Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

Property investment remains one of the best ways to create wealth but success depends on much more than just property selection and location.

You see… property investment also involves people – namely landlords (that’s you) and tenants.

Throughout the residential tenancy, you as the landlord have various responsibilities which must be upheld. Ways to create wealth

Across the country, there is state-specific legislation which protects the landlord’s rights as well as the tenant’s.

As this legislation is often amended, especially at times of tighter rental markets,  it’s imperative that landlords understand what their responsibilities are as investment property owners, as they are obligated to abide by state law.

This article will help all landlords better understand their tenant’s responsibilities as well as their own landlord rights when it comes to collecting, holding and returning a bond, collecting rent, increasing rent, entering their property, maintenance, repairs and ending a tenancy.

Of course, we’ll also discuss how using a professional property manager can make your property investment journey simpler and more enjoyable, too!

How do you choose a tenant?

As a landlord you have the right to choose the tenant you consider the most suitable for your property but under the  Equal Opportunity Act you must not discriminate against any of the applicants based on their:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Sexuality
  • Having children
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental illness
  • Disabilities
  • or a whole host of other discriminatory reasons.

If you do, you could be liable to pay damages or fines.

The Bond

Rental bonds are paid by tenants at the start of their tenancy and are a goodwill payment held in trust by the specific state government rental authority, which is used as financial protection for the landlord in case the tenant breaches the terms of the tenancy agreement.

This protects you if the tenant does not pay all the rent owed, damages your property or fails to keep it in a satisfactory condition, as you will then be eligible to claim some or the entire bond once the tenancy is over.

At the start of a new lease, you are expected to provide a bond lodgement form to be filled out by both parties and are responsible to ensure that it is lodged with the relevant state authority within the correct time period.

The amount of bond is usually about four weeks’ worth of rent, however it can vary depending on the type of dwelling. 

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At the end of the tenancy, damage to the property may be paid for out of the bond, but only if both parties agree.

However, landlords cannot charge tenants for any fair wear and tear of property that may have occurred during the tenancy.

Examples of fair and wear include faded curtains or a worn kitchen bench-top.

Conversely, missing curtains or burns or cuts to the bench-top would likely be considered damage, so the tenant would be responsible to pay for these to be repaired.

At the end of a tenancy, if your property is left in good condition and is clean, then both the landlord and the tenant can agree to have the bond repaid to the tenant in full.

If there is any damage, then the process becomes a little more complicated as both parties have to agree that damage has occurred during the tenancy as well as the costs of the repairs.

For example the landlord may make a claim on the bond for:

  • Rent not being paid
  • Damage caused by the tenant or their visitors
  • Cleaning expenses
  • Abandonment of the premises by the tenant
  • Landlord being forced to pay tenant’s bills
  • Loss of landlord’s goods

The Rent

As the landlord you have the right to request rent on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. With both the bond and rental payments received, you should provide detailed and signed receipts stating the date, amount received, property address, name of tenant and duration for which it has been paid.

One of the keys is to ensure you have the best tenants in your properties who have the financial capability to pay the rent as well as the desire to look after your propertyBest tenants in your properties well.

Successful tenant selection is a skill and is one where a professional property manager can help you. They’ll also help you with all the necessary paperwork and following up if the tenant does not pay their rent on time

As a landlord you have the right to expect that the rent for your property to be paid by the due date in the way that was agreed on the lease.

While legislation does vary across the country, if tenants have not paid their rent by the due date, they are considered to be in “arrears”.

If they are more than 14 days in arrears, then landlords have the right to issue the tenants with the relevant notices to vacate.

Landlords need to keep in mind that if their tenants do not pay their rent, or are late paying their rent, that the mortgage still needs to be paid, which always remains the landlord’s responsibility and should be budgeted for accordingly.

Utility and service charges

When it comes to utility and services charges, there are varying rules around this across the country so it’s important to check your relevant state authority.

Generally speaking, however, during a tenancy, tenants are responsible for the following utility charges if the property has a separate meter (one which the supply to one proUtility chargesperty only):

  • All charges for the supply or use of electricity, gas or oil (including supply charges and reconnection fees).
  • All charges based on the amount of water consumed (but not service charges or reconnection fees).
  • All sewerage disposal charges.
  • All charges for the use of bottled gas (but not for the supply or hire of gas bottles).
  • On the other hand, if a property is not metered separately, landlords are responsible for:
    • Initial connection fees
    • Usage charges for the utilities.

Responsibilities of the landlord to the tenant

During a residential tenancy, landlords have a number of responsibilities to their tenants, which are enshrined in the relevant legislation.

Again, many of these responsibilities can be managed by a professional property manager on a landlord’s behalf.

Some of the responsibilities which a landlord has to a tenant include:

  • Give the tenant a copy of the relevant State or Territory booklet outlining their rights. This needs to be done before the tenants move into the property or on the day that they do.
  • The rental property must be vacant, clean and safe on the day that the tenant shifts in.
  • The main living areas must be kept in good condition and all the appliances need to be maintained.
  • The condition expected will be dependent on how old the property is and how much the rent is.
  • You are obliged to take care of anything that may need repairing on the property and must respond to any requests in a timely manner.Responsibilities of the landlord to the tenant
  • During a tenancy, the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in the same state that it was in when the tenant moved in. So this means maintenance and repairs need to be completed as they arise.
  • Respect the rights of the tenant to quiet enjoyment of the property.
  • Comply with all health and safety laws.
  • Provide reasonable security with locks in good working order and supply keys for each lock.
  • Pay all charges, levies, premiums, rates and taxes for the property.
  • Reimburse the tenant for money spent on emergency repairs (certain conditions apply).
  • Not enter the premises to carry out a general inspection until after the end of the first three months of the tenancy (depending on the relevant legislation) and even at this time, follow the rules regarding proper notice periods.

When can you visit your property?

While you may feel like checking on how your tenant is looking after your property, you can’t just pop in whenever you feel like it.

Local legislation will stipulate how frequently you can do this and how to go about it.

For example, in Victoria, a landlord may enter the premises as long as the tenant agrees to the time and was consulted within the last seven days.

Occasionally you may need to enter your property on short notice.

In Victoria, a landlord has the right to enter within 24 hours after having given written notice to the tenant in order to: Victoria

  • Carry out duties under the Residential Tenancy Agreement, the ‘Residential Tenancies Act 1997, or any other Act.
  • To value the property.
  • Show prospective buyers or lenders through the premises.
  • Show prospective tenants through the premises.
  • Verify a reasonable belief that the tenant has not met their duties as a tenant.
  • Make one general inspection in any six-month period, but not within the first three months of the tenancy.

Under these circumstances, the landlord is allowed to enter the premises if the tenant is not home providing the requirements regarding written notices have been met.

The landlord does not have the right to enter in an unreasonable way or stay any longer than necessary unless it is with the tenant’s permission.


Occasionally you will be contacted by your tenant or property manager advising that you are going to have to repair an item in your rental property. While some of these may not be urgent, there are others than will need to be attended to promptly.

You will need to respond to urgent repairs without delay.

If nothing is done, your tenant has the right to arrange for these repairs to be done up to the value of $1000 – at your expense.

If you are unsure of what is classified as an “urgent repair”, consult your property manager or your local Consumer Affairs office.

RepairsExamples of urgent repairs include:

  • Burst water service
  • Blocked or broken lavatory system
  • Serious roof leak
  • Gas leak
  • A dangerous electrical fault
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious fire or storm damage
  • Failure or breakdown of gas, electricity or water supply to premises
  • Any other damage which results in the property being unsafe or not secure

If they are not dealt with, the tenant has the right to organise a qualified professional to complete repairs, up to the amount specified in the tenancy agreement. You will then have to reimburse the tenant for the cost incurred.

Non-urgent repairs need to be carried out within a specified amount of time, which may vary from state to state, but must usually be carried out within 14 days, yet obviously I would recommend you do it sooner.

If not non-urgent repairs are not attended to, your tenant may apply to the Tribunal for an inspection and subsequent report.

After 60 days, the tenant can apply to the Tribunal for a repair order.

Even though they may feel like it, legislation prevents tenants from withholding rent while waiting for repairs to be done.

By the way… landlords are not responsible for damage caused by tenants – such as a door ripped off its hinges – with the repair paid for by the tenant, by agreement, or deducted from their rental bond.

Professional property managers have well-developed systems for tenants to report any urgent repairs or damage, which can then be remedied by whichever party is responsible by agreement.

When can I increase the rent?

Tenants always think their rent is too high and of course landlords want to take to maximise their investment returns.

The problem is you just cannot increase the rent whenever you want to.

Again there is legislation about the timing of rental increases across the country, but generally speaking if a tenant is on a periodic lease the rent can be increased once every six months, after giving two months’ notice to the tenant. When can I increase the rent

If the tenant is on a fixed-term tenancy, such as a 12-month lease, then the rent cannot be increased until the end of that tenancy.

If tenants find the proposed rental increase unreasonable they can challenge it and have a state government inspector assess its fairness.

It’s important that landlords consider whether a higher rent will be more beneficial than having tenants stay in their property for longer.

Changing tenancies is time-consuming and has additional costs attached such as loss of rent during the vacancy, reletting fees and marketing charges – the total of which could be more than the proposed extra rent would bring over six months or a year.

With this in mind, landlords should consider whether an extra $5 or $10 per week will make a big enough difference to their bottom line.

This is especially important during times when rental supply exceeds demand so tenants have much more choice and may decide to simply move somewhere cheaper.

It may be more prudent to wait another six or 12 months before increasing the rent in such a circumstance.

Extended periods of vacancies are not what any landlord wants for their investment property so always keep in mind that long-term tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property well are really the type of people that you want.

How do I end the tenancy?How do I end the tenancy

There are set ways of ending all tenancy agreements and these vary slightly from State to State.

Even if an agreement has a fixed end date, you will need to give notice to end the tenancy.

Because the tenants’ rights to remain in the property are protected, if you want to end the tenancy, you should check:

• The reasons allowed for giving a notice in your State to end a tenancy agreement
• Whether the notice needs to be given on an official notice or form
• How much notice you need to give before the end of the tenancy agreement

If this isn’t done, they run the risk of causing an unnecessary delay in getting back possession of their property or having to start the process all over again.

Again, there is different legislation on ending a tenancy across the country, but in New South Wales, for example, the minimum notice periods that you must give a tenant if you wish to terminate the tenancy are:

• 14 days – if the tenant is 14 days or more behind with the rent or has committed some other breach of the tenancy agreement.
• 30 days – if the fixed term of the agreement is due to end (this can vary in different states).
• 30 days – if the premises have been sold after the fixed term has ended and vacant possession is required by the buyer under the terms of the sale contract.
• 90 days – if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed.Different legislation on ending a tenancy

These notice periods are designed to give tenants reasonable time to find another rental property.

If they can find a property sooner they can move out at any time without having to give you any formal notice.

Except where notice has been given for the end of the fixed term, the tenant’s responsibility to pay rent ends from the date they hand back possession, not the end of the notice.

Of course, there are no minimum notice period required if notice is given on the grounds of:

• The premises being destroyed or wholly or partly uninhabitable, for example from a natural disaster such as a flood or bushfire.
• Ceasing to be legally usable as a residence.
• On the death of the sole tenant.

We have discussed bond refunds in a previous section, but landlords also need to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding any goods left behind by the tenant, which again is covered by the relevant state legislation.

Resources by StateLandlord rights and responsibilities

Being a landlord brings with it a raft of rights and responsibilities, which you must understand to be the best property investor that you can be.
As we’ve mentioned in this article, each state has its own specific legislation regarding this so it’s imperative that you become conversant with the relevant laws or better yet use a professional property manager to navigate them for you!

This is only a short summary of landlord rights and responsibilities and that is why to maximise your investment returns and to minimise your headaches, you should have a professional property manager manage your assets.

That way, all contact with the tenant should be through them shielding you from the day to day hassles finding tenants, completing agreements, organising maintenance, and if necessary, sorting out problems at the Tribunal.

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We don’t sell real estate.

We lease and manage residential properties throughout Melbourne and Sydney and concentrate all our resources on ensuring that your specific management needs are fulfilled.

This means we will look after your property the way we look after our own, using our professional skills and the latest technology to find quality tenants, minimise vacancies and handle marketing, repairs, maintenance, accounting and legal compliance efficiently and cost-effectively.

With so many different pieces of legislation regulating the landlord rights and responsibilities, it makes sense to have a professional on your side who can help your property investment journey be as successful and stress-free as possible.

You deserve a property manager who cares as much about your property as you do. If you want to find out a little more about how Metropole can help you maximise the returns on your investment property, please click here, leave us your details and we will be in touch.

Want more of this type of information?


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'Landlord Rights and Responsibilities' have 277 comments

  1. February 15, 2008 @ 7:49 am Nick Lockhart

    Go Pam, great article! How are you? It was really nice to meet & spend time with you & Michael in Fiji. It looks like you have both “hit the ground running” since your return. Chat soon.


  2. February 16, 2008 @ 7:47 am neil c

    great article…….clear, concise and to the point.

    just 1 question: what are “landlord’s gods” ?? (like roman idols?) (ha,ha)


  3. February 16, 2008 @ 11:57 am Michael

    i found this article really easy to read and to understand….very informative…thank you


  4. December 4, 2008 @ 12:17 pm Emma

    Yeah good article i am a renter and my landlord wont do anything at our rental house we have no gate and the house is falling apart the houseis only 6 months old and no side gate with a 15 month old son who is starting to walk i need a gate can anyone help me


  5. September 22, 2009 @ 4:18 am Jarad

    fantastic article, this really helped me alot thx heaps :)


  6. October 1, 2009 @ 11:45 am Sheryl

    Excellent article. I am a landlord and I do try not to have headaches. Unfortunately my tenants are always behind with the rent no matter how many chances they are given and the promises they make…but I suppose that is life. Thanks for the easy to understand article.


  7. November 19, 2009 @ 8:08 pm Mike

    my tenant has just told me that there is not sufficent air conditioning in the restaurant to do the job properly. i bought the property with these air cons in it. The evaporator cooling system were not working when we purchased the property as well. In regards to buliding codes do i have to make sure there is sufficent ventilation in the ceiling. Thanks Mike


    • March 7, 2014 @ 11:23 pm be

      One short answer, yes. When ppl move into yr premisis all items are to be in in fair and good working condition.


  8. December 16, 2009 @ 8:13 am Peter

    Quick question: Im the landlord of a property in Victoria, since the law doesnt allow me to charge rent in advance (more than 14 days?), can i demand interest calculated daily for every day rent is late until it is paid?
    As why should i be made to pay interest on the money i need to borrow to keep the mortgage going, just because my tennant is late in paying me.


    • December 22, 2011 @ 8:22 am Richard

      How about actually owning your property before renting it out and not renting out the bank’s property.

      Why should YOUR RISK be the tenants problem.

      Sheesh. Amateur businessman.


      • December 22, 2011 @ 8:22 am M

        I’m a landlord with a mortgage… I’m sure most people have mortgages, unless mummy and daddy helped them out. Don’t see a problem.


      • December 19, 2015 @ 5:05 pm karen

        What an arrogant response Richard. While Peter can not charge interest he should in fact be able to absolutley.


    • March 14, 2015 @ 11:26 pm Jane

      I entirely agree As a landlord it is not fair that we still have to pay the bank for borrowing money because the tenant chooses not to sacrifice anything or take the risk themselves
      So the tenant gets an interest free loan at th expense if the owner
      How could you expect some one to fully own a property before renting it out
      A few tenants are excellent but most these days have no morals and pay rent as a last option Abd no I am nit talking about people whi can’t buy good I am talking about people who buy alcohol cigarettes overseas trips and cars in excess of $100,000 and lie through their teeth and more


  9. December 16, 2009 @ 10:29 am Peter

    Quick question: Im the landlord of a property in Victoria, since the law doesnt allow me to charge rent in advance (more than 14 days?), can i demand interest calculated daily for every day rent is late until it is paid?
    As why should i be made to pay interest on the money i need to borrow to keep the mortgage going, just because my tennant is late in paying me.


