What you must know before you sign a lease
At the start of every tenancy you should be given the following things by the landlord or agent:
- a copy of this information statement
- a copy of your lease (tenancy agreement)
- 2 copies of the premises condition report
- a bond lodgment form for you to sign, so that it can be lodged with NSW Fair Trading
- Keys to your new home.
The first thing you should do before you sign the lease is read it thoroughly. If there is anything in it which you don’t understand, ask questions.
Remember, you are committing to a legally binding contract for which there is no cooling–off period. You will want to be certain you understand and agree to what you are signing.
Check the lease and asked questions if there is anything you didn’t understand.
Check the length of the lease you are signing up for. Leases can be negotiated for 6 months, 12 months, or some other period.
Check that you are offered at least one way to pay the rent which does not involve paying a fee to a third party.
Check that you know what any additional terms to the lease are and negotiate before you sign.
Checked that all additional terms to the lease are legal, for example, the lease does not include a condition requiring you to have the carpet professionally cleaned when you leave, unless you have agreed to that as a condition to allow you to keep a pet on the premises.
If the Landlord or agent makes any promises to make repairs or do maintenance to the property, ensure they are done before you start the lease or you have it in writing before you sign the lease that they will be done.
The tenant is required to pay:
- 4 weeks rent as a rental bond.
- 2 weeks rent in advance and no more unless freely offered by the tenant.
The tenant is not required to pay:
- The cost of preparing the lease
- The initial supply of keys and security devices to each tenant named on the lease.
After I move in
- Fill in the tenants part of the condition report and don’t forget to return a copy to the landlord or agent within 7 days. This is an important piece of evidence. If its not completed accurately money could be taken out of the bond to pay for damage that was already there when you moved in.
- A letter will come from Fair Trading sometime during the first 2 months saying that the bond has been received and advising you of your Rental Bond Number. If this doesn’t arrive call Fair Trading to make sure it has been lodged.
Tenants- More information-Links
Go to the Fair Trading website, call 13 32 20 or visit a Fair Trading Centre for more information about your renting rights and responsibilities.
The NSW Government funds a range of community based Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services across NSW to provide advice, information and advocacy to tenants. Go to the Tenants Union website at www.tenants.org.au for details of your nearest service or check your local phone directory.