Landlords bear several responsibilities that they must diligently uphold when leasing out their properties. These obligations are binding whether the Landlord manages the property independently or enlists a property manager to represent them.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 in New South Wales controls what landlords must do for residential tenancies. Landlords must comply with this legislation to ensure a fair and lawful tenancy agreement.
Landlords are vital in meeting their tenants ' needs, from property maintenance to ensuring a safe living environment. They must address repairs promptly, respect their tenants' privacy, and maintain the property's overall livability. Also, landlords must adhere to rent-related regulations, such as providing proper receipts and not arbitrarily increasing the rent. In this blog, we’ll discuss all about landlord rights NSW. So, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Starting a Tenancy
When embarking on a new tenancy, before the tenant's occupancy, the landlord is required to fulfil several essential tasks:
Drafting the Tenancy Agreement
The landlord prepares a comprehensive tenancy agreement. Including all relevant terms and conditions pertaining to the tenancy is essential. Moreover, the landlord must cover any costs incurred in preparing this agreement.
Providing the New Tenant Checklist
Before the prospective tenant finalises the tenancy agreement, the landlord must furnish them with a New Tenant Checklist. This checklist is a vital resource, outlining essential information and guidelines for the tenant's reference. It helps ensure transparency and clarity about landlord rights NSW rights as a tenant.
Completing an Entry Report
Before the tenant moves in, the landlord must meticulously inspect and document the property's condition through an entry report. This report serves as a reference point for assessing any potential damages or changes to the property during the tenancy period. A copy of this report must be promptly provided to the tenant for their records.
Ensuring Compliance with Safety Regulations
Safety should be a top priority for landlords. They must ensure the property adheres to all relevant safety regulations and standards. This includes addressing fire safety, electrical safety, and any other necessary safety measures.
The Bond Process
A landlord can ask for a bond from a tenant before they move in. This bond is a form of security against any potential damages or unpaid rent during the tenancy period. However, there are specific regulations that must be followed:
Limit on Bond Amount
The bond amount should be at most four weeks' rent. Landlords are prohibited from demanding an excessively high bond from the tenant.
Lodging the Bond
The landlord is responsible for lodging the bond with Fair Trading NSW. This government body oversees the management and protection of rental bonds in New South Wales. By lodging the bond, the landlord ensures it is held securely and impartially, safeguarding the tenant's interests.
Claiming from the Bond
If the tenant damages the property or leaves it excessively dirty, the landlord can use the bond to cover the costs. Here's how the process typically works:
Inspection and Documentation
Before the tenant moves out, the landlord should thoroughly review the property. Any damages or cleanliness issues should be documented and recorded in an exit report.
If the landlord finds legitimate reasons to claim the bond, they can submit the claim to Fair Trading NSW. This claim should include relevant evidence and the estimated cost of repairs or cleaning.
Fair Trading NSW will notify the tenant about the bond claim. The tenant can respond to the claim and may agree or dispute it.
Fair Trading NSW's Decision
If the tenant agrees to the claim or Fair Trading NSW finds the claim valid, the bond money will be disbursed accordingly. However, if the tenant disputes the claim, Fair Trading NSW may mediate to resolve it. They might have to go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to sort it out if they can't agree.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Premises Entry in NSW
The landlord has certain landlord rights NSW to access the property for different reasons. These reasons primarily encompass property inspection, undertaking necessary repairs, and conducting showings if the property is up for sale. Landlords must balance their rights with the responsibility to respect tenants' privacy and guarantee uninterrupted enjoyment of the property.
Late Payment of Rent in NSW
Late payment of rent is subject to certain guidelines. If the rent is just a few days overdue, the landlord can notify the tenant. The landlord can issue a termination notice if the rent remains unpaid for 14 days. If the tenant pays the overdue rent within 14 days, they can continue residing in the property without vacating.
The landlord can take legal action if the tenant doesn't pay rent or leaves the property after getting a notice to end the lease. They may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to obtain an order terminating the tenancy agreement and forcibly removing the tenant from the property.
Essential Property Compliance Measures for Landlords
Landlords have a duty to keep their property safe according to landlord rights NSW. Key safety compliance measures should be implemented to safeguard the well-being of tenants. These measures commonly include:
Installation and Functioning Smoke Detectors
The landlord must prioritise the installation of operational smoke detectors within the property. This crucial safety feature acts as an early warning system in case of a fire or potential fire hazards.
Pool Fencing and Compliance Certificate
The landlord must have the pool area adequately fenced for properties with pools. Additionally, since April 2016, a compliance certificate must be attached to the tenancy agreement, confirming that the pool meets the necessary safety standards.
Secure Locks on Doors and Windows
The landlord has to put good locks on all the doors and windows of the property. This will keep the tenants and their things safe.
Managing Natural Disasters
In New South Wales (NSW), legislation carefully outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords, particularly in situations involving natural disasters, property repairs, and water charges.
In the unfortunate event of a natural disaster destroying the property, rendering it uninhabitable, the landlord must promptly issue the tenant a notice to vacate. Any prepaid rent beyond the termination date must be refunded to the tenant.
If, however, the property sustains partial damage and remains habitable, the landlord is obliged to undertake necessary repairs. During the repair period, the landlord might consider reducing the rent as a reasonable measure.
Landlords are legally required to maintain the property in a reasonable state of repair. This responsibility encompasses regular maintenance and timely repairs. Typically, the cost of these repairs falls upon the landlord unless the tenant is directly responsible for causing the damage.
Water Usage and Charges
Water usage regulations for landlords in NSW are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. A landlord may charge the tenant for water usage if the following criteria are met:
- The property has its own water meter.
- The property meets the prescribed water efficiency standards.
Administrative fees and water connection service charges will not be passed on to the tenant. The landlord is strictly prohibited from charging the tenant an amount exceeding the cost of water usage specified in the water bill.
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