  10. December 17, 2009 @ 12:15 pm Cathy

    I have a question: Hope this is in the right place.
    I have a tenant in my property (1 half of a duplex building) when I visited it the last weekend no lawn/yard maintenance has been done, the managing agent now tells me that I have to supply the equipment (ie: lawn mower/whipper snipper)to maintain the yard. I have rented a property for nearly 10 years and never heard of this before is this correct?

    Your advise is appreciated thanks


  11. January 16, 2010 @ 11:55 pm offshoreoildude

    I find it shocking that the RTA in Australian states prohibits landlords from charging a penalty or fee for late rent payments. I rent out properties in the USA and this is standard -$25 late fee. For repairs we also have a clause that states the first $50 is to be paid by the tenants – this stops ridiculous call outs (and fees) for blown light bulbs, dripping taps etc.


  12. January 22, 2010 @ 9:11 am Kate

    Can anyone tell me whose responsibility it is to clean and maintain the gutters on a rental property? Also, what about the presence of asbestos? I have seen some factsheets about lead on the tenants nsw website, but none on asbestos. The property we are renting is about 50-60 years old, has an asbestos roof and guttering (all in pretty poor repair) and we are on tank water…?


    • October 7, 2012 @ 9:22 am Danielle

      Great site, very helpful. Thank you.


  13. February 4, 2010 @ 2:06 pm Marilyn

    The retail tenant abandoning the premises:

    how can landlord establish that retail premises are abandoned, and what are legal steps landlord should take, to get lawfull posession and to terminate the lease in such situation.


  14. February 4, 2010 @ 10:04 pm Jack Thompson

    Hello Kate,

    I am a lanlord also and recently cleaned out the roof gutters from leaves that had composted and also repaired worn out downpipes.
    It is the landlords responsibility to maintain the building; the tenant has nothing to do with roofs or guttering unless for some reason they incur breakages and damage which then they are liable for repairs out of their own expense.


  15. February 12, 2010 @ 1:11 pm Kate

    Thanks for your reply Jack. We offered to provide the labour to pressure clean the roof and gutters if the landlord went halves with us on the associated costs of hiring the cleaning equipment. We also offered to go halves on the cost of having the rainwater tank professionally cleaned out and the broken first flush fixture repaired. Seems this was a pretty reasonable offer after all! Disappointing then that we haven’t had a response in over three weeks….


  16. February 24, 2010 @ 2:25 am Ann

    I am a landlord living overseas. I recently had a request for a new antenna on the roof of property. I live on a complex & not sure if this is a communal arial. When I lived at property I was told that the area was not good reception, so just wondered where I stood with this, also had a complaint that garbage disposal unit was broken (only a couple of years old) is this the landlords problem & shower not draining (due to hair in drain) surely this is a cleanliness problem of the tennant? Anyone able to help me .


  17. September 16, 2010 @ 10:39 am Julia

    I am a renter, and in previous properties i lived in the landlord always paid the sewerage removal for the property and as a result my water bill was only ever for usage. In my current property my bills are for both usage and sewerage disposal.
    Can anyone tell me who is responsible for payment of the sewerage disposal fee?


    • September 25, 2014 @ 1:59 pm Mike B.

      Hello Julia. I am a landlord, and it is my responsibility to pay all water rates – except usage. The tenant is only responsible for the amount of water they use. Hope this helps. :)


      • November 12, 2014 @ 8:40 am Terri

        Mike,which state are you in? I am a tenant in South Australia- I pay the quarterly connection and supply fee as well as all water used. Are you saying that your tenant does not pay this?


        • September 19, 2016 @ 10:13 am Trudi

          Terri, in South Australia you can be charged for the water supply charges as well as water consumption.

          Each State has its own tenancy laws and they are all different. It makes it difficult when you read a generic article such as the one by Michael Yardley.

          I have rental properties in WA, SA and NSW.


  18. September 25, 2010 @ 1:12 pm Nicole

    I am a tenant in a rental property. When we were shown the property by a property manager she stated that the air conditioner ‘didn’t work well’ (i have this in writing) and in the conditional report it states it is in ‘good working’ condition. When we filled in the conditional report i stated within that it was broken and needed repair. I would like to know if it is ours or the landlords responsibility to repair the air conditioner?


    • September 25, 2014 @ 2:02 pm Mike B.

      Hello Nicole. As a landlord, it is my responsibility to ensure that all appliances, fittings and fixtures that belong to my property are in good working order. The fact that you have it in writing is your trump card – the landlord cannot blame you for the condition of the a/c. It is definitely NOT your responsibility.


  19. October 13, 2010 @ 8:58 pm Rob

    Hi, I have a quick question. I’m a renter and recently our dishwasher broke down. The landlord got a quote to fix it and it is going to cost quite a bit. Because a dishwasher isn’t a necessity, does the landlord have to fix it?

    Very informative and to the point article by the way.


  20. February 1, 2011 @ 6:36 pm Mitcheel saba

    Hello great web site,im a landlord and last week my tenant vacated the propertyl eaving some damage,to the sliding door,the tenant attempted to fit a lock himself ,he is not a credited lock smith mind you,do i have the wright to with hold bond till the door is back to as i was? thanks for your help,is there a booklet on landlord wright i can purchase?


    • September 19, 2016 @ 10:23 am Trudi

      Difficult to know what the damage to the sliding door is. Have a tradesman attend and give you a quote to repair it.

      As a landlord, I have to sets of door locks for each of my properties, which I swap around when a tenant vacates and I make a comment to that effect on the property condition report. This way, every new tenant rests assured that even if the previous tenant still has a key to the property, it won’t work on the new locks.

      No, I don’t engage a tradesman, changing locks is a very simple process which takes just a few minutes of my time.


  21. February 24, 2011 @ 12:19 pm Kate

    Hi Michael, we have a tenant who is seeking reimbursement from the landlord because at the beginning of her tenancy, the water tanks and bottled gas were not full. We are of the understanding that the landlord is responsible for the supply of the water tank and gas bottles and hire, but are they also responsible for having these items full for the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy? Your advice is appreciated.


  22. February 28, 2011 @ 8:49 am LeeAnne

    Hi I am a landlord, i have been charged by a local electrician through agent manager to tune in the tennants tv, can someone please advise as to is this my responsibility as a landlord


  23. March 4, 2011 @ 12:38 pm Jack

    I am a landlord. My tenant is oveseas but in the renting flat someone
    else is living. It was arraged without my consent.
    At this momet the who is actually staing in the flat does not let
    buider to enter the flat to do repair storm water damage.
    What should I do?


    • July 16, 2014 @ 11:55 am kelly

      your original tenant has broken the lease agreement by sub letting the property out. you are quite within your rights to evict both the original and subsequent tenants.


  24. March 10, 2011 @ 2:55 pm Julie

    Hi. We have always made ourselves available to our tenant when she broke the oven door, needed the batteries changed on her smoke alarm, reconnected the electricity to her alarm (after she accidentally disconnected it) cleaned her rangehood because it was very greasy, fixed all of the fans when they seemed to break down at the same time, amongst other things. Our agent has now reported that the venetians and the rangehood are dirty/dusty amongst other minor things. It is becoming quite onerous and costly for us when things break down due to not being properly maintained. Should the tenant be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of these things? Thank you for your assistance.


    • April 9, 2013 @ 5:00 pm sd

      absolutely. It is entirely the tenants liability to maintain things. You have been doing WAY too much for her.


  25. March 26, 2011 @ 12:30 pm Donna

    I’m a landlord and tenant happens to be a property manager. Tenant said she would deal with sending bond off to RTBA. 6 months later and bond still not lodged. Electrical works were carried out as we agreed but she ignored our request of having the works invoiced in our name and instead had it in her name. The electrical company were rather non-compliant with our queries concerning invoice and basically gave us the run around. Same company she calls on to do work elsewhere apparently. Whilst we were trying to get to the bottom of the invoice business, she emailed informing us that she had paid electrician and that it has come out of the rent. Always 14 days arrears with rent. Is very hard to contact and has stated that she will only correspond by email. And it’s only been 6 months into a 12 month lease!


    • July 16, 2014 @ 11:57 am kelly

      find out where she works and take the fight there. im sure her employer would love to hear all about it :)


  26. April 10, 2011 @ 9:13 pm tamara furey

    hi i’m renting i have move into this house just over 12 months and from day 1 i have ask for the fence to be fix it has not been fix due to costs i have a small dog and child is there anythink i can do to get somethink done about it i have no fence out all and it will cost the owner $4000 dollars but he wont get it done because it cost to much is there anythink i can do to get it done


  27. April 12, 2011 @ 3:57 am Chris

    Hey all, i have just left a property and have done all required of me by the landlord to suffice return of the bond. Two weeks later, one week after i was due to recieve return of the lease, i get a phone call from the realestate saying that i must pay the for garden to be weeded (not mowed) and all three weeks after i left the property. Do not plants continue to grow after tenants leave? I have resigned to the fact i’ll probably have to do it but i believe this request is not of the landlord but one requested by the real estate. Ps. When the landlords change agents mid lease, read everything.


  28. May 9, 2011 @ 1:55 pm Eileen

    Hi there, we have just moved into a flat that has no curtains. Is it part of the landlords responsibility to provide curtains?

    I would have thought this should be provided as part of the flat. Any ideas?


    • May 9, 2011 @ 8:25 pm Michael Yardney

      Eileen. What was the condition of the property when you inspected it?

      Have you asked the property manager about the curtains? What did they say


      • September 22, 2014 @ 12:51 pm Mandi

        Hey there ,
        This is my question too. We have recently moved into a home where they have blinds but not curtins
        Who is meant to install the curtins ?
        The blinds dont block the heat and I have a 6month old who has one of the front rooms and it gets very hot in there , even with the blinds so I have tied up some sheets
        until we hear back from the agent.
        But who is responsiable to supply them ?


  29. March 21, 2012 @ 6:47 am Roger

    My tenant wants to end the fixed lease agreement (due on Agust 2012).
    In a email sent to me he states the following:
    “We have applied to rent another property from early-April and intend to leave Halpin Street soon after. It is not yet official, we have not yet signed the new lease agreement, but we intend to do so once the real estate agent has organised the appropriate paperwork. You don’t need to be concerned, we are honest and will not do anything which jeopardizes your unit or the rental payment, and of course, we will not do anything that breaches any laws. I want you to be informed of what is happening, which is the reason why I am writing this email now, prior to us signing any new lease agreement.

    We intend to find someone suitable to transfer our existing lease over to. We will do our best to ensure this person is of acceptable financial character and whom you will find suitable (e.g. we will give preference to non-smoking, no pets, working people, etc.). We believe that transferring our lease is the simplest, cheapest and safest way to ensure that Halpin Street remains occupied and there is continuity in the rental payments.

    If we can’t find someone whom we all agree is suitable, then we will need to break the lease and it will then be up to you to re-advertise the unit and seek a suitable tenant. Under this approach, we would be obligated to compensate you financially for your losses associated with re-advertising the unit and the loss of rent while the property is vacant, but you would be obligated to make a genuine effort to find a suitable tenant. I think you understand the process, but it remains our preference to find someone to transfer the lease to, rather than breaking the lease.”

    This person is ‘very complex’ is always ‘cooking something’. Please advise me how to handle this situation. I would greatly appreciate it.


    • March 21, 2012 @ 8:48 am Peter O'Brien

      Hello Roger,

      I have read your tenants comments… As far as his legal obligations go, I could not put it better myself. He has pretty much quoted fropm the text book of property management.
      The only thing I think you should be aware of, is, if he breaks his lease, and it takes too long to secure a new tenant, a registrar could allow him out of the lease without charges after a “reasonable” amount of time


  30. March 21, 2012 @ 8:54 am Peter O'Brien

    Hi Marian,

    You can only provide your tenants with a notoice to vacate for a specified reason. This is notmally 60 days, depending on the reason. Or you can provide them with a notice to vacate for “no specified” reason, which is 120 days notice.
    If you have a signed condition report and photographs as evidence you maybe successful at the Tribubnal when seeking compensation for plants. A registrar will consider type of plants, water restrictions and climate before making a decision.


  31. March 22, 2012 @ 10:09 am Shyrene


    My partner and I bought our first investment property Oct 2011 – it wasn’t long til we got a tenant however, at this point it’s been 1 issue after another. I can guarantee I’ll get a call from the Property Manager at least 2-3weeks with another complaint/fix etc.
    Basically, a condition report was signed off by the realestate agency & I received a copy initialed by the tenant. The only thing we needed to get done was steam clean the carpet and it was deemed OK to live in. We cleaned an scrubbed the place down, re painted, maintained the garden etc until the tenant moved in. However, the requests to fix/ change things doesn’t end.

    1) Week 1 into the tenancy we get a complaint and needed to send in cleaners twice.
    2) Week 2Then there was a complaint about pests which we happily dealt with.
    3) Week 4-7 I get a list for of 5 issues. We fixed 3 of the 2. Called pretty much everyday whilst I was at work.
    *There is tin, wood and other items in the cubby out the back and in the backyard
    The mentioned there is meant to be glass support beam in the bathroom
    One towel rail is broken (she also mentioned there is 3 others so it’s no big deal)
    *Little side door to garage- permanently locked and they don’t have a key
    *Bathroom tap- leaks badly.
    4) Week 9 My partner and brother came by one weekend to remove the cubby and remove the rubbish. 1 week later we get a request to remove rubbish that was left over and allowed a tip trip & taken out of the rental.
    5) Week 10 They installed a cubby in the backyard without formal consent. I was just advised by the property manager that they were putting one up. Shouldn’t we get a formal letter?
    6) Week 11 A few days later I get another request – assuming it was remnants of their cubby build. I agreed to another tip trip which was taken out of our rental.
    6) Week 13 Advised there is still rubbish so I blunty told them I’m not paying for removal of their personal rubbish – so NO.
    7) Week 18 Backdoor broken and need urgent repair! Which we did.
    8) Present – now I get asked about installing a clothesline. I checked the photos prior to renting and there was a make shift one from the previous owner. Do we have to install a clothesline? They did sign a condition report.
    9) Find out today an inspection was conducted and we were not informed of this. It was just done with the property manager but we wanted to be at the inspection. When I asked why I wasn’t informed they couldn’t answer and advised I had to wait until next week as they were just filling in whilst the actual property manager is on leave.

    I need help! I continually refer back to the agent completing a condition report & the tenants signing one as well. They keep ignoring me when I mention this and the property manager cannot manage the tenant. They even said it themselves they were having issues with the tenant.
    I don’t think the tenants are taking care of the house. It was sound and in excellent condition and had someone check everything prior to renting and yet they keep finding faults.

    It’s been just shy of 5mths with these tenants and I’m getting quite agro. It’s either we
    – increase the rent after the 6 month mark
    – or vacate the tenant with 120days notice



  32. May 3, 2012 @ 4:52 pm HYeyleyho

    Just wondering who is meant to change light bulbs, especially when the light fittings are screwed in and we would have to stand on a ladder to fix.
    Additionally, the roller security doors in our lounge room and bedrooms have baterry operated remotes. We were told it was our job to fix but we cannot open the remotes with any normal screwdrivers and have been living in darkenss for 3 weeks.
    Finally, when we move out, do we really have to clean insects out of the light fittings? and clean the oven exhaust fan?


  33. May 11, 2012 @ 11:21 am Marian

    how much time must I give my tenants notice of vacancy- I am in victoria and the 12 month contract has finished
    Also they have completely cleared the front yard of all my plants where do I stand – can i take the cost of this from their bond?
    thanks marian


  34. May 18, 2012 @ 11:28 am mark

    i was wondering who is responsible for cleaning out the gutters on the property i’m renting? i live in NSW and my house is 2 storey dwelling and i believe it is too dangerous to clean them myself. I cannot work at these heights without a safety harness if i am at work. my property manager has suggested that maybe i might have to pay someone to do the job, but i dont believe it is my responsibility. i am not risking my life to clean the gutters which have trees growing out of them now as i have lived in the property for 5 years now and each time it rains they overflow. I have never cleaned the gutters on any rental property and have been renting for 20 years. Can anyone help me?


