Who prepares the rental agreement?
According to the Retail Leases Act of 1994 (the Act), the landlord is responsible for the whole cost of arranging the lease, including the mortgagee consent fee.
If the landlord or agent asks the renter to pay the legal fees, the prospective tenant shall respond in writing, citing provisions 3 and 14 of the Act.
If the tenant requests modifications to the lease for additional terms after providing the landlord with the tenant’s disclosure statement, the tenant may be compelled to pay for such changes.
If the renter is responsible for the costs of these improvements, the landlord or agent must produce copies of any applicable accounts or invoices. If the modifications involve variations in the rent or term, changes as a result of the landlord’s refusal to make previously agreed-upon changes, or changes requested before the landlord gets the lessee’s disclosure statement, the renter does not pay.
Understanding Tenancy Agreements in Real Estate
Make sure you read and understand what you’re signing because it’s a legal document.
A written agreement between a tenant or resident and a property management/owner is known as a tenancy agreement (or lease). It is essential to spend time studying the agreement before signing it because it is a legally binding contract.
While the rules in each state and territory differ significantly, all tenancy agreements must include the following:
- The tenant’s name and address, as well as the property manager/owner or service provider
- The start and termination dates of the agreement (or state that the agreement is periodic)
- Details on how the renter should pay the rent and how much money should be paid Details on what the tenant and the property manager/owner or provider may and cannot do, referred to as standard conditions.’
- Are there any specific terms? (these should be agreed in advance, e.g. that dogs are allowed but must be kept outside or carpet cleaning, no smoking etc)
- The tenancy agreement’s duration
- A fixed-term lease is one in which a tenant or resident agrees to rent a property for a certain period of time (for example, 6, 9, or 12 months)
- When a tenant/resident resides there for an indeterminate amount of time, this is referred to as a periodic arrangement.
Other things to think about
Even if the person renting is a family member or a friend, a formal agreement must always be utilized when renting.
Before paying any money or committing to the rental, the renter should be handed the agreement, which they should read and ask questions about if they don’t understand anything.
Even if a renter does not have a formal agreement, the law protects them.
If you find any maintenance concerns after properly examining the home, make sure they’re included in the rental agreement with a deadline for them to be remedied.
The Landlord’s / Agent’s Responsibilities
The landlord/agent is in charge of Taking care of all the fees associated with arranging the tenancy agreement
Ascertaining that the proper form is used and completed Before the renter signs the proposed agreement, provide them a copy of it together with any appropriate body corporate regulations or bylaws.
The renter must return the agreement to the lessor/agent within five days of signing it. After then, the lessor/agent has 14 days to send the renter a copy of the signed agreement.
Assuring that there are no legal issues that would prevent the tenant from staying in the premises for the duration of the rental once the agreement is signed. Assuring that the property is in excellent shape and ready for the renter to move in on the agreed-upon date
A tenant is usually responsible for the expense of registering a lease. Leases of more than three years in length, including any option periods, must be recorded. This serves to safeguard the interests of the renter.
The tenant is responsible for their own legal fees. Before approving a tenant, do a comprehensive background check (you can arrange this through us).
Call/check all of the tenant’s references – on our tenancy application, they will be requested to provide information about their present employment, existing landlord, and personal references.
View or copy evidence of identification, proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of rental history in person (e.g. lease agreement, written reference, or tenant ledger).
When you’ve decided to approve a tenant:
To sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement form, get together. You should also provide them a New Tenant Checklist at this time.
Within 7 days of the tenancy starting, complete a property condition report. Keep one copy for yourself and give the tenant two copies. If you finish this with the tenant, it might help to avoid any misunderstandings. This report is available for download here.
Request a four-week deposit. When you have it, give the renter a receipt and have them sign a Bond Lodgement Form, which you can get from any Service NSW service center (formerly RTAs) or Fair Trading office, or by phoning 13 32 20. Important. You must provide the option of managing and refunding bond money via Rental Bonds Online (Fair Trading’s secure online service).
Within 10 days, submit the bail to Service NSW. You may either mail it or drop it off at a Service NSW location. If the renter violates the contract or ceases paying rent, you can seek money to be released to you to compensate for the harm. Here’s where you can learn more about bonds and how to file them. Bonds can also be submitted through the internet. Fair Trading NSW is where you may register.
Throughout the tenancy:
Conduct routine property inspections up to four times a year, with seven days notice each time.
Make careful to keep track of any events (e.g., copies of any letters/receipts you give to the renter, photographs of any damage, etc.) in case there is a future disagreement.
Tenancy agreement and holding fee
On approval of your tenancy application, a landlord or agent may require you to pay a holding fee. One week’s rent is the maximum they can ask for.
At any given moment, the landlord/agent can only hold one holding fee. Depending on whatever state or region you’re in, the agent’s ability to enter into an agreement with another potential renter is limited for a certain amount of time.
The charge is applied to your rent from the first day of your lease when you sign the tenancy agreement.
If the landlord/agent refuses to enter into the tenancy agreement, or if you refuse to enter into the tenancy agreement because the landlord/agent made any false or misleading statement, or omitted to disclose to you any ‘material facts,’ the landlord/agent must return the cost.
The landlord/agent can keep the money if you otherwise decide not to enter into the tenancy agreement.
The report on the situation
When you move in, the landlord/agent must write up a condition report and provide it to you. The condition of the premises is described in the report. The landlord/agent must provide you with two copies: one to retain and one to return to them.
Within 7 days after moving in, you must complete your condition report and send one copy to the landlord or agent. If the landlord/agent fails to provide you with a condition report, prepare one yourself and have a witness sign and date it.
Finishing the report
Inspect the premises and meticulously fill out the report. If the landlord/agent challenges the repayment of your bond at the conclusion of the tenancy, the report will be used as proof.
It’s also a good idea to snap photos at the beginning (and conclusion) of the tenancy and save them somewhere secure.
Write information in the section “Landlord’s agreement to undertake work” if the landlord agrees to conduct cleaning, repairs, additions, or other work.
Each renter has its own key
The landlord/agent shall provide a free duplicate of the keys (or other opening devices) to each tenant listed in the rental agreement for the premises and any shared property to which the tenants have access.
Complaints and disagreements
Consult your local Tenants’ Advice Service for information on filing a claim with the Tribunal or filing a complaint with Fair Trading.
You can ask the Tribunal to make an order that:
The landlord produces and signs a written tenancy agreement; a term of the tenancy agreement is declared illegal by the court, and a holding fee is reimbursed to you.
You can file a complaint with Fair Trading if, for example, a landlord/agent: before you enter into an agreement, or for preparing a written agreement, charges extra withholds any ‘material facts,’ proposed sale or mortgagee action, or makes any false/misleading statement before you enter into an agreement includes prohibited terms in the tenancy agreement. Demands a bond equal to more than four weeks’ rent in advance.