the lease agreement as well as:
- providing the property in a clean and reasonable state at the start of the tenancy
- providing written or verbal instructions for any domestic appliances in the property that require instruction – eg air conditioner
- maintaining the property to a reasonable standard and organising repairs
- giving proper receipts and maintaining records of any money paid
- allowing tenants to live in reasonable peace, comfort and privacy in the property for the duration of the tenancy
- paying council rates and taxes
- providing and maintaining locks to ensure the property is reasonably secure
- providing a copy of the signed lease agreement, the information brochure, and completed inspection sheets at the beginning and end of the tenancy
- lodging bond money with Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
If a landlord doesn’t meet their responsibilities, a tenant can end the lease by giving them written notice to remedy the breach . If the breach isn’t remedied by the specified time, usually at least seven days, the tenancy will end. If this occurs the tenant must move out by the specified date.
Forms and fact sheets for starting a tenancy
- the information brochure – must be given to the tenant at the start of a lease agreement. It sets out the general rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant.
- A copy of the signed lease agreement must be given to the tenant within 21 days of signing
- An inspection sheet – must be completed and provided to the tenant at the start of a lease agreement. This records the condition of the property both at the start and at the end of a tenancy.
- Landlords must lodge all bonds, including any part payment, within two weeks of receiving the money. Bonds can be lodged online or by submitting a bond lodgement form to Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
- the water charging fact sheet provides information about what water costs landlords and tenants are legally responsible for.
If the lease agreement, information brochure and inspection sheets are not given to the tenant at the start of a lease agreement the landlord may be fined.
On this site
Things to consider when looking for a rental property:
- bond – this can be up to 6 weeks rent
- rent – how much can you afford, with other bills and groceries
- location – are you close to public transport, shops
- infrastructure – what’s included with the property – is there heating and cooling, a phone line and connection outlet
- size of the property – is it what you need, does your furniture fit
- garden or yard – can you look after a large garden, do you have a pet
- parking – do you need secure, off-street parking.