    • June 21, 2012 @ 2:21 am Rochelle

      you DO NOT have to pay or clean gutters. if the pipe gets blocked you will have house water leaks this will then be the fault of the landlord.


  35. July 9, 2012 @ 9:07 am adam

    I have a friend next door renting my unit , there is a adjoining door to my unit , when it is opened i have access to both units . It is closed all the time and she lives in one unit .
    This woman pays rent on a week to week basis , long story cut short ,she is to noisy , i need to ask her to vacate , she has paid no bond , can she just refuse to not move out , what do i do ?


  36. July 25, 2012 @ 4:02 am Sand

    Hi I´m a landlord and had many problems with my agent. We had the same agent for over 12yrs but it´s time to move on. I have contacted another agent and sent my current one a letter of termination. The thing is that I do not know what the period stipulated should be, as it was not apparent in our contract, so I stated that the dissolution should be actioned right away.
    I asked the current agent this question, but he is still yet to inform me and it´s been over two weeks. Of course they are not going to reply! We live in NSW. Does anyone know? I need to co-ordinate with new agent when files should be picked up.
    Many thanks!


  37. July 28, 2012 @ 5:39 pm Nicky York

    Hi. We are ‘VIP’ tenants’ according to our previous Property agent!! Our current agent says we are model tenants. I am retired and my husband is long distance truck driving. We live on a semi rural property of 2/3 acre, which in turn is on a 50 acre property. We love peace and quiet. When we first arrived the garden was very bare and so we have planted trees and shrubs (with owners permission) and it now looks very nice. Trouble is our Landlord lives on the acreage and told us when we first moved in that they are very fussy and will check each time they drive past (which is daily – several times sometimes). He has arrived on our door step several times without warning, saying he wants us to get rid of this or that. Even our caravan. He has phoned my husband on several occasions asking if we are running machinery or making such and such a noise. My husband has no machinery and he received this calls when he was at work, or even when he just arrived home!! Now he is demanding that no truck or trailer is to be on the property at any time. We have a 6×4 box trailer! No cars to be parked on the grass. No caravans allowed on the property. We recently had interstate visitors staying with us for 3 nights and as it was raining we had them parked as near to the house as possible, which is the only level piece of ground. No more caravans. We now have my aged disabled mother-in-law who is wheelchair/walker needy and he refuses to put a ramp (there are 4 steps to the house and even though a veranda back and front, there are no handrails or balustrades. The veranda is 1.1 mtr from the ground at the highest point. My husband has made a makeshift sturdy ramp himself (not attached to the house in any way) but sufficient to enable M-I-L to get in and out of the house and into our car. Landlord wants it removed immediately!! How pray, does my M.I.L get access to the house. Being a heavy woman and 84 years young, this would be no mean feat for even the strongest!! The agent is shaking her head at landlord’s unreasonableness and dreads him coming into their office as he comes in and demands things, I feel she is out of her depth with this one and wonder who we can go to. She says it will probably have to go to the Rental Tribunal. He now informed us through the agent (as I told him never to come again and to go through the agent) has put up the rent another $30 a week commencing with the new lease in September. We love it here and will not go with out a fight, my husband is a truck driver but not even allowed to bring the truck home (Prime mover only) to wash and unpack after long distance. sometimes coming home early morning or late night when I sometimes have grandchildren staying over and cannot go and meet him at the depot. Surely this guy is out of line!!!!???


    • August 10, 2012 @ 9:50 am Peter O'Brien

      You have a Property Manager who needs to outline to the Owner their rights and respsonsibilities.

      If you feel that the rent increase is incessive you can apply to consumer affairs and arrange an independent valuation. This is at no cost to you.


  38. September 4, 2012 @ 10:22 am Lee

    I have a quick question. We moved into a home 4 weeks ago. One evening about a week ago my son was doing homework in the study and the bulb in our reading lamp exploded shattering glass every where. Not only did some land on his laptop keys melting buttons but also onto his lap burning his thighs through his shorts. Thankfuly he wears reading glasses so some of the shattered glass bounced off his glasses. I had placed a piece of plastic runner under the office chair to protect the carpet from the wheels which protected the carpet from the hot glass near the desk but some of the glass traveled further and burnt two holes in the carpet. One about the size of a match head and the other about the size of a large pea. I was very upset as not only is this a relatively new home but I am very home proud and conscious of how I look after our rentals. I contacted our Real Estate the following day to notify them and asked if someone could attend the property to inspect the damage. A day and time was made for the Principal to visit but no one attended. I will say though they were very good and sent an electrician out to check all the wiring to make sure it wasn’t caused by a wiring problem or power surge. He told me all wiring was good and it was the reading lamp. I also contacted our Insurance Company the same day as we have contents insurance. I discussed the incident and damage to the laptop and made inquiry as to whether they would cover the carpet if the owners did not have Landlord Insurance. I was told that we should be covered as the reading lamp in question was ours. Yesterday we had a scheduled inspection (Four week) and the property manager was not aware of the incident when I showed her and took pictures and said she would discuss it with the Principal. Today I was told that we would have to replace the carpet either before or at the end of our Tenancy. As Landlords of a fairly new home ourselves I would have thought that my Landlord Insurance would consider this as Accidental Damage. I also have 4 years previous Property Management Experience so I understand how this can be a grey area. I would realy value your opinion.

    Kind regards


    • February 15, 2013 @ 2:50 pm Peter O'Brien

      Hello Lee,

      What an terrible incident.
      We cannot comment about what type of Insuracne cover the Owner has in place. The unfortunate result is, it was your personal property that caused the damage to the Owners property….
      Thankfully no one was seriously injured.


  39. October 7, 2012 @ 6:47 pm Max Ding

    Just wondering, what unreasonable rights exactly did landlords used to have in the past and how have they changed? What do you think the attitudes of landlords and tenants are in the present about tenancy laws?


    • February 15, 2013 @ 1:54 pm Peter O'Brien

      In the present time, tenancy laws very much favour the tenant. There are some many examples of this that I would not know where to start. This is why Landlords need to engage the services of an experienced property manager with excellent negotiation skills.


  40. November 5, 2012 @ 11:14 am Karma Kennedy

    Just wondering if anyone can provide link to section of NSW Residential Tenancies Act or Fair Trading fact sheet that says who are responsible for ongoing unblocking of gutters?


  41. January 1, 2013 @ 2:07 am Rocky

    Does anyone know, (under WA law) whether tenants can install a clothesline in the front yard (yes front yard, not backyard) of a rental property (house)? We just had an anonymous letter placed in our letterbox saying the clotheline is offending the neighbours and the display of underwear is insulting to people walking by. I’ve tried the Residential Tenancies Act and the Regulations but can’t seem to find anything on this issue…


    • January 1, 2013 @ 5:53 pm Michael Yardney

      I don’t know the WA residential tenancies act , but I do know that you’d need the landlord’s permission and many would agree that it spoils the amenity of the building. Just like you can’t hang clothes or underwear from the balcony of apartments


      • June 27, 2013 @ 7:20 am light487

        Is it a requirement of the landlord to provide clothes-lines if the strata body corporate has provided no such facilities and the by-law for not hang clothes within view of the road (ie on balcony)?


  42. February 14, 2013 @ 10:09 am mhaey

    I got a question I am a tenant in South Australia. I reminded my agent about the A/C not working in our room during the house inspection (she already knew since we moved in so about 3months ago) I informed her that the A/C on the lounge does release hot air after awhile it being open and not to mention it isn’t big/powerful enough to cool the lounge/kitchen/dining area. 2 months after still they haven’t attended to it. Heatwave hit us and leave us no choice but to move our bed in the lounge(so my partner can sleep well he does night shift) We got our portable A/C, lounge A/C and the small A/C on top of the stove running( Even though got 3 A/C running it is still very hot inside and have to turn off the lounge A/C every now and then as it blows hot air) After 2 months and 2 weeks finally they have replace the A/C (after telling the agent that we will contact CBS) We got a 2nd hand Split system A/C installed in our room which works good. They installed a 2nd hand window type A/C in lounge (still not big enough to cool a big area) its a lot better but not worth mentioning. Now I got my power bill and it is $3000 for 2 months is my landlord liable to pay that knowing we incur that because of the broken A/C and took them a very long time to fix? I will be willing to pay the power bill “IF I FELT ITS WORTH IT BUT ITS NOT!” Any advice will be appreciated :)


    • February 15, 2013 @ 1:37 pm Peter O'Brien


      That is a very high electricity account! The Owner must provide working appliances. You should discuss the high electricity account and negotiate some compensation because it was high as a result of the air conditioner in your apartment not operating correctly for a long period of time.
      The Owner or agent may have access to past electricity accounts over the samer time of the year to compare.


  43. February 15, 2013 @ 4:36 am Maria

    Hi Michael,
    Great article, I would be so very grateful if you would email me, I am desperate & very possibly on the verge of myself & my son, who just started year 12, being made homeless. I have been a tenant in current property since Jun 2009, been a good tenant, paid rent, maintained property well (despite many breaches by owner including their refusing to replace broken gas fire for over 18months! ) a new property manager started in August last year, she had constantly harassed, threatened & bullied me since that time because I am on Periodic Lease since last one expired Jan 2012. Owner had accepted our rent all that time & in Oct it was increased by $20 p/w because I did not want to sign another 1 year lease here @ that time (largely due to numerous outstanding maintenance issues) after serving an invalid 7 day termination on me last year, then applying to court for termination, which court rejected as invalid, she then served 60day notice without reason (we are in West Australia) she has now applied to court again giving one of reasons for application as “tenant has history of complaints & refusing to vacate premises” – I have tried everything I can think of here, filed complaint with Dept of Commerce 18 Dec 2012, they basically did nothing, have not even investigated compliance issues raised yet & have closed file as agent didn’t agree to conciliation terms, they were contacted once, said no and file was closed. Community lawyers did nothing, it’s like no-one can be bothered as file is quite big (I have copies of all relevant documents) & it seems there is no-one who will even give me any advice , only thing so called Tenant’s Advocate Said was “retaliatory termination is hard to prove’ I have apied for other rentals but been refused, more than likely at least part in due to invalid breach agent raised against me & refused to remove.
    I’m sorry this is so long but I am at my wits end, the last 6 months have been a living hell, I’m a single mum, self employed & I have no family in Australia, so my situation is desperate.


  44. February 15, 2013 @ 1:45 pm Peter O'Brien

    Thank you for your email. Your life has been somewhat of a roller coster ride of late.

    It does sound like you need to move, even if it is just to creat an entire new chapter in your life. If you are experiencing trouble locating alternative accomodation then you may have to widen your search and try a different approach.
    – Try different search engines, like gum tree, share accomodation
    – offer a slightly higher rental as an incentive for the Landlord to choose you as the tenant
    – Maybe use this as an opportunity for a sea change/tree change!

    I wish you luck.


  45. February 25, 2013 @ 8:22 am Branka

    Just over a month ago I rented out my property. Prior to renting it out I’ve called a plumber who checked out and fixed all water: pipes, new boiler, toilet, kitchen et cetera. I had a few years old kitchen stove which worked perfectly.
    My agent checked all electrical appliances prior to new tenants moved in. All was working in perfect order. One month later a tenant comes to agency claiming that ‘the stove doesn’t work’. Agent said ‘the repair is on landlord.’
    The stove was new and in perfect working order. I don’t believe that it was my fault as a landlord as I have provided the appliance in absolutely good working order.
    I heard from my naighbour that they had a party and the tenant is chef by profession. The stove could have been burned out only if 4 plates were working long hours together.
    In my opinion, it is a tenant’s responsibility to repair it on his expense, move over: he has damaged a stove which was in perfect order – it doesn’t work Due to not being properly managed.
    Can I ,please, hear opinion on such a matter?


  46. February 25, 2013 @ 9:54 am Peter O'Brien

    Good morning Branka,
    It is the Landlords responsibility to provide appliances that are in working order and to ensure these items remain in good working order. If the appliance needs reapair it is the Owners responsibility to arrange this repair at the Owners expense, unless the appliance needed repair because of the tenant misusing the appliance.
    The repairer will be able to provide you with advice as to what is wrong with the appliance and what caused it to need a repair.
    I hope you find this information helpful.


  47. February 26, 2013 @ 8:47 pm Sina

    Tenants have given notice and vacated property. On inspection they have patched up sections of the walls without consent and have basically defaced the wall. my agent thinks i need to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify the problem but as far as I am concerned they made the problem and I am not going to allow them re-entry to make it possibly even worse (i.e. tenant wants to get his relative who is a handy man to pain the patched up areas) I have advised the agent that I insist on a professional painter which the tenant appears to think she does not need to engage. In view of s.78 and 79 of the RTA 97 Vic i have given notice of intention to paint the affected walls and claim costs from the tenant and if need be over and above bond. I wonder if I have to lodge a VCAT App within the 10 days or generally whether my mindset and approach is correct. Any advice would be appreciated thanks.


    • April 3, 2013 @ 11:40 am Peter O'Brien


      You must provide the tenants with an opportunity to rectify any damage prior to you arranging for the repair to be done. If the tenants do not attend to this to a satisfactory standard you can then apply to VCAT for a hearing. This application to VCAT must be made within ten business days after the tenants vacate the property.

      I hope this information is useful.


  48. April 2, 2013 @ 3:24 pm Claudia

    I am a tenant in Victoria and would like to know if it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide window coverings as I have had mixed responses to my question.


  49. April 3, 2013 @ 11:42 am Peter O'Brien

    If you inspected the property and there were no window fittings present, and you were not advised that window fittings will be installed, and you had no other evidence provided to you indicated that window fittings will form part of the tenancy, then the Landlord does not have to provide them.

    I hope you find this inforamtion helpful.


  50. April 22, 2013 @ 5:54 am Adele George

    I am a Tenant in Victoria and we have had mouse problems since we moved in, there is currently a ‘mouse plague’ in our area. These mice are in the roof and walls (we have had a couple in the ‘living areas’ of the house but they have been quickly taken care of. The first year we managed to bait, trap and kill all of the ones in the roof and disposed of the bodies. now this year we are having issues again, we are again baiting trapping and killing these rodents and as they are all in the cavities of the property i am wondering what are the landlords responsibilities? We are concerned that it is a fire risk as we can hear them in the walls chewing on the wood etc, which must also include the wiring. Suffice to say we have contents insurance but as we have an 18 mth old child we dont want to have to worry about any potential loss of the property.


  51. April 22, 2013 @ 11:16 am Peter O'Brien

    If the mice problem was caused due to any contribution from the tenants at the property the Landord would not be responsible to control the problem. However, if the tenant has not contributed to this problem it is the Owners responsiblity to rid the pests from the property. The best scenerio is for the Owners to engage the services of a Pest Control company and arrange for this company to remove the pests and prevent them from returning to the property.


  52. April 30, 2013 @ 7:57 pm Faye


    I own a property in NSW and was contacted by my Property Manager for permission to repair the oven door as it would not close properly. Upon receipt of the work order invoice it stated ‘2 door hinges and 2 door holders were broken’. Can you please advise me if I would be able to make a claim on the bond for the cost of this repair, considering it appears that it was the tenant who broke the oven door?


