legal tips for property investors and landlords.

What are your obligations as a landlord?

With all the hype around interest rates and property values, it seems a lot of people want to be property investors. Afterall it looks and sounds so glamorous, build a property empire and retire early right?

We’ll that might be the plan but there are some thing you need to know about your legal obligations. These obligations must be followed regardless of whether the Landlord is managing the property themselves or a property manager is appointed to act on behalf of the Landlord.

Below are just a few things you may need legal help with: 

When leasing out a property, prior to the tenant moving in, the landlord must:

  • prepare a tenancy agreement (the landlord must pay any costs involved with preparation of the agreement)
  • provide the prospective tenant with a New Tenant Checklist before they sign the tenancy agreement
  • complete an entry report of the property and give a copy to the tenant
  • ensure property complies with safety regulations.
  • A landlord is entitled to take a bond from the tenant before they move into the property. This bond must be lodged with Fair Trading NSW and cannot amount to more than four weeks’ rent.

    If the tenant causes damage to the property or, when the tenant vacates the property, it has been left unclean beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord has a right to claim money from the bond to cover the cost of the repairs or cleaning. Claims are lodged through Fair Trading NSW.

  • The landlord has the right to receive the rent on time. Where the rent is a few days late, the landlord can send a reminder notice.

    If the rent is more than 14 days late the landlord can issue the tenant with a termination notice which means that the tenant is required to vacate the property within 14 days of the notice. If the tenant pays the rent that they owe within 14 days of the notice they do not have to vacate the property.

    In the event the tenant does not pay their rent and refuses to vacate the property, the landlord can apply to NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order to terminate the tenancy agreement and remove the tenant from the property.

  • The landlord must ensure the property is safety compliant. Some common safety compliance issues include:

    • Smoke detectors must be installed in the property and working.
    • Pools must be fenced and, as of April 2016, a compliance certificate must be attached to the tenancy agreement.
    • The landlord must provide and maintain locks on the doors and windows of the property to ensure the property is reasonably secure…and the list continues. 


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