Your Rights as a Tenant

Written by view.com.au in Guides on June 3, 2011

Your Rights as a Tenant

Ultimate Rental Guide

Just like the landlord, you have many rights as a tenant that are all protected by the law. If you are unsure about the tenancy agreement or the condition report  you have the right to seek legal advice and have the documents reviewed before anything is signed.

 

Application Process

 

Discrimination

In the application process, you are protected by law against any form of discrimination from the landlord/agent. You cannot be treated unfairly due to any factors such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Sexuality
  • Having children
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental illness
  • Disabilities

If you feel that you have been discriminated against, or if you are experiencing any other problem with your landlord which has not yet been resolved, you are allowed to exercise these rights under the law.

During the Tenancy

 

Condition Report and Rental Guide

Before you move into the premises, you must receive a written copy of the lease, your copy of the Condition Report, list of costs you will need to pay once the lease is signed and a rental booklet from your landlord. This booklet states all the rights and responsibilities of both parties and may prove to be very useful for the duration of your tenancy.

Bond and Rent Payment

Once your agreement is signed, your tenancy will officially commence, which results in you having to pay a bond and an upfront rental payment.

For more information on state based bond and rental payment refer to All You Need to Know About a Bond & Upfront Rental Payment.

Maintenance and Repairs

Once the tenancy has begun, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the premises and all the utilities /appliances which are included as part of your tenancy agreement. If there is a problem, they are obliged to ensure the appropriate repairs are made.

For more information on landlord obligations, refer to The Responsibilities of Your Landlord.

Inspections

If your landlord wishes to enter the premises, it must be at a time and date which was agreed upon with you and only if notice is provided. The landlord/agent can make one general visit every 6 months, but cannot do it in the first 3 months of your tenancy. They can enter, given that they have provided 24 hour written notice, in order to:

  • Value the property
  • Show prospective buyers or financial lenders
  • Show prospective tenants
  • Inspect the property to ensure it is being maintained to a satisfactory level

Rent Increases

Unfortunately rent increases are quite normal and common. However, there is legislation in place to ensure that your landlord cannot increase your rent whenever they wish. If you believe a rent increase is unfair, you can apply for it to be reviewed by your relevant state authority/tribunal. The tribunal will consider factors such as:

  • The rental rates of similar premises in the market
  • The proposed rent compared to the current rent
  • State of repair of the premises
  • Terms of your tenancy agreement
  • Period since your last rental increase
  • Any other relevant issues or factors

For more information on state-based rental increase legislation refer to All You Need to Know About a Bond & Upfront Rental Payment.