    • July 7, 2013 @ 6:27 pm Michael Yardney

      You’d have to prove that the Brocken hinges were due to the tenant causing the damage rather than “fair wear and tear”. That’s often hard to do


  53. July 7, 2013 @ 5:20 pm Shirin lakhani

    We have been living in a granny flat behind the owner house recently an other tenant staying there bought a dog without our consent and owner also did not ask us before giving permission I’m scared of pets and recently have hurt my back while running because of the dog came behind me I was hospitalised as well

    Please reply what are my rights I’m in Nsw


    • July 7, 2013 @ 6:22 pm Michael Yardney

      While the owner should have given you the courtesy of letting you know, I don’t believe he has an obligation to ask your permission


  54. July 12, 2013 @ 10:03 am Chauey

    I am the landlord and my properties are manage by the agent. For repairing the properties, can I get a friend to fix or the tenant should go thru the agent? Am I do the right thing that I get friend to fix it all the time. please advise.


    • July 12, 2013 @ 11:10 am Michael Yardney

      I believe the best route is to use the agent to contract to fully licensed trades people – the tenants should have no contact with you and it’s best not to use friends.
      If your friend is appropriately licensed, let the managing agent instruct him


  55. July 14, 2013 @ 5:53 am Megan Rumley

    I have been renting my house for 2 years. I received my new lease in Sept 2012 and now my landlord is requesting an inspection/walk-thru…….is this legal? I have never had a mid-lease inspection ever. My landlord and I don’t get along that great, but I am quiet, I pay my rent on time, I am not sure why she is requesting this of me. Seems very odd. She did not request this in Sept when we renewed our lease or last year mid lease. Shouldn’t she be required to give me a reason as to why she is requesting this walk-thru?


    • July 14, 2013 @ 8:13 am Michael Yardney

      Your landlord or his managing agent do have the right to inspect your property periodically to ensure that it is being kept in good condition.
      Don’t be offended by this – all good property managers do this, but they should give you plenty of notice and you have the right to be there at the time


  56. August 26, 2013 @ 10:36 am Tipu

    Read through the previous questions in tha hope of finding an answer.
    Who’s responsibility is it to mow the lawns, both on the yeard and the nature strip?
    We took over the lease a few of months ago and found out during a routine inspection (after 3 months) that the lawns were all really long.
    When queried we were told by the agent that the previous owner had done the mowing for the tenants.
    Now what?
    we obvoulsy do not want to take this on if it is the tenants’ responsiblity.
    I would be greatful for your assistance


    • August 27, 2013 @ 7:35 pm Michael Yardney

      It is usually the tenants responsibility to maintain the gardens and lawns if they rent a single dwelling property.


      • September 13, 2013 @ 8:23 am Amy

        I hope this is the right place to ask a question…
        Help, I’m a landlord. I have an agent who has been looking after my apartment in Melbourne for the last 6yrs. I always trusted that they will look after my interest. Unfortunately I was really naive and never went for the routine inspection. I did finally go this week and I was shocked. Rental agreement said only 2 tenants but in reality there were 6 persons in the place.
        The cabinet doors of the main bathroom and kitche was all water damaged. The main bathroom was wet. Holes in the walls. The living room floating floor was all delaminated. In other words, they trashed the place.
        I want to evict them as I felt that they have violated the contract. The contract ends in Mar 2014.
        But I was willing to give them 6 weeks to move out. I felt that I was reasonable. They pay rent monthly.
        BUT my agent tells me that I have no legal recourse and that we cannot evict them as VCAT will not do anything for the landlords.
        Is this correct? I am most upset as I was not also informed that I have to get extra insurance to cover tenant abuse of the place.
        PLEASE HELP…as my beautiful apartment now looks like a slum housing.


  57. October 14, 2013 @ 8:53 am tara linforth

    Just wondering if anyone can please tell me. We have been renting this place for 2 years and we have been having trouble with the water tanks pressure ect so we opened them up and in one of them there’s a dead snake, 4 dead toads and a green frog swimming around (green frog is not a worry)
    Who is responsible for the tanks being cleaned out? Us or the owner’s? Unsure if they were cleaned prior to us moving in. If they are cleaned they drain the water. Who flips the bill?


  58. shannon davis

    October 14, 2013 @ 1:52 pm shannon davis

    Hi Tara,

    Vermin is the responsibility of the landlord unless it can be proven a the way a tenant is living is attracting vermin but in the case – its the owner.

    I hope that helps


  59. October 28, 2013 @ 10:04 pm Julie

    For some time my landlord has known of roofing issues, roofers back and forth patching the roof, he finally relented to roofers advise and authorised the roof to be replaced and got a quote a week ago, however this morning in heavy rain our ceiling collapsed and on top of tv, rug etc . To make a claim on these contents will cost us our excess of 300$ and we will lose around $120 a year no claim bonus discount – is it reasonable to expect the landlord to reimburse these costs given the time it has taken TI action a known problem? Our insurance company said if it was thought the landlord had not acted on issues known they would purse the costs from him and return out excess and restore our no claim bonus but I don’t want to them I had reported issues to him.


    • shannon davis

      November 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am shannon davis

      Hi Julie,
      There is a good case to answer here if you have the written requests and you can prove the time the owner took to take action was excessive. Good luck


  60. October 29, 2013 @ 2:41 pm Wendy

    I am a landlord and the tenants acquired a puppy without informing the real estate or myself so it was not approved therefore in breach of the tenancy agreement. I felt pressured by the real estate to approve the puppy as the tenants were young and eventually I agreed to approve the dog on the basis that it remains outside and not be inside due to the new carpets I put in. The neighbours report that the puppy lives inside and is locked inside when the tenants go to work or go out and I have witnessed this myself. I pass this onto the agent and requested the dog be removed and is no longer approved due to the daily breaching of the dog living inside. The agent tells me the tenants say the dog isn’t inside and I approved the dog so it is allowed there however is going to issue a breach/request to remedy. This will be second breach/ warning. As a landlord surely I have some rights in requesting the dog be removed from the property where the tenant in my case is blatantly lying and intentionally and willingly does not comply regards the dog. Your opinion will be appreciated.


    • January 13, 2014 @ 5:58 pm Suzie

      Hi Wendy, Although they have breached the lease agreement, it would be wise to allow the dog to live with the tenants. You have a bond which should cover any damage or cleaning caused by the dog. Shelters are full of animals for this reason alone- tenants pay LOTS of money to landlords, and have the right to live as they like to live provided they are not breaking the law. It is unfortunate is general that your property has carpet, but it can be cleaned when the tenants decide to leave.


  61. November 22, 2013 @ 8:02 pm Chris

    I rented a furnished property on 3 month lease and have been here for 9 months. When signing the contract there was a stipulation for me paying a $380 cleaning fee on exit. I disputed the fee and even asked for quotes from a few cleaning firms which were far less than $380. I was told that it was sign for the 380 or not get the apartment so i was forced to sign. Is the letting agent in their rights to do this? Am I in my rights to get an invoice directly for the cleaning company or get a comparative quote?


  62. December 19, 2013 @ 11:10 pm Kristy

    I have a question that I’m having trouble trying to find readings on. I would like to know if a property manager has failed to do an inspection in 18 months what may have they breach? any info would be great help.


    • December 20, 2013 @ 1:58 pm Michael Yardney

      There is no set frequency for how often a routine inspection “must” be conducted.

      Also…different states have different frequencies in which they allow regular inspections, but not doing an inspection for 18 months is a breach of their service standards to you – a lot can occur over that time


  63. December 31, 2013 @ 11:31 am Daniel

    I have a question about fair wear and tear. We looked at a property to rent that had polished floorboards. The Agent told us that since the floor had only just been done if there were any scratches or marks when we moved out we would have to redo the floor at our expense. Having had polished floorboards in our own place we know how easily that can happen (especially with small children) so ran a mile!

    Is the Agent correct? We will shortly be on the move again and the majority of houses we’ve seen this time have polished floorboards which is making us nervous!

    FYI we are in Victoria if that makes a difference.


    • December 31, 2013 @ 11:36 am Michael Yardney

      We have polished floorboards in many of our properties and quite the opposite – I’ve found them very hard wearing and difficult to damage esp with children and pets.
      Unfortunately “fair wear and tear” is difficult to quantify.
      I believe minor marks or scratches would be seen as fair wear and tear by VCAT – the tribunal


  64. December 31, 2013 @ 12:43 pm Andy

    It is amazing to see an article written only 1 day ago (30/12/2013) has received 80+ comments, some of the comments were posted as early as 2008! How amazing!
    Or was it really written only 1 day ago?


    • December 31, 2013 @ 12:48 pm Michael Yardney

      No Andy

      It wasn’t written 1 day ago – it was published a few years ago, but republished now over our holiday break when I’m taking a little break and not writing new articles


  65. January 2, 2014 @ 5:28 am emT

    Thanks for the informative article, in fact for all the articles. I believe re-printing articles can be very useful as it provides opportunity to see change (hopefully improvement) over time.
    As a self-managing lessor of 6 rentals in WA, being a good landlord and having good tenants is a matter of ensuring expectations are clear and being prompt and fair in dealing with concerns.
    The Department of Commerce has some excellent resource material for lessors and tenants which is clear, helpful and free.
    My comment to tenants is to make yourself informed about your rights and responsibilities and when you inspect – ask questions of the lessor. If your application is accepted – have a second look at the property before signing anything and ask more questions if needed. It is so much simpler to ask at the start of a tenancy (when the lessor has allocated extra time to establish the tenancy). If needed, special items can be included as additional clauses in your lease.
    To landlords – ditto. Your rights and responsibilities are not passed onto an agency and being informed is your best protection. However, if you do use an agency, read the management agreement carefully and consider whether you need to include extra clauses, or delete others.

    Some of my self-management practices would not suit all investors, however they work for me and in the longer term, continue to make my investments rewarding and of benefit to both me and my tenants.


  66. January 22, 2014 @ 10:53 pm Kerryn Ferraro

    Is it the tenants or landlords responsibility to repair leaking taps (tap washers) in Western Australia 2014?


    • January 23, 2014 @ 6:56 am Michael Yardney

      I don’t know the Western Australian legislation, but in other states maintenance like that is part of the landlord’s obligation


  67. January 31, 2014 @ 7:23 pm Nad

    I recently accidentally forgot some cookies I was baking and the oven on and I left my house and went to the shops. I forgot to switch off the oven, when I got back the oven, which was an old model was burnt out.
    I informed the agency barry plant i am renting through and they advised me I have to replace the oven, and buy a brand new one not a second hand. Is this ok? Or are they exploiting my rights? They are charging me 500 for electrician and 500 for an oven. The oven was a very old model probably valued at less than 100$.


    • January 31, 2014 @ 8:34 pm Michael Yardney

      That is a pity, but I believe the agent gave you the correct advice.
      It’s hard to accept a used oven as a replacement – you don’t know the condition, what’s happened to it , what could go wrong.
      However the installation cost seems excessive. It possibly included the cost of removing and dumping the old oven


  68. February 10, 2014 @ 1:48 pm Yvonne van der Veek

    We had solar panels installed on our house at the time when you received a 60 cents feed in tariff . We moved out 2 years later and kept the property as an investment property. We kept the energy bill in our name as not to loose the feed in tariff. Our property manager told us we couldnt pass on this electricity bill because it’s in our name but we could charge a higher rent ( an extra $20 per week) and have the electricity inculded. This worked fine for the first year. We then got new tenants and our last bill was a shocking $2000 that we had to pay. Tenants claim they don’t know why. We had the electrician out to check the wiring and we had endeavor energy run a meter test. Everything was fine. The property has a gas heater and gas hot water ( in the tenants name) so this bill was beyond ridiculous. We want to change the lease so that the tenants pay market rent plus electricity ( but still keep it in our name) Our property manager insist that she can not do this. we have made enquires with another property manager who said that this is no problem. Where do we stand with this legally? We’re thinking of getting rid of these tenants and go with another agent. Any help would be appreciated.


    • February 10, 2014 @ 3:02 pm Michael Yardney

      You can’t change the lease in the middle of a tenancy, but a reasonable increase in rent is acceptable at the expiration of the lease.

      If this is an investment property I see no benefit in you complicating matters by having the electricity in your name. Just let the tenant pay the going rate as they would anywhere else.

      then there will be no arguments


      • February 11, 2014 @ 11:31 am Yvonne van der Veek

        Thank you Michael, we will have a chat with the property manager


        • April 27, 2016 @ 6:31 pm Why not free rent too?

          Hi Yvonne, I understand your frustration. If you disconnect your account you will lose the Feed-In-Tarriff, and will not be able to pay off your investment in the panels. The tenant has made no investment in the panels, yet NSW law rules that they are entitled to the benefit. If you increase the rent (to cover electricity) by too little, the tenants will abuse the electricity. If you increase it by too much, you won’t be competitive in the market. I assume you are in NSW, since other states don’t seem to have this problem. You could install a pay-as-you-go meter, or try Digital Solar to manage the payments.


  69. February 17, 2014 @ 9:39 pm Jen Shayla

    Greetings Michael, I am using a Property Manager to rent out my property while my husband and I are overseas for 12 months. The tenant signed a 6 month lease. However, my son wants to move into our house at the end of the current tenants lease period. How do I/property manager go about this please? I am aware that the tenant needs to be served with a “Notice to Vacate” but I would like to know under what section of the Act do I state as my reason?
    Thankyou kindly


    • February 17, 2014 @ 10:39 pm Michael Yardney

      It shouldn’t be a problem. Your property manager will know how to give the tenant appropriate notice to leave at the expiration of his lease. This may vary from state to state – but is usually 60 days if a family member wants to lease the property


  70. February 19, 2014 @ 5:00 am John Tao

    Hi Michael, thanks for writing such a useful article! I am the landlord and recently the 17″ LCD TV at my property has ceased working. My property manager quoted $640.00 to source a new digital ready TV and bracket, mount on the wall, and connect to the cable and test by an electrician. I found it too expensive so I did my research and should be able to do it for less than half of the quote by sourcing the TV and finding a licensed electrician by myself. My question is, is it advisable to to use the real estate agent’s “regular” or it is perfectly okay to ask them to instruct the licensed electrician who I found to carry out the work? Thanks in advance!


    • February 19, 2014 @ 7:31 am Michael Yardney

      Not sure why you bother providing a TV – it only gets you into this type of trouble.
      The problem is if you provide one at the beginning of the tenancy and it breaks down, you have to replace it.
      Of course you can supply the TV yourself and use your own tradespeople (as long as they are appropriately qualified and licensed) if you’re sure they’ll do a good job promptly. There is no obligation to use the agents tradespeople


      • February 19, 2014 @ 2:32 pm John Tao

        Hi Micheal, thanks for the useful tips once again!

        Yes you are right. I rented the apartment out as fully furnished and now I am regretting that! 😉


  71. February 24, 2014 @ 7:02 pm Pearl

    I’m renting in a property with large garden. I put few small fruit trees in the garden with owner’s permission during my tenancy. Now because the property is for sell and the trees may be destroyed, I have asked them if I can take the plants which I planted with me. I’m still renting and house is not sold yet. Owners are now saying whats in the ground stays in the ground. Is that correct? What are my rights?
    Please help.


    • February 24, 2014 @ 8:52 pm Michael Yardney

      YOu should have the right to take back your plants on the condition you reinstate the garden to its original condition.
      The problem is purchasers of the property may expect the trees to remain, so the selling agent will have to make it clear what stays and what goes on settlement


  72. March 2, 2014 @ 1:39 am ampsan

    Recently moved into half house with landlord on the back. landlord is now stating after 2 months into lease that he would like to drop estate agents and start a new private lease agreement. This cannot be legal or fair but I live wall to wall with landlord and feel like if I go to dispute this with agent it will cause many dramas. Please help!!


