Reading time: 3 minutes

Each State and Territory has different laws on residential tenancies. If the applicable residential tenancies legislation does not cover a specific situation, then the rights of the parties are determined by the contract, subject to any statutory modifications. It is important to have a contract lawyer review your tenancy agreement before you enter into it to ensure your rights are protected. If you are a landlord, you must have it properly drafted to ensure it does not exclude the operation of the legislation.

Before Entering Into a Tenancy Agreement

Prescribed forms of tenancy agreements can be found in the majority of jurisdictions, except for Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. These prescribed forms provide for some essential terms, which must be included in the agreement. Every time a tenant enters into an agreement, they are entitled to receive a copy of the agreement.

Tenants are also entitled to receive a condition report, which will cover the condition of the property from both parties. If there are arguments over the condition of the property, this should be resolved before signing the agreement; otherwise, this may cause a conflict between landlords and tenants at the end of the agreement.

All jurisdictions in Australia permit the charging of a rental bond, which is generally capped to the equivalent of four weeks rent. This bond must be registered and paid to a government rental authority (except in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where it is paid into an approved trust account). A landlord is prohibited from accepting anything other than rental payment and bond payment. They may not request payments for key deposits or money for the security of objects on the premises.

During the Tenancy Agreement

If you have a tenancy dispute, you should approach your state or territory’s specialist tribunal that deals with disputes arising in a tenancy. A tenant has the right of quiet enjoyment during their tenancy and not have their use of the premises interfered by the landlord. A tenant is entitled to seek damages for any breach of their quiet enjoyment.

Landlords may enter premises in some limited situations, including the inspection for the need of repairs, routine inspections, and allowing prospective tenants to view the property towards the end of the agreement.

Ending the Tenancy

All jurisdictions regulate the ending of tenancies. Generally, a tenancy cannot be terminated during a fixed term. In the event a landlord wishes to move back into the property, or place the property on the market, or requires possession to carry out renovations or repairs, legislation provides for terminating a periodic tenancy. Landlords must follow the strict notice requirements which may include completing forms. Our lawyers can assist draft a Notice of Intention to Vacate if a tenant is seeking the termination of the tenancy.

Conclusion

Once a tenancy agreement is over and both parties are satisfied, rental bond money should be returned. In the event of a dispute, make sure you clearly read through your Tenancy Agreement to understand your rights. Our lawyers can assist landlords draft or complete their agreements, as well as help tenants with understanding their Tenancy Agreement. Contact us on 1300 544 755 or fill in the form on this page for more information.

Webinars

Construction Contract Essentials

Thursday 12 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Understand how construction contracts are drafted and how to protect your construction business.
Register Now

Startup 101: Understanding Cap Tables and ESOPs

Thursday 19 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Cap tables and employee share option plans are essential for fast-growing startups. Learn more with this free webinar.
Register Now

Expanding to NZ: Structuring Your Business For Success

Thursday 26 August | 2:00 - 2:45pm

Online
Launching a business in New Zealand? Understand how to structure your business for success with this free webinar.
Register Now

Preventing Modern Slavery: Your Business’ Legal Obligations

Thursday 9 September | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Are you an Australian business with $100m+ annual consolidated revenue? Learn how to determine if you are a modern slavery reporting entity and your obligations under the legislation with this free webinar.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer