Beginning a Residential Tenancy

Beginning the lease agreement

Landlords rights and obligations can be found in the Residential Tenancies Act for each Australian State. All States and Territories supply Tenancy handbooks to explain about the rights and responsibilities of all parties under the Act.

Landlords must give their tenants a copy of the home state renting guide before entering into the residential tenancy agreement. Tenants must have access to the basic information they need to enter into a lease agreement with you..

These guides are available in English as well as other languages.

Landlords must:

- give your tenant with a written residential tenancy agreement (lease). You can purchase a lease pack by Click here clicking this link....

- provide your tenant with a list of the bond amount, advance rent amount and any other allowed entry costs.

- make sure the premises are clean and fit to live in.

- have smoke alarms installed and working.

- deposit any rental bond money with the required authority in the time period allowed.

- fill out three copies of your condition report at the start of the tenancy. Give two copies of the completed report to the tenant before the beginning of the residential lease.

- have your tenant review the condition report. Find out if they agree with the listed descriptions of the condition of the property, sign both copies and return one to you within 7 days. Explain this to your tenant clearly.

During the tenancy

As a landlord you must:

- maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair with non-urgent repairs completed in a timely manner

- organise urgent repairs as soon as reasonably possible after having been notified by the tenant of the fault or damage (refer to the residential tenancy agreement for further details)

- issue receipts for all payments made by your tenants, except where rent is paid into an account or by direct debit or is electronically transferred

- pay for all council rates, land taxes, sewerage and water service charges

- make sure the property is safe and secure

- ensure your tenant's reasonable peace, privacy and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises is not interrupted by you or any other person you have authorised to enter the premises

- give your tenant 60 days written notice of any rent increase.

A landlord is only authorised to enter the premises at certain times and 'dropping in' unannounced, except in an emergency, is not permitted. For example, to carry out a general inspection of the premises, the tenant must be given at least 7 days notice in NSW and only four inspections can be carried out in any 12 month period. Refer to your states specific rules.

Refer to the residential tenancy agreement, the Tenancy handbook or the authority in your state for further details.

Tenancies can only be ended when the correct written notice is given. A notice of termination must be in writing and can be posted or given personally. A notice cannot be stuck to or put under a door. If you are posting the notice 4 working days should be added to the amount of notice, to allow for delivery.

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