    • March 2, 2014 @ 7:39 am Michael Yardney

      I agree that it could be awkward to have a private arrangement directly with a landlord, especially if he lives in the premisses. It’s a recipe for disaster.
      If you currently have a lease in place, then that is an ongoing legal agreement between you and the landlord and legally he can his agent or in fact remove his agent, even though he’d be silly to do so


  73. March 3, 2014 @ 4:44 pm robyn phillips

    hello we have purchased a property in Brisbane and need to know if we have to use the existing property manager for our tenant


    • March 3, 2014 @ 4:49 pm Michael Yardney


      You can change the property manager to one of your choice – but don’t even consider trying to manage it yourslef


  74. March 9, 2014 @ 8:52 pm Andy Sunt

    Hi, I just moved in a share house of four (4) rooms and with four people. The Lead tenant says the owner of the property is his friend. I assume all of us is renting the property. I have just signed the contract with him stating that If i wast late with my rent, the penalty is 10% per day. And when i was filling up paperworks, i needed to know the exact rent the house required per month, and i found out that I am paying 48% of the whole house rent per month. This made a little confused and a little upset. i feel like the lead tenant is making money out of me while he is staying in the house for may for free. My first question is, is 10% per day penalty rate reasonable? (note that i have already signed the agreement). The second is, can i demand to lessen my rent per month ? It would be great if someone can give me a legal advice about this. Please help.


    • March 9, 2014 @ 10:15 pm Michael Yardney

      You “agreement” is unusual and as you say uncommercial. Has the “lead tenant” got permission to sublease the premises? You may find you do not have a legally binding agreement if it’s one he put together


      • March 10, 2014 @ 4:23 am Andy sunt

        Thank you Michael for your response . I understand now that the agreement might not be really valid . But under these circumstances where I am already 2 days in the house and has already payed apprise amounts , can I demand to lessen my rent ? What should I do ? Should I also tell him that the penalty rate does not really apply legally ? And one more question please , hthe bond I payed was 5 weeks that’s more than one month, in Victoria can I demand that I take the excess amount back ? Please reply one more time . Just need a light in this thing , very hard to find exact quotes from papers available online ,


        • March 10, 2014 @ 8:08 am Michael Yardney

          It really sounds like you’ve been “taken” and I can understand your concern. My suggestion is you approach Consumer Affairs Victoria who have a department that helps tenants in your situation.


  75. March 13, 2014 @ 2:40 pm JG

    Hi there,
    I am about to purchase a house and rent it out. There is currently a tenant in there and he is great so i am going to keep him on. However we have.signed on to lease through a real estate agent and now we do.t want to go through that agent anymore as they have been very unproffessional.
    Can anyone please help me and let me know how i go about cancelling the contract with the agent?
    The terms and conditions dont list anything about the client cancelling with the agent.
    Please help, much appreciated.


    • March 13, 2014 @ 5:18 pm Michael Yardney

      You’re allowed to change property managers when you purchase the property. You are not stuck with the current PM


  76. March 20, 2014 @ 8:48 am Sam

    Hi ive been renting a property for nearly 3 years unfortunately the internal ceiling of the garage collapsed and damged my property its lucky no one was in there at the time. Is the landlord liable the damage caused to my belongings under common law in that her property has damaged mine.Her insurance has denied her claim for repairs. I assuming she doesnt have an liability cover either.


    • March 20, 2014 @ 9:03 am Michael Yardney

      I don’t know all the facts, but yes it sounds like the landlord is responsible. Your property manager should take care of this for you


  77. March 20, 2014 @ 6:01 pm Sam

    There are items that are not covered by any insurance that have been damaged therefore I can not claim through insurance which would make process easier. Still my property has been damaged…whats your thoughts?


    • March 20, 2014 @ 6:13 pm Michael Yardney

      I’m not sure which items you refer to, but if your personal property was damaged by the landlords building collapsing it seems that he is responsible for reinstatement


  78. March 25, 2014 @ 12:31 am Javier

    Hi Michael,

    I am currently renting a flat and I had a scheduled inspection which did not happen, I took half day off at work to attend but I ended up waiting 4 hours for the agent to come over, at the end no one appeared.

    Is it the real estate responsibility to attend to the scheduled inspections? I lost half day pay in vain which I do not care to lose if the inspection is done. Can I do something else than a simple complain? I think this is very disrespectful from the real estate to do.

    Thank you for your time

    Kindest regards,


    • March 25, 2014 @ 6:59 am Michael Yardney


      I agree that what ocurred is very rude and disrespectful of your time. Unfortunately I don’t know of anything else you can do other than complain. Of course you do not have to be present at the inspection


  79. March 25, 2014 @ 2:52 pm Kay

    What can I do if the letting agent has issued satisfactory condition reports and yet when the tenant leaves I find that two kitchen cupboards are very badly water damaged and the kick board is basically non-existent dur to water damage. It appears that the whole kitchen may have to be replaced due to an inability to match colours and styles of cupboards doors. There is a similar situation in the bathroom.


    • March 25, 2014 @ 3:28 pm Michael Yardney


      Did the property manager send you photos along the way?
      It also depends what caused the damage -was it the tenant, wear and tear, water damage from rain etc if it is the latter it could be an insurance cliam


  80. March 28, 2014 @ 9:25 am Catherine

    I was just wondering where things stand if the lawn at the rental property we inhabit has suddenly declined and appears to be infested with ants and grubs? Our landlord is claiming this is our cost per our rental agreement with them (direct agreement, no property manager) however I cannot see anything stating as such in the agreement. I understand it is our responsibility to mow the lawns and upkeep the garden, which we do diligently. However I would have thought that pest infestation of lawn is the same as that of a house and therefore the landlord’s responsibility and cost??
    Thank you,


    • March 28, 2014 @ 9:47 am Michael Yardney

      I believe the landlord is wrong. Pest infestation is usually the responsibility of the landlord


  81. March 30, 2014 @ 12:53 am mel

    I am a landlord (WA), we have the property under a company trustee. recently changing property manager and the new agency has requested for 100 point ID of the directors of the company. I was told that it’s the new requirement!. (I was not aware of such requirement until 2 month after signing the exclusive management authority), checking with the department of commerce I was referred to the code of conduct for agents and sales representative for verification.
    the new agency insisted that we have to provide them with a copy of our ID to be kept on file (eventhough we are not selling the property). we agree with the verification process but disagree for them to keep a copy of our passport and driving license on their file. I feel that we are not in the position for such requirement. I would like to know is it necessary for them to perform the 100 point ID checked on landlord and the necessary for the agency to retain a copy of our passport and driving license on file, while they have already done current company search through ASIC and sight our passport and driving license for verification? I greatly appreciate your comment / advice in this situation. thank you Michael.


    • March 30, 2014 @ 8:04 am Michael Yardney

      A good property manager will actually verify that you are the owner of the property and they can take instructions from you. As a company owns this property they want to ensure you are authorised to act on the company’s behalf. You should have no concerns that they keep these records on file.


  82. April 3, 2014 @ 1:58 am Richard Ferrer

    I bought a mobile home and the hot water heater was installed wrong. am I responsible for the damages?


  83. April 8, 2014 @ 10:46 am Geoff

    We have recently found our own property to buy and unfortunately have has to end our lease half way through the rental term. As well as being up for a range of fees (lease fee, advertising fee etc), we have been told we also need to replace all the plants/trees that have deteriorated over the recent Melbourne summer. The place is only a 2-bed unit and has a small garden, we have always kept the garden neat and have replaced some plants previously. However they now want us to replace nearly all plants. What are our rights in terms of plants/trees dying through extreme days of heat?


    • April 8, 2014 @ 11:01 am Michael Yardney

      Congratulations on finding your new home. While you do have to pay the fees associated with finding a new tenant with Melbourne’s very dry conditions, it is normal for some plants to die off and it is not usually the tenants responsibility to pay for these.


      • April 8, 2014 @ 11:15 am Geoff

        Thanks Michael.
        The realestate agent is being very persistant on us having to replace the plants, pulling out photos of the state of the garden when our orginal lease began, which was over 3 years ago!
        How should we approach this?


        • April 8, 2014 @ 12:36 pm Michael Yardney

          It sound like the agent is overstepping the mark – you can approach Consumer Affairs who will explain your rights


  84. April 15, 2014 @ 10:57 am Jane Robey

    Hi Michael
    I am a new landlord, and I’ve provided the property furnished to the tenants, including white goods. The freezer recently broke and the tenant did not notice for a few days and they claim they lost hundreds of dollars of meat when the freezer defrosted. They would like me to reimburse them. I have replaced the freezer, but I would like to know if the contents of the freezer are my responsibility. I have a standard lease in place with them, with a list of furnature provided attached to the lease.
    Thanks, Jane


    • April 15, 2014 @ 2:16 pm Michael Yardney

      Jane – it could be argued that you are responsible for the tenant’s loss, but your insurance is likely to cover you for this


  85. June 20, 2014 @ 5:58 pm PhylC

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve rent my apartment out for a year, the apartment itself is 10 years old. After the end of contract, I realised the wool carpet is badly stained by the tenant’s pet’s urine. steam cleaning didn’t do the trick, so the carpet has to be replaced. I’ve been told the tenant only have to pay for 10% of the expenses since they’ve only lived there for 1 year!! Is that really the case?


    • June 20, 2014 @ 8:31 pm Michael Yardney

      That is correct – the tenant cannot be charged for the complete replacement of a carpet that was already 9 years old at the beginning of their tenancy.
      The advice you’ve been given is correct


      • June 22, 2014 @ 9:55 pm Phylc

        Thanks for your reply Michael. On the contract it’s written no pets allowed, however the tenant still kept a dog and I wasn’t aware of it. Is there a breach of contract here?


        • June 22, 2014 @ 10:34 pm Michael Yardney

          YOu’re correct it a breech of the contract, but if taken to the tribunal, the tenant will not be required to pay the full replacement cost of what is now a 10 year old carpet.


          • June 24, 2014 @ 3:59 pm phylc

            so there’s nothing much I can do even though they breach the contract at the first place.. sigh.. it’s not easy to be a landlord!
            Thanks for your prompt reply!
            Phyl C

  86. June 26, 2014 @ 9:43 pm Andy

    Greetings Michael,
    I wanted to exit my house after 4 months of living in. the contract i have signed was for me to stay 6 months. In the contract I am paying my rent to the head tenant. However, in the contract, I was named the landlord and the head tenant as the sub tenant, this was wrong. Moreover, the bond stated was more than one month and so after the signing i asked the head tenant to refund me the difference between what i paid and the needed 1 month rent value as bond. My problem is that I am not happy that I am paying double what the head tenant is paying to the owner of the house. I the head tenant 2 weeks notice that i am moving out and when he said no, i asked for 3 weeks, he still said no. He insists on the 6 months that was on the signed agreement. My question is, can i force my exit in 2 or 3 weeks? he is very hard to deal with because he does not compromise. he is firm on insisting on my signed 6 months. and also, can I declare the agreement invalid since it has wrong things in it? Please help..
    also, he did not lodge my bond to the RTBA and now that i am asking him to lodge it, he does not speak, basically just walks away.


    • June 26, 2014 @ 10:18 pm Michael Yardney

      Andy I haven’t seen the contract/lease but it sounds like you do not have a valid lease and he can’t hold you to it. If you aren’t successful go to VCAT


  87. July 4, 2014 @ 8:54 am Garry

    Hi. We entered a 12 month lease in August 2013 on a fully furnished home in a poor condition. Property manager A took photos and we signed a condition report. I attached a few extra pages giving further details of problems with the home and it’s contents to protect ourselves and I retained the original copies. Once the electricity was connected we found we had no hot water and our problems with the owners began. As it was a solar system, the owners first sent someone to inspect it. Then an electrician inspected it. Then a solar company inspectd it and ordered parts. After around 3 weeks it was working but developed a water leak. A few further weeks and this was fixed. We complained about the dishwasher not working correctly, no code for the electric alarm system and many other problems including dirty carpet, dirty mattresses and the list goes on and on.

    At the first inspection, after a lot of cleaning, we received a thank you letter from property manager A for taking good care of the property.

    Property manager A left the company shortly after and the receptionist became the defacto property manager, property manager B.

    An inspection was conducted prior to the inspection due in April, but we didn’t receive a report or any comments.

    The house was put up for sale and we had a few inspections, some unannounced.

    I complained again about the dishwasher and said I would go to VCAT if it wasn’t repaired. We were told to come in and fill on a maintenance request.

    Around 2 weeks later we received a notice to vacate for arrears rent, even though we had paid the rent prior to receiving the report in the mail. We had to vacate by 12/6/2014,

    We contacted property manager B who said she would contact the owner of the business. We heard nothing.

    Upon vacating, we handed the keys to property manager C, a new manager we hadn’t met. She said she would do the final inspection the next day….this wasn’t done.

    Around 2-3 weeks later, the inspection was done on the 25/6/2014, when we weren’t present and the long list of faults began.

    The list of demands commences with us paying for steam cleaning of carpets and furniture when they were filthy when we took possession and this was noted.

    Demands of pruning 10 metres high hedges etc..

    Demands of paying more rent until August and that we broke the lease.

    VCAT won’t assist until we lodge an application. Consumer affairs say we could have stayed as we had paid the rent due bit also if we had received a notice to vacate,then we should abide by that.

    We are in limbo with not receiving the bond and sick of the arguments.



    • July 5, 2014 @ 8:09 am Michael Yardney

      VACT is your forum for appeal so it makes sense to lodge an application


  88. July 6, 2014 @ 12:30 am Fred

    Hi, I have a question regarding blocked drains. Our drains are to the point it takes 2 hours for water to subside within the shower recess. Due to being behind on rent currently, first time since moving in to the tenancy 5 years ago. We was told by the land agent, not the owner that basically because we are behind in rent that they will not do anything about it. I was under the assumption that this is against the health, safety and welfare of us living here due to not being able to use the shower to maintain hygiene. This is a rental property in South Australia. Could someone give me advice? Thanks.


    • July 6, 2014 @ 7:18 am Michael Yardney

      You are right Fred. Being behind in your rent should have nothing to do with undertaking important maintenance like this. But get up to date with your rent and their excuse will be gone


  89. July 8, 2014 @ 6:50 pm Lucy

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your article.
    I am writing to ask you about pets at a property. We moved into a house 6 months ago and had an inspection about 1 and a half months ago that the property owner attended as well as the property manager. We have a dog and signed a pet’s clause on our lease. We received correspondence after the inspection asking us to keep the dog outside, and we informed that while we were given permission to have the dog at the property, the animal is not permitted inside at any time.
    We were not aware that this was the case as it is not stipulated as such anywhere on the pet clause or on the lease. In fact the pet clause states we need to have the carpets cleaned on vacation (which we would be happy to do) but I believe this infers that the animal may in fact be inside hence why the carpets will need cleaning. If we knew that the dog wasn’t allowed inside we would not have said yes. Our dog is an adult dog who does not sleep inside and doesn’t go in the carpeted areas (bedrooms) of the house, but we do like to have her inside in the living room when we are home.
    Is the agent correct in telling us we’re permitted to have the dog but not to have it in the property if it is not stipulated anywhere on the paperwork?


    • July 8, 2014 @ 7:58 pm Michael Yardney

      I believe your expectation that your dog is allowed in your property is a reasonable one. You shoudl stand up for your rights


      • July 8, 2014 @ 8:13 pm Lucy

        Hi Michael,
        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have emailed the property manager to this effect. Fingers crossed!


  90. July 11, 2014 @ 6:51 pm PHYLC

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your advice previously. I am the landlord with the 10 years old carpet that’s been badly damaged by the tenant. They didn’t pay the last month’s rent and hence they’ve used the bond to cover it. So end up they don’t have to pay for any damage for my place at all! and worked out they still own $100 rent. They’ve obviously planned it all out. To chase that $100 rent I’ll have to go through VCAT and that cost $250.. I am just so angry why the law always protect the tenant more than the landlord..
    Is there any way to prevent another tenant from hell if I have to rent this place out again?


    • July 11, 2014 @ 7:00 pm Michael Yardney

      Careful tenant selection by your property manager may help


  91. July 30, 2014 @ 7:55 am Scott

    Hi Michael,
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.
    I have never rented & it seems that NSW fair trading see this a s a very grey area.

