What are my rights and responsibilities as a tenant?

As a tenant, you have the right to live in a safe, secure, and quiet environment. This means the landlord, or a property manager are not permitted to enter your property without your consent or without sending the correct notice, which includes adhering to the correct notice period.

You also have a right to move into a property that is safe. If there is a risk of damage to your contents or injury to you, other occupants, your neighbours or the public, the onus is on the landlord to apply suitable remedies – or face possible legal consequences if safety risks are neglected. The property should be reasonably clean and in good order at the start of the tenancy, all of which should be noted in the entry condition report.

You also have the right to a copy of the tenancy agreement and any other prescribed documents according to the state or territory in which you live. The tenancy agreement is an important document which clearly establishes your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and lessens the chance of a dispute with the landlord.

You also have other responsibilities as a tenant to take good care of the property, pay the rent on time, and adhere to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

As part of maintaining the property, you must report any repair and maintenance issues to your property manager, whether it’s a faulty smoke alarm or a leaking tap. Water leaks are particularly necessary to report, as they can also cause damage to other parts of the property. So, if you don’t raise the alarm with your property manager, you will be held legally responsible for paying for the repairs caused by the leaks.

On the issue of smoke alarms, if you have a problem with a smoke alarm, bring it to the attention of your landlord or property manager. You are not meant to interfere with the alarm yourself unless you are simply replacing a battery.

This might sound like the bleeding obvious, but as a tenant, you can’t use the property for illegal purposes. Tenants must also not cause a nuisance to, or interfere with the reasonable, peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours.

Likewise, if the tenancy agreement is between you and a flatmate and the landlord, you can’t invite additional extra tenants to move in permanently. You are required to seek approval before allowing extra tenants to move into the property. You also can’t sublet to other parties or list the property on a holiday accommodation site such as Stayz or Airbnb without the consent of the landlord.  

For more information about your rights as a tenant, contact your local Raine & Horne Property Manager.