As a tenant, you are have rights and obligations. Some tenants aren’t aware of these rights. If that is the case they will move into a home at the mercy of the landlord. It is important that both tenants and landlords get familiar with these rights and obligations in order to reduce conflicts between the two parties. For a tenant, you have the right to a free and comfortable stay in your rental space without much apprehension.
Before we move onto the general rights, here are some basic tips you can follow in order to avoid running into confrontational situations with your landlord:
- Pay your rent on time. Deadlines for rent payments will generally be stipulated in the rental agreement.
- Take good care of the rental house.
- Avoid disturbing the comfort, privacy and the peace of the neighbours with whom you share the rental complex.
- Let your landlord know if you have tenancy issues.
- Maintain good records of your rental transactions including the rental agreement, rent payment receipts among others.
Below is a look at some of the rights you have as a tenant.
Any rent increases should be spelt out in the rental agreement. The agreement should clearly state the duration over which the rent will be fixed. The interval within which the rent can be increased should also be spelt out clearly in the rental agreement. This can vary from 6 months to one year depending on the state. There is also a notice period that the landlord should adhere to before they decide to increase the rent.
The “cap” on rent increases
While there is no legally defined cap defining by how much your rent can be increased, you can always go to your state’s civil or administrative tribunal in case the rent increase is excessive. These tribunals have the power to issue enforceable orders on the rent increase amount as well as the interval within which the rent can be increased. The tribunal looks at a number of factors to determine if the rent increase has been excessive such as the market rates in the area, the condition of the property, rate of increase and the duration of time since the last increase.
Getting the Bond Back
Whenever you pay a bond for your rental property, it is advisable to lodge the bond with the bond authority in your locality. This will ensure that the bond money is held in trust by a third party and not the landlord. Disputes might arise and you would want an independent third party holding the money instead of an “interested” party in the dispute. If your bond is held by a third party, you can also apply for it independently and avoid the situation where you have to rely on the landlord to expedite the home inspection process.
Right to Vacant Possession as the Tenancy Period Begins
Many may not know this but you actually have a right to a vacant rental house on the day that you move into the premises. A vacant possession means that you should find the house empty. No one should be staying there or using the rental property when you are moving in.
Right to Quiet Enjoyment
Your landlord has no right to interfere with your life in the rental apartment. If they want to have property inspections melbourne, they must schedule an appointment. You must be granted a right to comfort, privacy as well as reasonable peace for the duration of your tenancy.