    My brother in-law was in a rental property for the last 12 years and has now passed away, this being said we spoke with the owner (whom manages the property) he advised us the property was in need of a full renovation when he moved out just before my brother in-law moved in so he advised Ashley (brother in-law) not to worry too much about the property as he WILL complete a full renovation of the property once Ashley moves out. He apparently did mention the following items would be done: carpets as they are old and approaching end of life when the LL moved out, the kitchen, the bathroom, full paint, “so don’t worry too much about the state of the apartment, as long as there is no structural issues it would be fine.”
    The LL also told me the exact same thing when I got hold of him to advise of Ashley’s death (that alone took 3 days)
    We cleared the apartment of Ashley’s belongings did a light clean and arranged to meet the LL on site to hand keys back.
    On the arrival of the LL he changed his tune dramatically, firstly he asked if I had any previous experience with renting/leases, as I said no I personally think he now wants to take advantage of the situation, he advised us that we need to sand the walls in every room and as he stated have it ready so his painter can just walk in open the can and start painting, he wanted to pay/contribute to the replacement of the carpets that were flaking & threadbare, laminate floor tiles in the kitchen were in a bad state and lifting in areas (I believe this to be a maintenance issue), replace a damaged tiled in towel rail at a cost of $240 (a few property managers I have spoken to say this is a maintenance issue due to the age of it (circa 35-40yrs), replace an internal sliding door that is damaged (wants $480 for the door), $490 for cleaning (if the property is being gutted for renovations and him stating to us that we should not be too worried I don’t believe we should be paying this & a few other minor things.
    The LL has never completed a routine inspection at the property at any time during the past 12 years. In terms of maintenance he has completed at the property it has only been 2 things: repair of a plumbing issue & replacement of the hot water service. (a previous co-tenant has told us that nothing has been done, he has seen the apartment from when Ashley moved in to assisting us with the clear out after Ashley’s death). He is a very good friend of Ashley and they regularly spoke about the fact the LL has never inspected or maintained the property.
    It is my understanding he is in breech of the NSW tenancy act if he does not conduct regular inspections and he can not make claims if he has not conducted routine inspections.

    Had the LL not advised us he was not too worried about the state of the property and speaking with previous tenants of his with regard to this is common practice for the LL as if he delays you handing keys back he gets more rent. We would have paid more attention to the property.
    We are now off to tribunal in relation to the matter & his $2040 claim.
    Please advise of your thoughts, as I have no idea due to never renting.


    • July 30, 2014 @ 3:34 pm Michael Yardney

      Yes – the matter is “grey”. I suggest never renting from someone who manages the property themselves, they tend to miss a few steps in the documentation that protects both themselves and the tenant


  92. August 5, 2014 @ 8:39 pm Gary

    Hi Micheal,
    We are renting in the ACT and have had mice in the roof since we moved in 10 months ago. They are making a racket at night and the sound scares our three year old.
    We alerted property manager and they said it was our problem. Is this correct?
    It’s not as if we leave or put food in the roof to attract them.



    • August 5, 2014 @ 9:13 pm Michael Yardney

      NO Gary. It’s not your responsibility. The landlord must eradicate pests and vermin


  93. September 1, 2014 @ 9:12 pm Carla Rozowsky

    Hi Michael

    I am new to the rental thing in Sydney. As a tenant, am I allowed to knock up pictures and paintings on the wall?



    • September 1, 2014 @ 10:37 pm Michael Yardney

      Usually you can use “sticky” picture hooks that can be removed without leaving damage – ask your property maneger


  94. September 3, 2014 @ 6:34 pm mick

    As a life long renter I found this forum interesting. My two cents worth.

    In many other parts of the world, people rent a property for their entire lives from a family of property investors.
    In Australia, owning rental property is seen as a tax effective mid term investment to sell to make money to have a holiday. In my work I get to see who owns what for half of Melbourne. There are not a lot of people who hold more than a dozen residential properties no matter how disguised. People go to extraordinary lengths to save tax when they own more than a few rental properties. All of those who do, are over the age of 50 and it is inherited money. Many people own 6 or so rental properties, most purchased when houses cost 30-60k. Our obscene house prices in Melbourne caused largely by our inability to move further than 25k from the coast probably prevent people from investing in property like people did pre 1980. The % return through rent is not considered to be enough long term if you buy a property today. Its all about capital gain.

    The majority of rental houses coming onto the market now are inherited from parents. If they are left to one sibling, they remain rentals for a long time if they are not sold immediately. If the property is split between a family, it ends up sold, sadly in some cases, after almost as much in legal fees has been spent. Now we force the elderly to sell their houses to developers so they can pay a bond to move into a home to die, thats very sad comment on Australia.

    I have been pretty lucky with owners, my average stay is 9 years, I like most people, treat the properties as if they were my own. This means no hydroponic crops, meth labs, house parties or changing motorbike oil in the lounge room etc. Ive had dogs, bees, planted trees and left every place as good as when I moved in. They get sold demolished and 2 3 4 go up in their place.

    When you rent out a property to a tenant, to make money from the rent or part pay the mortgage on the investment you will sell with a huge financial gain later down the track, you cant act like an old English Landlord. If you want to, then perhaps owning a rental property is not for you. Its funny because the investors in apartments in the city who rent them out for short term accom are making a killing way more than a normal rental apartment and couldnt care less who stays there, but thats another story.

    You have to rely on your REA to make annual inspections and handle complaints about rattling windows. If you feel that you have to spy on your tenants, wonder what they are doing to your house whilst you lie in bed at night perhaps its not for you but I think I have just come up with an idea for a movie.

    As an owner, its your responsibility to have an accountant depreciate every thing in the joint that can be claimed at the appropriate rate. I am sure many do, but how many go on to replace carpets, stoves, HWS etc at the end of their depreciated life span? not many in my experience. So theres a rort there worth any carpet stain IMHO. In my experience, when a landlord replaces an appliance, the first thought is to up the rent to cover the cost. Not for 6 months, but add an extra 10 bucks nest review that loasts for then length of the tenancy.

    I see a lot rental properties that are not let as they ask too much because it has a “new kitchen” but doest have 2 bathrooms. Its crazy, but thats people today, they want at least two. They watch too much TV.

    Its all about give and take, you take the rent, the tax breaks real or imagined. You have to give your tenants the right to live as you would want to live. People seem to worry about the carpet or a mark on a wall, but dont lie awake worrying if the place burns down. Ah Insurance! well surely your property is insured against major damage, and fair wear and tear is covered by tax deductions.

    With regard to pets and 64% of Australians own one, it seems now that the possibility of owning a pet in a rental property is reliant upon the overall assessment of the applicant and pet. Of the advertised rental house listings in Melbourne, 3% are listed as pet friendly. Clearly people want to know if its fido or puss rather than rambo the pit bull. However the current procedure seems to force dog and cat owners underground. In my experience, owners are better off being acceptive of a pet so they can see what it actually is during the application process and relax, or move on. If the pet is causing trouble, the tenants will be too, pets mimic their owners.

    You have to remember though, if you dont have a dog that barks at a knock on the door, you are 98% more likely to be burgled whilst you are away from home. Happened to me twice, you dont want to know about it and you shouldnt want your tenants to either. Locking one in the backyard only reduces the risk to 75% not 50%.

    For reading this dribble, I will give you a tip, take it as you like.

    Forl less than the cost of the average rental house in Melbourne, you can buy a block of land in an industrial estate, throw up an empty tilt slab shell on a slab, stick an office on the front and lease it out for twice the return of a residential rental. The tenant even pays the rates in a lot of cases! There must be a catch but I cant work it out.


  95. September 16, 2014 @ 12:00 am Saya

    Dear Michael,

    I lived in Melbourne until last July in a share house. I paid my bond of $320 and I have a text message that the landlord sent me when he received my rents and the bond. Even though I have left the house about 2 months ago, the landlord has not given back the bond to me yet. I have repeatedly sent messages asking him to transfer the amount to my account and he has replied only once saying “I will complete the process soon” and still no track. Obviously he has not lodged my bond to RTBA, but is there still any chance I can get the bond from him?


    • September 16, 2014 @ 6:46 am Michael Yardney

      Unfortunately you’re dealing directly with a landlord, not a property manager. Make a claim at VCAT – that should get the landlord moving


  96. September 22, 2014 @ 10:50 pm Mark Thurston

    Nice article!! If Someone looking for flat share in Australia browse:


  97. February 14, 2015 @ 4:37 am Mel Bloomer

    Great article, but I have a quick question. I’m pretty sure in recent weeks, I’ve had mice move into my roof & walls… Who is responsible to rectify this, landlord or tenant? I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere?


    • February 14, 2015 @ 7:43 am Michael Yardney

      Speak to your property manager as the landlord should eradicate this problem for you


  98. March 19, 2015 @ 7:00 pm Edcat

    Hi, just wondering what your thoughts are on our situation.
    We are renting in WA after relocation. Renting out own home in NSW. We moved in Aug 2014 after signing three year lease. Within two weeks of being here I received a call from property manager stating owners needed to move back in and would we resign lease for us to move out in one year not three. I was a bit flustered on phone so said yes. The manager said someone would be round shortly for me to sign new lease. I felt quite sick after the call so after consulting google, phoned Consumers advice line and was informed that we were entitled to remain unless an understanding could be attained between us and the owners.
    As it was an executive relocation my home contents were professionally packed, transported from NSW to WA along with our cars and camper trailer and then all unpacked for me into new home.
    I rang my husband and informed him of the call and that they were rushing a new contract over. He said not to sign it and that he would speak to the property manager. We both felt that the wool was being pulled over our eyes as at no time were our rights discussed and the fact that a new lease was rushed round. I took the lease but didn’t sign it.
    Now we have been notified that our rent after six months is being increased by $85 per week. It is being increased to the amount stated in the lease agreement but that was to be incremental over 36 months.
    Also we have pointed out in last inspection a leaking shower and four dead trees that are in danger of falling on our walkway but owner is ignoring the property managers emails.
    Do we just suck up the rental increase or would we have a right to dispute the whopping $85 per week increase?
    Your thoughts will be appreciated.


    • March 19, 2015 @ 8:00 pm Michael Yardney

      If you believe the rental increase is unfair or above market or not in line with your lease agreement, you are entitled to ask for meidation att he tenancy tribunal in your state


  99. March 23, 2015 @ 6:02 pm Sharyn

    Hi Michael,
    We are tenants in Qld and have noticed our lawn starting to die. After some investigating, we have noticed lawn grubs / beetles. Whos responsibility is it to spray the lawns to eradicate them?


    • March 23, 2015 @ 9:55 pm Michael Yardney

      Ask your property manager Sharyn, but I believe while it’s your responsibility to keep the garden neat and tidy, it’s the landlords responsibility to get rid of vermin etc


  100. April 3, 2015 @ 5:44 pm yvonne

    Hi Michael,

    I awoke Saturday morning to find flooding along my bedroom wall ( backs onto the bathroom ) & notified the Property Agent directly. I followed up with 4 calls throughout the day – advising the situation was becoming worse & contacting tenants of apartments above and either side ( as per agents request). By 5pm, after my fourth call advised the leak had progressed into the neighbouring apartment, they sent a plumber. He said the H/W system ( located in bedroom wardrobe) was fine, likely cause was blocked waste tray in my bathroom.

    I had moved all my bedding/possessions out of the bedroom slept the next 2 nights in the lounge. The stench was bad but more concerning was the poor quality of air – my breathing was laboured & we slept with the ranch sliders open overnight to provide ventilation. Unsurprisingly, quality of sleep was very poor. No use of bathing/ laundering facilities nor use of my bedroom for 2 days.

    The Property Agent called on Monday morning asking us to provide access for a second plumber. He inspected & unblocked the bath waste pipes/tray. Property Agent advised that evening we could use the bathroom/laundry & dishwasher facilities again – not the bedroom – as she was arranging carpet cleaners to contact us and arrange access. I thanked them for getting onto the matter, but mentioned the progressively poor quality of air meant sleep was difficult & alittle unsafe ( having to leave ranch sliders open overnight ) – that we put up with it expecting the property to be fully liveable within days of first notifying them of the issue. She dismissed this as not her concern. Use of bathing/laundry facilities returned.

    By Tuesday, when my daughter arrived home especially to provide access to the carpet cleaners, they discovered the water leak was not fixed, had in fact become far worse. The carpet cleaner advised as he inspected the damage, the under flooring was mouldy, suggested leak had been slowly occurring over a longer period of time than past 4 days & would need replacement & the concrete sub floor dried out – by running a drying fan 24 hours over a period of 2/3 days. Again, I contacted the Property Agent directly. Her response at 7pm was that it was now a Building Warranty matter ( not hers or her client the landlord ) & asked we provide access to the apartment builders and plumbers at 7.30am Wednesday morning, as she was still not available to provide master key access later in the day( I gave consent for their repair people to access ) or meet them on site to do so. This we did – taking paid time from our employment again- as this was a serious leak that needed urgent attention by day 4. No use of bathing/laundering facilities or my bedroom for 4 days. After the Property Agent again dismissed my breathing issues/ concerns about the quality of air – I emailed my concerns & asked her to respond in like. The quality of air was so bad , we slept elsewhere that night.

    We returned to provide access at 7.30am Wednesday morning & I took several calls throughout the day from my work to arrange ongoing access for builders & plumber & carpet repairs as well as the Property Agent who wanted access to take photos. Leak was identified as an unusual occurance, caused by neighbouring split pipes to their bath waste tray/trap – fixed – can now use all bathing laundering facilities. Builder & plumber need access again Thursday morning and next Tuesday ( long easter weekend ) to finish the job so I arranged this. A commercial carpet dryer had been on half the day & must remain on 24 hrs next 3 days – wet carpet & dust was fanning throughout the apartment – they would be back on Tuesday ( another 5 days time ) to shampoo & complete carpet repairs – unknown when I may have use of my bedroom again. Property Agent claimed she & the Plumber & Apartment Builder & it was claimed – the carpet repairer – all deemed the apartment fit to be lived in – expect the bedroom & by the way they claim it “..only costs about $10 a week in electricity to run those machines 24 hours a day…”. At this time – she had not visited the property since the leak began 5 days earlier. After visiting/ taking photos she called me back & advised -any arrangements to sleep elsewhere is my problem & my cost & “’s unlikely you’ll get compensation for more than one night…” said the Agent. We slept elsewhere again that night.

    I cannot afford to pay for motel/hotel & am sleeping on the couch of someone else couch & my daughter camped at her friends home. We both have work/study committments that have suffered. This is Easter weekend, & plans to celebrate have been ruined as my apartment is not fit for visitors. To say we have being inconvenienced is an understatement – as a previous home owner for over 3 decades, I appreciate this is unavoidable when such breakdowns/repairs occur. However, compromising our health & causing financial burden to us without any ‘real time’ course for redress, is unacceptable – because they all have a vested interest.The agent acts to mitigate any possible costs to their client, the landlord – as does the apartment builder & tradespeople, because eventually any claim will impact their insurance premiums/claims under Building Warranty.

    My question is – is a failure of care of duty possible under Residential Tenancies Act section 68 – Not in Good Repair and /or 67 – Not allowed quiet enjoyment of the premises – relevant to this situation? I am hoping to raise the matter with VCAT at the earliest.

    Kind regards


    • April 3, 2015 @ 6:41 pm Michael Yardney

      Clearly this has bee very inconvenient for you – esp over Easter.
      From what you’ve said I believe the agent is incorrect saying you will only get compensation for 1 night – it sounds like you should persue your case at VCAT


  101. April 23, 2015 @ 6:21 pm JenMc

    Hi, I am a tenant with a Maintenance/ Repairs/Entry question!
    Our real estate have recently invoiced us for an electrician service fee for back in December 2014! It is for a call out fee to replace our oven.
    We had arranged with the electrician that we would leave our key in a ‘safe’ place for him to gain entry, but thought better not to, and assumed the electrician would have a key from the agent anyway.
    Evidently, the agency closed early and the electrician arrived to our house and could not gain entry as we had gone out – this was Christmas Eve!
    The oven was later replaced in Jan, following an entry notice and entry of the electrician with a key provided by the agent ( we were away on holidays).
    The agent is charging us for the 1st call out fee, saying they were ‘doing us a favour’ as it was Christmas Eve and we must pay the fee as we had made arrangements with the electrician. Entry notice had not been provided for this, more a casual conversation over the phone with the electrician.
    Are we in the wrong for assuming the electrician would gain access with a key supplied form the agent? Or are we liable for the cost for making arrangements directly with the electrician?
    Thanks in advance for your reply :)


    • April 23, 2015 @ 6:31 pm Michael Yardney

      It sounds like you arranged to leave a key for the electrician and then chnaged your mind without telling him. How was he to know not to come out on Christmas Eve if you didn’t tell him.

