Renting a property might not be a new process but it is one decision that you must do carefully and knowing your rights as a renter is of utmost importance. In this article we discuss those rights and provide situations in which you can exercise them.

First – Rent Increases

In all major territories (except New South Wales), landlords cannot increase rent if the contract is:

  • Fixed-term
  • Less than 2 years

 

They are only allowed to do so if the increase is mentioned in the contract. Also they’re only allowed to increase it once every 6-12 months, depending on the territory.

 

Recently a tenant in the Gold Coast had an experience of rental increase. Read the full case here: www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-01/gold-coast-rental-market-unfair-/100173698

 

 

Second – Repairs

Landlords are responsible for non-urgent repairs (that cause structure problems). They are required to maintain their property in a livable condition.

 

This is something you should ask your landlord to perform, especially before moving in. Territories such as South Australia, NSW, and Tasmania allow fee-free fixes once per tenancy.

 

Landlords are also responsible for urgent repairs. In some territories such as NSW, tenants can pay up to $1000 in urgent fixes, then demand that the landlord reimburse them.

 

 

Third – Water Usage

How you are charged for water use depends on the property type.

 

If you live in an apartment, then you are probably on a shared building meter. In that case, you are not charged by personal consumption or supply.

 

However, you are required to pay if your apartment has its own water meter.

 

Also, as a tenant, you are only required to pay for water use if efficiency meters are setup (to restrict water flow). The property should show no signs of leaky taps.

 

 

Fourth – Evacuation Rights

If your tenancy is ending you can get your bond back without the landlord’s consent. To do so, you can place a claim at the Rental Bond Board.

 

You should receive your bond back within 14 days (if no disputes arise).

 

Another right to note is carpet cleaning. In NSW tenants are not required to steam clean carpets before leaving (which can cost 100s of dollars). Though exceptions may apply to pet owners.

 

Always read through your tenancy agreement and understand what’s included and excluded so there is no surprises before moving in.