Tenancy Obligations

<em>Find out about tenancy obligations and how to terminate a tenancy agreement...</em>

Tenancy obligations are dictated by the lease agreement. However, generally, the following obligations will apply:

Tenant's obligations:

  • Take reasonable care of the property
  • Not intentionally or negligently damage the property
  • Notify the landlord/agent as soon as the tenant is aware of any problem.
  • Respect the peace, comfort and privacy of neighbours
  • Pay rent as per the tenancy agreement
  • Not attach any fixture or complete any renovation, alteration or addition to the premises without written permission of the landlord
  • Give the required notice when moving out
  • Leave the premises in the condition in which they were found

Landlord's obligations:

  • Ensure the premises are reasonably clean and fit to reside in
  • Maintain the premises to a reasonable standard by carrying out repairs and maintenance as reasonably required
  • Fit smoke alarms in the premises
  • Organise urgent repairs as soon as reasonably possible. If unable to do so the landlord must repay the money spent by the tenant to fix the problem within 14 days
  • Provide at least 30 days written notice if selling the property (this only applies after the fixed-term has expired)

Rent Increases

Rental amounts and increases are generally included in the tenancy agreement; however, there are laws in each state determining how often the rent can be increased. For example, rents can only be increased after six months in Western Australia and only after 12 months in the Australian Capital Territory.

Notice must be given before any rent increase, and again, amount of notice required varies from state to state and can be between 30 and 60 days. Amount of notice required may also depend on the type of tenancy agreement.

If tenants do not agree with a rent increase, they must lodge an application for review with the tribunal.

Ending a Tenancy Agreement

At the end of the fixed term specified in the tenancy agreement, the tenant can either renew the lease, or the lease will automatically become a periodic tenancy until notice is given. The only exception to this is in New South Wales where the lease is automatically renewed under the same terms as the initial agreement.

The length of notice to terminate an agreement varies from state to state and may also depend on the cause of termination. It ranges from seven days in Queensland and South Australia and can be as much as 182 days in certain circumstances in the Australian Capital Territory.

Landlords must give notice, even if the fixed term agreement has come to an end. The amount of notice they must give varies in each state, except for South Australia and Western Australia where there is no required minimum notice. A minimum of 14 days is required in Northern Territory and New South Wales and a minimum of 90 days in Victoria (although fixed term agreements of over six months will require more notice).

Further Information