      No you shouldn’t assume the agent will give the electrician a key – they can’t let him in to your property without your permission


  102. April 30, 2015 @ 11:11 am Jasmin

    Hi, just wondering if you can shed some light about floorboards and if they have never been redone in a property that has had them for 20years and is a rental can we charge the latest tenant to have them redone?


    • April 30, 2015 @ 8:21 pm Michael Yardney

      NO. It s called fair wear and tear. It’s not the tenants fault


      • May 1, 2015 @ 8:50 am Jasmin

        Thank you, this is what I thought and I will let my friends know.


  103. April 30, 2015 @ 11:12 am Argile

    We just had once in 50yr storms in Sydney and an external pipe blocked outside my apartment, clogging any water escape from upstairs apartment, which ended up flooding into their floor cavity and ultimately through our kitchen ceiling. Strata has managed to claim on our building insurance and also accepts costs are Strata costs. The issue is that I rent as holiday property and had tenants move in the day after. Although all was cleaned up beautifully, there was still a hole in kitchen ceiling during the tenants 4 day stay. Electrician and Plumber said it was not dangerous and the kitchen was usable. Such a small kitchen that the hole not visible from any other part of the apartment, just an eyesore if you look up when in kitchen.
    Tenants are demanding compensation but Strata and Insurance won’t give it since there was no danger and the place was completely habitable. They said there was a smell but when I went there I did not smell anything and I have a radar nose!
    What to do???


    • April 30, 2015 @ 8:20 pm Michael Yardney

      You should not be involved. What did your property manger advise. Let’s them resolve the problem


      • May 2, 2015 @ 8:20 am Argile

        Thank you for your reply. I manage it myself but the Strata company is managing the insurance claim. So I forward to the Strata to deal with? I looked at the CTTT and it said my only obligation is that I do all repairs within 14 days. Their booking was only 4 nights, so from a tenant/landlord perspective, I did everything ok by getting repairmen there as soon as I possibly could.
        They gave me a security deposit, so i will return that and give them our strata contact? or should I hold security deposit until it’s resolved? THANK YOU again.


        • May 2, 2015 @ 8:26 am Michael Yardney


          Now you see why I recommend you use professional property managers – things are fine when all goes well, but you need their input when things don’t go as planned. It’s not the short term tenant’s job to contact YOUR Strata Manager


          • May 2, 2015 @ 9:49 am Argile

            Tried that! They were appalling! Lackadaisical and no care taken at all. They got the worst tenants who partied and did nothing about it, damaged furniture and left over 15 garbage bags of alcohol bottles. I tried another company and the same thing. I’ll never do that again. I monitor my guests and after six years of running many properties I now have a third sense of who is the right kind of guest. Anyone with grammar issues sounds young and I ask for their drivers licence, etc.

            The strata insurance says they will not reimburse any tenant money due to a minimal ‘eyesore’, a small hole in the kitchen ceiling. It was safe and habitable and no damage done to guest or their belongings. The tenants first claimed it was unsafe, now they have switched to claiming “tradesman interruption” despite insisting on me getting tradesmen there. I’ve contacted my solicitor to now take over for me, they don’t have a claim as the problem was there when they moved in and they accepted to stay, knowing there was a hole in the ceiling. The kitchen is not visible from any other room, not even the next room, the dining room. It’s clear they are taking advantage of a situation and it’s sad there are people out there like this.

            I hope this helps someone else in this situation. Thank you for your post and your replies.

  104. May 4, 2015 @ 1:59 pm Marcus

    Hi Michael,

    We have tenancy of a 4br house, and have had this tenancy for 3.5 years. A year into the tenancy, we started to make requests for the landlord to replace our carpet due to wear and tear that was already there in part when we had moved in.

    We recently received notice to leave the premises, and have suddenly started to receive calls from carpet companies to quote on replacing the carpet. Our real estate agent also informed us that the landlord can get a greater rent than he can achieve by increasing our existing rent if he replaces the carpet and removes us.

    We feel that we’ve been treated unfairly. If going to tribunal, would we have a case for receiving compensation for living with carpets in a state of disrepair for the last couple of years, and if so, would you have any indication what that compensation might look like?

    We also had an issue where the strata blocked our house’s access to the pool and gym areas because two flatmates had been throwing a ball around the pool area. Strata has refused to give us access since, and it’s been about 3 months now. Our landlord, despite requests, has in no way acted as an advocate for us to be able to regain access to the areas we are paying for as part of our rental. I actually even offered to evict my two flatmates who had been throwing the ball around in the first instance, as this was affecting the rest of the house from being able to use the facilities they were paying for.

    As the landlord has made no effort to let negotiate with strata on our behalf, my same questions relating to tribunal and compensation apply to this part as well. Again, we feel the landlord is neglecting us in favour of kicking us out.



    • May 4, 2015 @ 2:05 pm Michael Yardney


      It is unlikely that you would get any compensation for living with the carpets, as they were in that state when you began the tenancy and the landlord would probably argue that you are receiving a reduced rent to compensate for the state of the carpet.

      If you rented the property with access to a pool and gym and this was later denied it could be argued by you that you should be paying less rent for not having use of these amenities. Similarly the landlord is likely to argue that you did not “play by the rules of the strata community” and therefore you should be denied the benefits of the pool. I wouldn’t like to take your case to tribunal – you may have difficulty winning


      • May 4, 2015 @ 2:40 pm Marcus

        Super valuable blog here, Michael. Thanks.

        One more question from me:
        The landlord originally served termination to us on the basis I had been Airbnbing my room out whilst needing to be elsewhere on business (how he found my small listing I don’t know). I’ve been advised by the rental advice line that my use of Airbnb should not constitute the breach of my contract and was incorrectly labeled as a breach by my agent and the landlord. (the contract suggests I can’t pass the tenancy onto another or sublet without the written permission of the landlord, but I’m also told that airbnb, in my case, isn’t subletting)

        This false information resulted in me cancelling prepaid bookings, affecting what I am told was a legitimate way for me to substitute my rental costs whilst I was needing to be abroad.

        Do we have a case for compensation here?

        We’re a bit upset with the landlord’s treatment of us as a transaction after providing a long term tenancy, and see the above as a non legitimate excuse for trying to kick us out fast.


        • May 4, 2015 @ 7:00 pm Michael Yardney

          I would suggest that if someone paid you for renting or staying at your place, and they were not a friend and you were not there at the time, it could be construed as a sublease and a breach of your lease.
          I’ve found the tenant’s union and rental advice line is often wrong


  105. May 11, 2015 @ 5:21 pm Charlie

    Hi Michael,
    I am the landlord of a semi-furnished house in Victoria. I was wondering how I would go about removing a piece of my property from the house during the tenancy, or even if I am legally allowed to do so?


    • May 11, 2015 @ 6:02 pm Michael Yardney

      Officially you can’t remove anything – the property was let “as is” However you can come to an arrangement with the tenant and ask their permission


  106. June 23, 2015 @ 2:13 pm gail


    I am a tenant in a property in WA, the landlord has come back from their 12 month trip earlier and is now harrassing us in all sorts of ways, we would like to move out but the landlord will not apply to the courts to get us evicted, we are waiting for this to happen however meanwhile the landlord is calling us whenever we turn lights on in their house, meaning they are nearby the property.
    Do we have any rights, the landlord is becoming a nightmare but we cannot leave the house otherwise it would be an “Abandonment” issue. Please help


    • June 23, 2015 @ 9:38 pm Michael Yardney

      Do you have an agent managing the property – you shouldn’t be dealing directly with the landlord


  107. July 2, 2015 @ 5:03 pm Harry

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve just moved into a 1 bedroom flat with my girlfriend. We were delighted with the place and set about to make it our home. The flat has a great working shower and a bathtub but we’ve discovered the water runs out in 5 minutes of shower-time and fills up the bath about a 1/6 of the way. The Property Agency had a plumber come out to the premises to inspect the unit who found out that the apartment only has a 50L electric hot-water system, dating back to 2001, but that it’s in full working order and operational.

    As such, our only advice from the Agency has been to get a water-saving shower head which would extend showers to 7 minutes before all the hot water has run out but not fill the bath up any more (or create any additional supply of hot water). They won’t consider replacing the tank with anything larger as the current tank has been ‘built-in’ with wooden panelling to hide it and fit-to-size.

    We’ve just signed a 1-year lease and the prospect of not being able to shower in sequence, use the bathtub which was something that initially attracted us to the property, and have the water run out in under 5 minutes if we have washed the dishes or used any of the hot-water taps for other things is not something we can bear.

    Do we as tenants have any right to more hot water, what constitutes an adequate supply? If not, are we able to break our lease as the landlord as breached their right to provide ‘reasonable use and quiet enjoyment’ of the property?


    • July 2, 2015 @ 7:10 pm Michael Yardney

      I’ve come across this before, where small 50L underbench hot water services that were commonly installed in the 70’s are not adequate for 2 people.
      I have heard that the tenancy tribunal has in the past found for the tenant and allowed them to break their lease


  108. July 16, 2015 @ 3:53 pm kamal

    I rent a home recently, after moving in, I get to know there is reticulation system for the backyard lawn but not connected to the water hose. the property manager asked me that the owner provide the pipes, you can connect manually and also there is no light at the backyard garden. who is responsible for these stuff.
    Another problem I am facing is the noise created by the train which passed nearby the property. this has not been mentioned by the manager?


    • July 16, 2015 @ 6:00 pm Michael Yardney

      Sorry to say you took the property as is – no light in the back yard – that was the way you rented it and you should have known about the train line


  109. August 5, 2015 @ 9:18 pm Jodie

    Hi Michael,we moved out of a house we were renting 5 months ago.Unfortuantly there was a stain on the carpet in one bedroom and during final inspection the landlord and agent were fully aware of the stain.we had our full bond transfered to the place we are in now and without it being contested.about a week or two after the final inspection and handing in keys to old place we were told by agent the landlord was not going to get us to pay for the out of the blue 5 months later our old landlord said to the agent they want us to pay $400 to re carpet the whole room.Is the landlord able to just come back 5 months later and demand money like that ?If it goes to tribunual will we have to pay?we are in n.s.w


    • August 6, 2015 @ 3:28 pm Michael Yardney

      it is unlikley the landlord would win this claim at tribunal – they refunded your bond and could not claim for the whole carpet – usually the sum is discounted for the age and wear of the existing carpet. Stand your ground


  110. August 9, 2015 @ 10:06 pm Michelle

    I’m a landlord in Vic and while only two tenants signed the lease agreement, believe there are four tenants. Do we have any recourse to increase the rent? Would we have to prove this somehow? What if the renters say, they just ocassionally spend the night.

    Plus, they also have a cat there and we said no to a cat when asked by the property manager. What are our options? They have been tenants for about four or five months.

    Great article!


    • August 9, 2015 @ 10:40 pm Michael Yardney

      Michelle unless the tenants a are not looking after your property, I’m not sure either of the issues you raise should be a concern.
      As for the cat, the tenants should have asked permission for a pet, but would you really deny a good tenant the right to have one – the tend to do no harm.
      As for having more people staying at the property than have signed the lease, that is not to unusual, but if you feel the extra people are causing excessive wear or damage to the property ask your property mangler to attend to it


  111. August 23, 2015 @ 9:29 pm Alison


    Curtain and curtain fixtures … there are supposed to be curtains “officially” in two rooms and there aren’t. When I expected the property the agent said there was supposed to be one on the front as well and she said “I’ll get that done before you move in”. Well, when I completed the in-going report (NSW) all hell broke lose as I commented on this … I didn’t want to be held accountable for curtains that weren’t there, additionally the agent overstated the cleanliness of the place, she made it sound as if it was a brand new place so I remarked “the walls are clean they aren’t spotless as stated in the report” … a back door not locking, windows not locking as stated. I just wanted to first let you know what I am dealing with. Her attitude got to the point that I complained to the agencies principal and now she can only communicate via email – I learnt many years ago a company will often believe an employee if it’s a verbal “he said, she said” situation.

    Anyway my question, I have curtains for rods not ones that are hung on hooks and open and close with a cord. There is no way I can use my curtains. What are my options here? I’m happy righ my curtains and it becomes costly if I have curtains for all type of fixtures I’d need a road-train to move. As you see by above, I’m extremely reluctant to contact the agent. I’m correct in thinking putting up fixtures for rods would be crossing the line? Where do tenants stand regarding curtains? Do tenants have to curtains for all occasions?


    Alison …


    • August 23, 2015 @ 10:19 pm Michael Yardney

      You rent the property as inspected, but if curtains were promised, they should have been installed.
      I agree that your should always correct any errors in the agents inspection report in writing, and it makes sense to document all further communications.
      As for putting up curtain rods, you’d have to seek permission


  112. September 3, 2015 @ 1:04 pm Javed

    Hello, I hope i am asking this question on the right forum.
    I am a tenant and a couple of weeks back at 3:00 am half of the ceiling of the roof has collapsed in the lounge area. Fortunately my kids were sleeping in the room and no one was in the lounge. The lounge was full of dust and stuff came out from the ceiling and pieces of gyprock everywhere. We reported the problem and the agent arranged people to come and clean it up. But this process took 2 days and during those two days half of the ceiling was missing in the lounge and it was not safe for kids. As a temporary solution the landlord arranged someone to out a plastic to cover the hole and they say the property is now safe to live in.
    They have cleaned up the lounge but we still spent a whole day to do a detailed cleaning.
    Now the landlord is saying that we need to pay the full rent for the whole week (Where for the 2 complete days the property was not livable). Now the ceiling is half plastic and its winter and rainy season –
    Do we still need to pay the full rent – because the full rent was for a property in a good status not for a property where half the ceiling is missing and covered with plastic until they sort out insurance and get it fixed.

    I need some advice as who is responsible for what- do i need to pay the full rent still and what about the 2 days when we were out of the property when the whole was being covered with plastic. They will fix the whole ceiling next week and again displace us for few days and in that case should the landlord arrange a temp accommodation for us or just forgo the rent during that time when the ceiling is getting repaired and property will not be able to lived in.

    I really appreciate your advice on this.

    JJ Baloch


    • September 3, 2015 @ 6:32 pm Michael Yardney

      You are correct in thinking that you shoudl NOT be paying the full rent adn you should be compensated for the time you were not able to live in the proeprty.

      If your agent and landlord do not accept this, you have a fair cliam in the tenancy tribunal


      • September 4, 2015 @ 11:19 am Javed

        Hi Michael,
        Thank you very much for your advice. I really appreciate that you took time to read my post.


  113. September 9, 2015 @ 6:14 pm Nicola Appleton

    We have a rental property on the Sunshine Coast which we are planning to sell. We need to carry out various repairs and maintenance to the exterior and interior of the property to improve it’s appearance to prospective buyers. The tenant has agreed to the exterior repairs, maintenance and painting being carried out, but refusing to allow access to complete painting and repairs to the interior during the term of the lease. I understand the right of a tenant to quiet enjoyment of the property, but can they refuse to allow access by contractors to the interior? We would like to put the house on the market, before the current lease ends.


