Important landlord and tenant rights in Australia
Updated: May 19, 2022
Understand your rights and responsibilities as a real estate investor or renter throughout Australia.
As a real estate investor or renter you have a set of rights and responsiblities. Rights are different in each State and Territory. Because they vary in different locations, it can be confusing to understand your obligations..
Based on the most up-to-date information we could source; we’ll be sharing some of the rights you have as an Australian landlord or tenant.
This depends on the sort of agreement you and the renter have previously established. While it's unclear on how much you can increase your rent by, landlords should not increase their rent excessively. Excessive rental increases can be argued by the tenant through a tribunal. A tribunal may consider increased rent to be excessive in relation to:
Other rents charged within an area compared to your asking price
The condition of the property and if work has been done to it
The proposed increase compared to the previous rent charged
How long it's been since rent was last increased
The table below shows how often you can increase your rent based on fixed term and periodic agreements, depending on the location of the property in Australia.
Accessing your investment property
As a landlord you're allowed to inspect your investment property. Though, there are rules around how often you can access it and the notice period you must give your tenant. The table below demonstrates this right, depending on your location.
Repairs and maintenance
When you own an investment property you can be contacted regarding repairs that may need to be conducted on your property. You'll be responsible for them. Repairs can be urgent and non-urgent. Urgent repairs must be attended to immediately. Whereas, non-urgent repairs can be carried out within a period.
Once again, it’s best to refer to your obligational rights depending on your State and Territory.
Urgent repairs that you will need to respond to immediately include:
Gas and roof leaks
Damage caused by natural events
Breakdown of gas, water, electricity supply
Broken lavatory systems
Like investors, tenants also have rights and responsiblities. These also differ depending on your location. Here are some tenant rights surrounding keeping pets and breaking your lease early.
Most locations across Australia don’t specifically state that you can’t have pets. Here’s a breakdown regarding your rights around keeping pets in the property you’re renting.
NSW and NT
In NSW and the NT you can have a pet unless specified by the landlord in pet-preventing clauses within leasing agreements.
TAS and SA
You can have a pet with your landlord’s approval.
Tenants must get written approval to have a pet in a rental property. Currently, only 10 per cent of landlords in Queensland allow pets within their investment property. Though, there’s widespread speculation that these rules are set to change.
Renters must ask their rental provider for permission around having pets. Though, the rental provider needs to have a good reason to refuse.
In WA you can have a pet with permission from the property owner and it’s included in the lease. Property owners can also charge a pet bond to cover cleaning costs when the renter vacates.
Breaking your lease early
It’s suggested you don’t break your lease early to avoid hefty costs. Though, if you’re in a position where you need to leave the property before your lease agreement is up, here are the rules depending on your location.
For more information on the rights you have as a tenant or landlord based on where you're located, refer to the links below. They link to the rental regulatory body for each State and Territory of Australia.
New South Wales: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/renting
Western Australia: https://www.tenancywa.org.au/
Northern Territory: https://consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/for-consumers/residential-tenancies
Australian Capital Territory: https://justice.act.gov.au/renting-and-occupancy-laws
South Australia: https://www.syc.net.au/home/rentrightsa/#:~:text=RentRight%20SA%20is%20a%20free,community%20housing%20or%20public%20housing.&text=We%20can%20help%20with%20issues,property%20maintenance%20and%20unpaid%20rent.
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