Tenant and Landlord Rights

Living in Australia is often an ideal move for aspiring citizens who are aware of what its stable economy could offer. This means more opportunity for work, more reasonable taxation, and competitive salaries and benefits for employees provided. Australia stands as a multi-cultural country where the economy is continuously growing. Migration lawyers understand this concept.

But like any country, leasing of lands, apartments, and properties are subject to agreements by contract. It’s important to know how this process occurs by identifying what the basic tenant and landlord rights are in Australia.

Landlord Rights

Landlords have the right to choose a tenant. But it’s not right to base the decision on their gender, age, religion, race, marital status, sexual orientation, number of children, pregnancy, mental illness, or disabilities. Based on the Equal Opportunity Act, any discriminatory reason for refusing a tenant on mentioned above parameters will subject the landlord to paying fines and dealing with damages.

If a landlord deems a background check necessary, in terms of financial eligibility or employment status, it is just right to do so as long as it’s to know if the prospective tenant is suitable for the said apartment.

Landlords have the right to impose the payment of a bond.

This serves as the deposit to protect the landlord for any reason a tenant may breach a signed contract. However, payments concerning the wear and tear of some furniture, carpet, curtain, or appliances, for example, during tenancy, should not be charged to the bond since it’s the landlords’ responsibility to maintain the apartment. If there was any breakage resulting from any accident due to recklessness of the tenant, then definitely, it should be accounted for with the bond. If the contract has finished and the apartment was maintained in proper condition, the bond should be paid back to the tenant in full.

It is the right of the landlord to impose a reasonable amount as the leasing fee or most commonly known as the rental fee. It could be agreed upon to be paid monthly by the tenant or the whole duration of 1 or 2 years, depending on the agreed terms.

Generally, these are landlord rights. On the other hand, the tenants’ rights briefly include the following.

Tenant Rights

In most states of Australia, a landlord cannot evict a tenant if it goes against the agreed duration of the lease unless a tenant breaches the contract. For whatever reason the landlord would need to cut the lease shorter, ample time for eviction should be given through an eviction notice.  

Tenants have the right to demand privacy. So if the landlord has to access the rental, notice should be given at least of 7-14 days in some states. In Victoria and Tasmania, a notice could be as short as 24 hours, but it should only happen once every six months. Privacy lawyers should be called upon if there is a breach of privacy.

Pet rights, however, are the most sensitive issue, yet the most discussed between the landlord and the tenant. The State government at the Australian Capital Territory passed laws last February 2019 that grants tenants a right to have a pet. Under these new laws, a landlord needs to present a reasonable ground for refusing a tenant’s plea to own a pet.

You, as a tenant, have the right to request repairs to be done as this should be a landlord’s responsibility. Maintenance of facilities and security locks are solely the duty of the landlord.

Some basic principles remain the same when renting out an apartment or house, whether in Australia or any other place. Maintain cleanliness of the property, keep it free from reckless abandonment, and neglect. You must keep it in the same condition as when you rented it out initially.