Renting a home

When you rent a home in NSW or QLD and become a 'renter' or a 'tenant', knowing your rights and responsibilities will help you avoid or resolve differences you may have with your landlord, real estate agent, house-mates or neighbours.

Having a clear communication and being up front and honest with your property manager/agent and the agent also being up front with you will mean a good relationship is built from the ground up!

Most people who prefer to lease a property for the long term (longer than 12 months) want the certainty of knowing the property they are leasing will not be sold from under them and is safe and enjoyable for themselves and their family during their tenancy. It doesn’t hurt to ask the managing agent that question, does the owner intend to sell in the near future? It can save the hassle of moving costs, stress, and upheaval of it all.

Please ask us and we are happy to help with any queries you may have in regard to renting.

Top tips for problem–free renting

Follow these useful tips to help avoid problems while you are renting:

  • Photos are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Take pictures (that are date stamped) of the property, especially areas that are damaged or unclean. Keep these in case the landlord objects to returning your bond at the end of your tenancy.
  • Keep a copy of your lease, condition report, rent receipts, Rental Bond Number and copies of letters/emails you send or receive in a designated ‘tenancy’ file folder and put it somewhere you can easily find it later.
  • Never stop paying your rent, even if the landlord is not complying with their side of the agreement (eg. by failing to do repairs) – you could end up being evicted if you do.
  • Comply with the terms of your lease. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without asking the landlord or agent for permission first.
  • Keep a diary of your dealings with the landlord or agent – record all the times and dates of conversations, who you spoke to and what they agreed to do. If repairs are needed, put your request in writing to the landlord or agent and keep a copy. This type of evidence is very helpful if a dispute arises which ends up in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Consider taking out home contents insurance. It will cover your belongings in case of theft, fires and natural disasters. The landlord’s building insurance, if they have it, will not cover your things.
  • If the property has a pool or garden be clear about what the landlord or agent expects you to do to maintain it.
  • Be careful with what you sign relating to your tenancy, and don't let anybody rush you. Never sign a blank form, such as a Claim for refund of bond.
  • If you are happy in the place and your lease ends, consider asking for the lease to be renewed for another fixed term. This will remove the worry about being unexpectedly asked to leave, and helps to lock in the rent for the next period of time.

Provided by Department of fair Trading NSW