Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Residential Tenancy Notes

[01] A residential tenancy generally exists when the tenant pays the landlord for the right to occupy the landlord’s premises (or part thereof) for an agreed period.

[02] Rights and obligations of parties are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

[03] RTA applies to Housing Dept tenancies (unless tenancy contains term excluding RTA) and to community housing.

[04] RTA generally doesn’t apply to permanent residents of residential parks.

[05] RTA doesn’t apply to boarders or ledgers. Also doesn’t apply to persons paying ‘rent’ in nursing homes, hostels and holiday houses.

[06] RTA prescribes a tenancy form with standard terms that cannot be varied.

[07] RTA recognises 2 types of tenancies.

[08] A fixed term tenancy is for a fixed period stated in contract. During term, rent cannot be increased unless contract allows and 60 days written notice given. Usually, tenancy cannot be terminated. If tenant terminates, s/he must pay costs.

[09] A continuing tenancy allows rent to be increased or tenancy terminated provided landlord gives 60 days notice. Tenant can terminate on 21 days notice.

[10] Fixed term tenancy can become continuing when fixed period ends and tenancy continues.

[11] Before contract signed, agent/landlord must provide itemised statement of payments due. Only the following payments can be demanded: rent, bond money (4 weeks rent), contract preparation fee and any costs allowed by regulation.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

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