Search
  • Real Finance

Important landlord and tenant rights in Australia

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.


Landlords


Increasing rent


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.


Urgent repairs of your investment property must be attended to immediately
Urgent repairs of your investment property must be attended to immediately

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

  • Electrical issues

  • Damage caused by natural events

  • Fire damage

  • Breakdown of gas, water, electricity supply

  • Broken lavatory systems


Tenants


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.


Keeping pets


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.


QLD


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.


VIC


Renters must ask their rental provider for permission around having pets. Though, the rental provider needs to have a good reason to refuse.


WA


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.



In conclusion


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

Queensland: https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/renting

Victoria: https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/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

Tasmania: http://tutas.org.au/factsheets/

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.



Additionally, if you're looking to invest in real estate, REIF are here to help! Download our free eBook below for more information on Building Wealth Through Property.

We explore this topic in our eBook 'Building Wealth Through Property.' Check it out here for FREE!

20 views0 comments