Landlord rights and obligations

Our property managers know the market inside out, and as a member of the Real Estate Institute, we understand the often confusing legislation and legalities behind owning and renting a residential property.

Both landlords and tenants have certain rights and obligations when they enter into a tenancy agreement. You can find some of the main obligations listed below, but for more information contact your property manager.

A landlord must:

  • Appoint an agent if intending to be out of the country for 21 days or more. That person takes over the same responsibilities and obligations of the landlord in his or her absence
  • Meet his or her obligations in respect of cleanliness, maintenance or health and safety
  • Advise the tenant in writing if the property is to be sold, and if the property is not a fixed term, provide the tenant with at least 42 days notice once unconditional
  • Send any bond money paid by the tenant to Tenancy Services within 23 working days of receiving it
  • Ensure the property is reasonably clean and in a fit and habitable condition at the beginning of the tenancy
  • Provide the tenant with 24 hours notice of entry to carry out repairs
  • Provide the tenant with 48 hours notice of entry to carry out a routine inspection
  • Provide and maintain locks to ensure the property is secure
  • Give the tenant at least 60 days written notice of a rent increase providing the tenancy agreement allows for it
  • Provide the tenant with an Address for Service. In addition to a physical address for service, a PO Box, email address or fax number may also be included
  • Pay all outgoings incurred, whether or not the premises are occupied - like rates, body corporate levies, etc
  • Provide a reason when serving the tenant with 42 days notice to vacate
  • Have either the tenant’s consent or an Order of the Tenancy Tribunal before taking back possession of the property
  • Make a reasonable attempt to contact tenants to collect abandoned goods at the end of a tenancy. If unclaimed, they must be stored for 35 days where the cost of removing, storing and selling the goods would be less than the proceeds of the sale, after which the goods may be sold at a reasonable price
  • Hand any unclaimed personal papers left behind by tenants after 35 days over to the police.

A landlord must not:

  • Require a tenant to pay more than 4 weeks bond
  • Require a tenant to pay more than 2 weeks rent in advance or ask for more rent to be paid before the rent already paid has run out
  • Enter the property except as permitted by law or with the tenant’s consent
  • Inspect the property more than once in four weeks except to check on work done by the tenant
  • Harass the tenant or interfere with their reasonable peace, comfort or privacy, or allow others to do so
  • Interfere with the supply of services, like electricity
  • Change the locks without the tenants consent.

A landlord may:

  • Limit how many people may reside in the property
  • Discriminate against smokers and pets
  • Prohibit subletting or assigning the tenancy to another party (this does not prohibit the tenant from having flatmates or boarders)
  • Enter the property if consent from the tenant has been given freely.

More information

For advice and more information about tenancies and renting call a property manager or contact Tenancy Services.  

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