Understanding the Rights and Obligations of Your Landlord



When you are renting, different obligations exist between the landlord and tenants, as well as between the tenants themselves. This contractual relationship is often consistent between different rentals, with many core foundational obligations pertaining to all rental situations.


Being a landlord is no easy feat, with many responsibilities bestowed upon them. If you are a tenant, you should be aware of your landlord’s obligations as well as your own, to make sure that they are complying with their contractual obligations.



As the landlord, you can set the rent you want to charge tenants. A financial advisor and the real estate agency you partner with will likely assist you with the pricing, because it must be within a similar range of nearby competitors to make the property viable.


There are opportunities for commercial lease rent review where the rent can be changed by the landlord within the existing lease. This can mean the rent either increases or decreases, and the justifications for these changes are based on the property’s value, quality, and the rental market at the time.


The tenants must be provided with written notice of any rent changes, and have the opportunities to dispute the rent review conclusions or exit their lease prematurely due to changes in their tenancy agreement.


Under the tenancy agreement, tenants will be instructed on how to pay their rent. Usually this is by bank transfer.


It is illegal for landlords to require advanced payment for more than two weeks worth of rent. They are permitted to ask for 1-2 weeks’ rent in advance, but no more than two.

Property Condition

The property must be in good condition and abide by all legal requirements before it can be a rental property.


The landlord must ensure that the requirements are met, including all maintenance and repairs. It is not ideal for the tenants to move in when more repairs need to be conducted, as this is inconvenient to them and the landlord’s responsibility to have it all done before.


The property must be properly fitted with smoke alarms as well as ceiling and underfloor insulation.


If the property is deemed unlawful for residential purposes, the landlord will be found to have breached their obligations to provide a lawful property in good condition. In these circumstances, the tenant could be compensated for their inhabitants of a poor-conditioned property.


Property Access

A landlord cannot enter the property unannounced, whenever is convenient to them. For landlords to access the property, they must provide the tenants with reasonable notice. If notice is short, the tenants must provide written permission for the landlord to enter.


The restrictions with property access relate to upholding respect and privacy for the tenants, and to have a positive relationship established between the landlord and the tenants.


The tenants are entitled to privacy, peace and comfort within their dwelling – whether it be residential or commercial.

Property Inspections

The property must be inspected by the landlord and meet the requirements, otherwise the tenants will be at fault.


When a property is inspected, the tenants must be provided with notice of the inspection so as to give them ample opportunity to clean and tidy the property. Unannounced inspections are unlawful and violate the values of property access too.


Healthy Homes Standards

Healthy homes standards refers to minimum standards properties must have for various conditions such as heating, ventilation, insulation, and moisture ingress and drainage.


After 1 July 2021, all rentals must comply with the new healthy homes standards within 90 days of a new or renewed tenancy. Landlords must maintain the quality of the various healthy homes categories and make sure they comply within the specified guidelines.


For this requirement to be met, landlords must keep all records of documentation that demonstrates their compliance with the healthy homes standards.

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