NSW Renting Guide

Please NOTE : This guide has been superseded by the NSW Residential Tenancy Act 2010
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When you rent a house or unit in NSW you have rights and responsibilities. This fact sheet outlines your basic rights and responsibilities as a tenant. It is available in 23 lanuages from The NSW Office of Fair Trading
It is the Landlords' or Agents' responsibility to provide a copy of the NSW Renting Guide to the tenant at the beginning of each lease
You can download the complete copy of the NSW Renting Guide by clicking this link
Copyright State of New South Wales through the Office of Fair Trading

  • BEGINNING THE TENANCY

    Before you enter any tenancy agreements is it important to know the regulations and guidelines. Each state has it's own regulations, this extract is based on the the NSW Tenancy Act.

    Disclosure

    Before a tenant enters into an agreement or moves in to the property they must be given the following documents by the landlord or the landlord's agent:

    1. A copy of the proposed tenancy agreement (including a premises condition report), filled out where appropriate in the space provided and
    2. A list of all entry costs payable to begin the tenancy; and
    3. A copy of this booklet.

    The tenant must be given time to read and understand the tenancy agreement before being asked to sign.

    Tenancy agreement

    The law now requires that there must be a written tenancy agreement between all landlords and tenants.The agreement must be provided by the landlord. Agreements can be purchased from most newsagencies and stationery stores.

    The Act contains a standard form of tenancy agreement that must be used
    in all circumstances. Each tenancy agreement must consist of 2 parts:

    .

    • Part 1 - The terms of the agreement (ie. what the landlord and tenant agree to do during the tenancy)
    • Part 2 - A premises condition report, setting out the state of the premises at the beginning of the tenancy.
    •  

    The standard terms of the agreement (terms 1 to 28) apply to all landlords and tenants and cannot be altered or deleted.Additional terms may be added to the agreement. It is essential that all parties read the tenancy agreement before signing it.

    Additional terms

    There need not be any additional terms added to a tenancy agreement.
    The standard terms are broad enough to cover most situations.

    Additional terms may however, be added to the agreement so long as
    they:

    •  expand on one of the standard terms of the agreement, or
    • cover a matter under the Act which is not already dealt with in the agreement.

    It is a breach of the tenancy law to add an additional term which conflicts with either the Act or one of the standard terms of the agreement. Any such terms are not binding or enforceable, even though the tenant may sign the agreement.

    All additional terms, including any which may be printed on the agreement, are negotiable.The parties can agree to alter the wording or delete an additional term altogether.

    Examples of additional terms which are not binding or enforceable
    include:

    • the tenant agrees to have the carpet professionally cleaned when they vacate, or
    • the tenant agrees to replace tap washers, stove elements or to be responsible for any other repairs to the premises.

    If there is any doubt about the validity of an additional term, further advice can be obtained from an advisory service. See Chapter 13.

    Length of tenancy

    The length of the fixed term period of the tenancy is a matter to be agreed upon.The most common fixed term periods are 6 months or 12 months.The parties can agree to have a tenancy agreement for any other length of time. Once the fixed term period of the tenancy ends the tenancy agreement itself does not end. It becomes a continuing agreement with the same
    terms and conditions

     

  • CONDITION REPORTS

  • ENTRY COSTS

  • RENT

  • WATER AND SEWERAGE CHARGES

  • PRIVACY AND ACCESS

  • REPAIRS

  • LOCKS AND SECURITY

  • RESOLVING PROBLEMS

  • THE CONSUMER, TRADER & TENANCY TRIBUNAL

  • ENDING THE TENANCY

  • ABANDONED PREMISES AND UNCOLLECTED GOODS

  • WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION