Property investment presents a wonderful avenue for building wealth, but the road to success extends beyond mere property selection and location. At its core, property investment revolves around people - specifically, the landlords (that means you) and tenants who form the backbone of this dynamic venture.
As a landlord leasing an investment property, you shoulder several crucial responsibilities that must be diligently upheld. These responsibilities are safeguarded by legislation tailored to protect both landlords and tenants, varying from state to state in Australia.
This legislation is an ever-evolving framework subject to amendments, especially during tighter rental markets. It becomes paramount for landlords to comprehend their role as investment property owners and remain informed about their legal obligations. In this article, we’ll discuss the landlord responsibilities NSW.
Table of Contents
Receiving Rent from Tenants
As a landlord, choosing the most appropriate tenant for your property is within your rights. However, it's essential to be aware that the Equal Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination against any applicants based on various protected characteristics, including:
- Marital status
- Having children
- Mental illness
Discriminating against potential tenants for any of these reasons could lead to potential liability for damages or fines. As a responsible landlord, upholding fair and equal treatment throughout the tenant selection process is crucial.
Understanding Rental Bonds
Rental bonds serve as a crucial financial safeguard for landlords, as tenants pay them at the commencement of their tenancy. The respective state government rental authority holds these goodwill payments in trust and acts as a protective measure if a tenant breaches the tenancy agreement's terms.
As a landlord, you have a safety net in case the tenant doesn't pay rent, damages the property, or leaves unsatisfactorily after the lease ends. Once the tenancy concludes, you can claim some or all of the bond to cover any incurred expenses.
To initiate a new lease, both parties must complete a bond lodgement form, which you, as the landlord, are responsible for lodging with the relevant state authority within the stipulated timeframe. You must lodge the bond within certain days, depending on where you live in Australia. The bond amount is usually about four weeks' worth of rent, but it can vary depending on the type of place you're renting.
Upon the tenancy's conclusion, any property damage may be covered using the bond, provided that both parties agree. Instances such as missing curtains, burns, or cuts to the bench-top would likely be considered damage, and the tenant would be responsible for covering the repair costs.
However, landlords cannot charge tenants for regular wear and tear during the tenancy. Faded curtains or a worn kitchen bench top are examples of fair wear and tear that are not chargeable to the tenant.
Both parties should agree on the damage and the cost of repairs. Landlords can claim for unpaid rent, tenant-caused damage, cleaning expenses, tenant abandonment, and payment of the tenant's bills. They can also claim for the loss of their goods.
For example, landlords may consider making a bond claim for:
- Unpaid rent
- Tenant-caused property damage
- Cleaning expenses
- Tenant abandonment of the premises
- Landlord's forced payment of the tenant's bills
- Loss of landlord's goods
Rent Collection and Tenant Selection
As a landlord, you can set rent payment frequencies, allowing tenants to pay weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
To ensure a transparent rental process, it's crucial to furnish detailed and signed receipts for both rental payments and the bond. These receipts should include essential information such as the date, amount received, property address, tenant's name, and payment duration.
Selecting reliable and financially capable tenants who will responsibly care for your property is vital to successful property rental management. Skilful tenant selection can be facilitated by professional property managers who can assist you throughout the process, including handling necessary paperwork and addressing any rent payment issues that may arise.
As a landlord, you rightfully expect timely rent payments by the agreed terms of the lease. Late rent can lead to eviction notices if unpaid for more than 14 days.
Landlords must recognise that even if tenants encounter difficulties paying rent or falling behind on payments, the landlord remains responsible for fulfilling the mortgage obligations. Proper budgeting is essential to ensure the mortgage is consistently paid, irrespective of tenants' temporary financial challenges.
Landlord Responsibilities Towards Tenants
Specific landlord responsibilities NSW during a residential tenancy. While many of these obligations can be efficiently managed by a professional property manager, landlords must know their duties to provide a seamless and enjoyable renting experience.
Here are some key landlord responsibilities NSW towards their tenants:
- Furnish tenants with a copy of the State or Territory booklet outlining their rights before or on their move-in day.
- Ensure that the rental property is clean, vacant, and safe on the day the tenancy begins.
- Maintain the main living areas in good condition and keep all appliances well-maintained. The extent of the upkeep depends on the property's age and the rent charged.
- Attend to any necessary repairs promptly and promptly upon tenant requests.
- Respect the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment of the property, ensuring their privacy and peaceful habitation.
- Adhere to all health and safety laws applicable to the rental property.
- Provide adequate security with well-functioning locks and supply keys for each lock.
- Cover all charges, levies, premiums, rates, and taxes about the property.
- Reimburse tenants for money spent on emergency repairs, subject to certain conditions.
- Abide by proper notice periods before entering the premises for general inspections, typically after the first three months of the tenancy, by relevant legislation.
When can Landlords Visit Their Property as per Regulations and Tenant Rights?
As a landlord, it's important to respect your tenant's right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of the property. While you may have a legitimate interest in checking on the condition of your property, you cannot visit it whenever you wish. Local legislation will define the rules regarding how frequently you can conduct property inspections and the proper procedures to follow.
In New South Wales, as per Fair Trading NSW guidelines, a landlord can inspect the property up to four times within 12 months. However, you must provide the tenant(s) with a written notice at least 7 days before conducting the inspection.
As a landlord, dealing with tenant evictions is an inevitable aspect of property management. However, suppose you find yourself in a situation where your tenant must vacate earlier than planned. In that case, there are essential rules to follow before showing them the door, with slight variations across different states.
Even if the rental agreement has a fixed end date, providing notice to terminate the tenancy is crucial. Tenant rights are protected, so ending a tenancy requires careful attention to the following factors:
- Reasons allowed for giving notice in your specific state to end a tenancy agreement.
- Whether the notice must be given using an official notice or form.
- The appropriate notice period before the end of the tenancy agreement.
Failing to comply with these requirements may result in unnecessary delays in regaining possession of your property or restarting the eviction process entirely. A landlord must give a written notice 30 days before a lease ends. But if there are problems like unpaid bills or rent, the notice period can be only 14 days.
Partner with Houst to Generate Rental Revenue
Discover the ultimate property rental management solution with Houst, the best-in-class company dedicated to optimising your rental yield. With Houst as your trusted partner, you can enjoy a hassle-free experience while they handle everything for you. From tenant sourcing and screening to rent collection and Airbnb cleaning and maintenance, Houst's team of seasoned professionals ensures your short term or long term lets are in expert hands.
With Houst, you can rest assured that your rental management complies with all regulations, and you'll receive transparent reporting on your property's performance. Let Houst maximise your Airbnb revenue and provide peace of mind, so you can focus on what matters most. Get Houst Franchise Partnership now!