Acting as landlord for a rental property, whether residential or commercial, includes a number of legal obligations. These regulations are in place so that, should issues with the rental lease arise, both you and your tenant have security.

Before your new tenant occupies your property it's essential that they sign a tenancy agreement or lease - not doing so may prolong disputes should they arise. A detailed lease typically incorporates 40 mandatory terms including: the sum to be paid as bond; the rent amount and payment frequency; and the commencement and duration of the lease agreement.

Each Australian state and territory has its own legal requirements regarding tenancy agreements. It's important you careful review the laws governing the rental lease that applies to your property.

Rental bonds offer landlords vital legal protection. Should substantial damage to your property occur, or rent remains outstanding once the lease comes to an end, the bond provides security.

Once you receive bond monies, you're required by law to lodge it with your state's relevant government office within three to 14 days - again, the duration is dependant on which state your property's situated in.

As landlord, asking for too much bond could get you in legal hot water. If you're unclear as to how much your tenant's required to pay, consult your state department of consumer affairs or housing. Typically 4 weeks rent is the equivalent Bond permitted. Properties what warrant higher than average rental amounts may be elegible for a higher bond - seek the details from your local rental bond authority.

As with the bond, the legal amount of advance rent you as landlord can request is dictated by state regulations. A fine may be applied if you exceed the legal limit.

Once the lease is signed, bond is paid, and advance rent is secured, you must provide your tenant with a Condition of Premises Report. The report should be comprehensive breakdown of the condition of the property - primarily the walls, roof, windows, painting and carpet.

Your tenant must also review the report, noting any item appraisal they disagree with. You should then sign the amended report, providing your tenant with a copy.

Where there's potential for future disagreement, photographs featuring timestamps may corroborate your findings should problems arise.

General Disclaimer

The information contained in website is general information only and does not constitute legal, financial or compliance advice. As the laws relating to tenancy agreements may have changed we recommend you check with the relevant State or Territory government department. We also recommend that you obtain your own independent legal advice about matters relating to landlord obligations, tenant rights and any legal disputes you may have with a tenant(s).