    • September 9, 2015 @ 7:24 pm Michael Yardney


      The tenants do NOT need to allow you to enter their property (it is their’s to enjoy while they have a lease) – why would they – they don’t benefit form the works and they will be dispupted


  114. September 14, 2015 @ 5:36 pm Rekha

    hi, we rented an apartment almost for 3years back and we just moved out.we never used dishwasher in the old apartment. after vacating my agent saying it’s not working. but we never knew it.they are saying : Electrical board cover broken, Drawer broken & does not close properly.
    they are asking for replacement.what we have to do ?
    Please reply


    • September 14, 2015 @ 6:13 pm Michael Yardney

      You shoudl have a condition report of the property showing the condition of the proeprty when you commenced the lease. If things are broken you may have to replace them, but you would NOT have to replace the dishwasher. Things break downa nd wear out – you are only responsible if you dmaged it


  115. October 19, 2015 @ 5:00 pm Ben

    Hi Michael;

    My significant other has recently rented a small house, however has found after a few hot days and rainy weather that the previous owner kept a dog with bladder control problems – the house reeks of urine, though the owner did not allow pets.

    She has contacted the agent who advised there is nothing they can do, as the carpets were steam cleaned and deodorised prior to her signing the lease.

    The carpets themselves are at least 10 years old, with multiple bare patches. What steps can she take to have the carpets and underlay replaced? Note there are only two carpeted rooms, no more than 40 meters squared.


    • October 19, 2015 @ 6:54 pm Michael Yardney

      This is a difficult situation.
      As a landlord I would fix this so my tenant was happy, but if your partner accepted the property “as is” and didn’t mention this in the original condition report, your rights are limited


  116. November 25, 2015 @ 4:08 pm Karen

    Hello – hoping you can help!
    We are moving out of our rented premises where we have had a pet dog (outside only). There are no additional terms in our lease that indicate the need for professional carpet cleaning or fumigation. In fact, on the lease, the term (45) that says “the tenant agrees to have the carpet professionally cleaned or to have the residential premises fumigated if the cleaning or fumigation is required because animals have been kept on the residential premises during the tenancy” is crossed out.
    However, I have received an email from the property manager indicating that the carpets are to be professionally cleaned and the place fumigated.
    there is no carpet damage, apart from normal wear and tear, and there are no pest infestations.
    Just wondering what our rights are here?

    Also, who’s responsibility should we be required to re-turf an area of lawn that dies regularly due to lack of drainage and lack of sunlight?
    Thank you


    • November 25, 2015 @ 6:01 pm Michael Yardney

      It is common practice for the tenant to pay for professional carpet cleaning at the end of the tenancy. If the turf died due to weather conditions, you should not have to pay for this


  117. December 12, 2015 @ 4:47 am Roger

    Hi Michael,

    Hope you could give me some advise.

    I rented a unit for 2 years and just moved out, I did the final inspection with the agent, she noted that one room was bad and I agreed with her. She took photo’s of the unit and none of the other walls was bad. The owner or no representative was present at the final inspection. A few days later I received a mail from the agency that R4000.00 will be deducted from my deposit because he has painted the unit. I don’t think that this is correct because he did not inform us that he was going to paint to unit. I would think that he should of informed the agent and send quotations of what the price would be to paint the unit after I have left.

    Can you please shed some light on this please….

    Regards and waiting on your response.



    • December 12, 2015 @ 11:15 am Michael Yardney

      It seems like you’re in South Aftrica and I don’t know the tenancy laws there. in Australia the landlord has to replant at his expense if it’s fair wear and tear. However if you’ve caused excessive damage, then it’s your responsibility to pay for the repairs


  118. December 19, 2015 @ 5:12 pm karen

    Hi, not sure if anyone can help but..have a rental property, rent is thousands of dollars behind, have a tribunal decision it must be vacated. If the tenant won’t leave can I move in? The sheriff will take a while but I am now living in a motel until I can get back into my home. So can I move in with the tenant who is not paying rent and stay there until she is evicted by the sheriff? Thank you


    • December 19, 2015 @ 5:31 pm Michael Yardney

      It’s not fair – why should the tenant still have rights under these circumstances, but they do and legally you should wait for the sheriff


  119. February 17, 2016 @ 5:45 pm Amanda

    Hi there,
    After having hired an electrician to carry out an electrical safety report on the property i rent and speaking to Energy Australia regarding very large power bills of 1500 dollars plus a quarter some running at 2500 dollars a quarter. The safety report came to the conclusion that extensive wiring replacement must be undertaken due to it being dangerous wiring that did not meet aus wiring regulations. Hardly any necessary work has been carried out and I’m moving on after 3 years of promises and half arsed repairs made to the premises.
    Is it possible to recieve reimbursement for the excess power consumption I’ve had to pay for over my tenancy? Energy Australia are quite confused by my energy readings etc and believe it’s also due to old faulty wiring. Thoughts? Please and thankyou.


    • February 17, 2016 @ 10:00 pm Michael Yardney

      Amanda, it seems you’re in a difficult position.
      You should never had to hire an electrician – that should hev been done by your property manager on behalf of the landlord.
      Have you approached your property manager about this? That’s your first port of call


  120. March 14, 2016 @ 12:11 pm Keri

    We have been renting in a property for 3 years and just renewed our lease. We have an oven which is really old, the stove top works but the oven itself take about 3 hours to cook a small chicken and then it is raw in the middle and burnt on one side, the same with vegetables, the oven is just a complete disaster and we cannot use it.
    Anyway, the real estate sent a technician to look at the oven, he and the real estate said because it switched on and has a ‘heartbeat’ and they know it’s an old oven and will not cook food properly, the owner will not change it, not even if we have a second hand oven. Do we have any rights when it comes to this oven being debilitated? Thank you


    • March 14, 2016 @ 8:53 pm Michael Yardney

      Yes- you should have the right to cook a meal in a reasonable time.
      If the owner is not prepared to replace it then complain to your state tenancy tribunal


  121. March 29, 2016 @ 8:37 pm Liana

    Hi Michael, could you please help? I have a friend who is a tenant on a farm, the farm has about 10 different little townhouses on the property. The place where my friend is staying doesn’t have the necessary connections for her washing machine. So her washing machine is standing in a laundry room as discussed with the landlord on the day she viewed the place. My friend has had quite a few issues with this agreement as damage has come to her washing machine due to anyone/everyone on the farm having access to the room. So she has placed a big bath sheet over her washing machine. Now she is noticing the bath sheet is in a different position every time she goes there. She suspects the landlord is looking inside her machine, as he gives her a lot of grief about her washing. I just wanted to know – is he allowed to do this? Or is it an invasion of privacy?


    • March 29, 2016 @ 10:45 pm Michael Yardney

      from your email address it sounds like you’re not based in Australia – the whole arrangement sounds peculiar to me – and I’d not be happy with it


  122. April 21, 2016 @ 10:26 pm dev

    sir my tenant reported that backyard brick pave are not leveled. he is is landscaper,. so i came over to see the pave. He said that he will do it cheapest way and will let me know the total cost material involved. After 3 months he stop paying me rent. Asked on phone why he is not depositing the rent in account –he said will do it in next payment.
    so i relaxed. then next payment did not came also. called him why he is doing that? He told me that i owe him $8500 for the brick pave he has done at back yard. he start telling me that he got the right not to pay the rent until cost matched.
    i said you didnt even provide me any quote. which i was waiting for it and now you said that job been done without my concern.
    100 sqm prick pave – he charged me 230 hr. for the job. mean 28 days with 8 hr full time a day.
    got local quote $2500-$3000 for the same work.
    he didnt agree and not paying me rent for 6 weeks so far.


    • April 21, 2016 @ 11:53 pm Michael Yardney

      I hope you’re not managing the property yourself! Everything should be documented and if you haven’t agreed to the works in writing, then byy your account of the details he owes you the rent and must pay.

      Get your property manager to resolve the problem – you shouldn’t be involved. If you don’t have PM go to the tribunal


      • April 22, 2016 @ 12:31 am Dev

        sir i am managing the property. this is the first investment i have.
        i have given him 15 days rent not paying notice. other thing is i can not claim my home insurance.
        insurance company is asking about the site inspect before the job done. so i loss the claim also.
        becoz he has done without my concern. no written agreement has been made between us.
        in fact i was waiting for the quote so that i can show it to the insurance company.
        all messed up here.


        • April 22, 2016 @ 10:00 am Michael Yardney

          Dev – that’s a real pity. you can see why I warn against self management – it doesn’t really save you money


  123. July 25, 2016 @ 11:44 am Eliza

    I am in Victoria and moving out of my rental in a week. My landlord has requested I leave the electricity connected until he says it’s ok to disconnect. I am not happy to do this as I know they are having works done to the house and do not want to risk them using the electricity whilst I’m still responsible for the bill. I have agreed to leave it connect for two business days after I move out but no more. Is he allowed to request that I leave it connected? Thanks


    • July 25, 2016 @ 11:50 am Michael Yardney

      Eliza – you under no obligation to continue the power supply after you leave. In fact I’s cease it the day you leave so you are not lumbered with any unnecessary expenses


      • July 25, 2016 @ 9:12 pm Eliza

        Thanks Michael. Also, do you know how long a landlord has to perform a final inspection after I have vacated the property? Thanks


        • July 25, 2016 @ 10:14 pm Michael Yardney


          You don’t need to provide power for a final inspection!


  124. July 30, 2016 @ 11:38 pm Cooper

    Hi Michael,
    I am moving out of my property in a few days due to mould and leaky roof issues. My bedroom door wouldn’t open all the way due to the roof coming down where water had pooled. In order to fit my furniture out the door, I requested my landlord have a builder come to fix the door issue. This was done but now there is large amounts of plaster on the carpet from the builder scraping away the roof so the door could open (the builder cleaned up the plaster before he left but more has fallen from the roof since). The end of lease cleaners may refuse to clean this mess (rightly so I think) in which case they won’t be able to steam clean the carpet in that room either. I feel this is the landlords responsibility not mine, as it’s not my fault the builder had to hack away at the roof in the first place. Any advice? Thanks


    • July 31, 2016 @ 12:08 am Michael Yardney

      You are correct – this is not your problem but the landlords problem.
      Please take lots of photos to protect your interest and document everything in writing to your property manager


  125. August 1, 2016 @ 4:40 pm Esha

    Hi Michael,

    I moved out of a share house about a month ago. I was told that there were some stains on the carpet in my room and that my bond would only be returned after they tried to get the stains off by steam cleaning the carpets. If these stains still did not come off then I would have to pay for the replacement of the carpet. I admit that there are about 3 small stains from what I believe might be from using shoes as they are mainly near the door of my room.
    I was told today that steam cleaning did not work and the cost of replacing a plush wool carpet in a 15 sqm room would be over $1000. However, they are willing to settle for $500 because owners plan to replace all the carpet in the house before they sell at some point.
    I am aware that the carpet is 10 years old. Is it reasonable to pay $500 for the steam cleaning and replacement or am I not liable for it because the carpet is so old?

    Please Advise.


    • August 1, 2016 @ 8:03 pm Michael Yardney

      With the carpet being 10 years old if this matter went to a tribunal, the landlord will only be able to claim a small percentage of the cost – say $100 -$150
      Your property manager would now this and should not be asking for the full reimbursement


  126. August 1, 2016 @ 4:42 pm Chris

    Hi Michael,
    If a tenant makes a copy of the keys, say to leave with a friend in case they lock themselves out, are they obligated to give the copy to the landlord/agent when they lease is terminated? If so, is the landlord obligated to reimburse the tenant for the cost that was incurred in getting the keys copied?


    • August 1, 2016 @ 8:00 pm Michael Yardney

      Clearly you should not keep a copy of the keys after you lease expires. You would not have liked it is someone potentially had access to the property when you lived there.
      And as the owner did not request or authorise the expense, there is no reason they should reimburse you for the keys


  127. August 15, 2016 @ 8:36 am Lisa

    If my property is damaged to to mould in a private landlord situation, are they responsible. I know she also did not lodge my bond? Thank you.


  128. August 15, 2016 @ 8:39 am Lisa

    Also, the landlord went into the property before I fully moved out. Is this allowed?


    • August 15, 2016 @ 7:34 pm Michael Yardney

      This is why landlords shouldn’t DIY manage properties and tenants should NEVER lease directly from a landlord.

      Protect your interests by making a claim at the Tenancy Tribunal in your state


  129. August 17, 2016 @ 5:28 pm Tina

    Hi Michael
    Thanks for the article. I’m a renter and the airconditioner was first serviced when we moved in in 2013, it hasn’t been serviced since (almost 3 years). It’s now blinking and not working as it should. The electrician (organised through the agency) has been and said there is dirt and hair build up on the outside and needs a clean and service. Our dog goes down the side of the house, but cannot access the area as it is fenced off, so the wind must blow the hair towards the unit. What am I liable for in terms of the unit – the clean or an actual replacement of the unit? It’s not intentional damage from our part as the dog cannot access the outside of the unit and they have also not kept up with servicing the unit. Thanks for any information you could share.


    • August 17, 2016 @ 10:30 pm Michael Yardney

      Tina – this is a difficult one
      There is no set service interval for air conditioners, so your landlord does not have to service them
      I have airconditoners in all my proeprties and we have over 2,500 under our property management for clients, and I’ve not heard of “hair build up” clogging the airconditioner.

      A clean and service should not be expensive and while it would normally be at the cost of the owner, if your dog has been responsible, you may have to pay some of this cost


      • August 18, 2016 @ 2:42 pm Tina

        Hi Michael, thanks so much for the advice. Cheers


      • December 29, 2016 @ 4:10 pm Faust Azana

        Hi Michael, I have turned over our unit to our tenant with AC serviced and in good running condition. After 7 months tenant is now asking for a service. Is this fair? I already have given in to the request but i have a feeling that they might request for the other one to be done as well.


        • December 29, 2016 @ 5:47 pm Michael Yardney

          The air conditioner must be in good working order, but there is no need to regularly “service” air conditioners preventatively


  130. August 23, 2016 @ 2:12 pm Melissa

    Hi, I have recently purchased a home (in Tasmania) with the intent to live in it but my marriage has recently ended and i have had to move in with my parents and young son to try and save some money before moving in. As an interim i decided to rent my house out through an agent for a 12 month fixed lease (tennants moved in July 2016). Unfortunately my parents house is newly listed on the market and i am desperately hoping there is some way i can change the lease from a 12 month to a 6 month lease so i can move in around January 2017. Does anyone have any suggestions on what i should do?


    • August 23, 2016 @ 3:07 pm Michael Yardney

      You are bound by the terms of the lease,just as your tenant is – they can’t get out early either.
      having said that you can both agree to terminate the lease – but this would most likely involve you paying them an incentive


      • August 23, 2016 @ 3:19 pm Meliss

        Thanks Michael, I did fear this might be the case. I guess it is just worth asking the question.


  131. August 29, 2016 @ 11:54 am Claire

    Hi Michael,

    I am wondering if you might be able to clear up a question I’m stressing about. One of our kitchen cupboard doors recently fell out of the cabinet – the wall plugs are plastic and had deteriorated to the point where they crumbled all of a sudden, meaning the hinge screws fell out of the chipboard. We don’t slam the door and there are no kids that hang off it or anything like that.

    My question is whether this type of wear and tear would generally constitute ‘normal’, or would our landlord be entitled to charge us for this repair (given that they might not believe us when we say we have not treated it roughly). Cheers!


    • August 29, 2016 @ 12:02 pm Michael Yardney

      Don’t worry – this should be a landlord expense – not yours


  132. September 13, 2016 @ 12:50 pm Chris

    Hi Michael,

    I am just coming to the end of my 4th consecutive year renting the same property in VIC. I have been offered a further year which I am looking to take up (I like to relative security a fixed term lease provides rather than being month to month).

    Having said that there are a few items that need attention (in my opinion) in the house and whilst most I dont think I will have an issue with (boiler failing to heat water every so often, broker panel on back door, external fence degrading and leaning badly) I do have one request for the Landlord around repainting the interior of the house. The painting was completed at least 5 years ago and my initial response from the property agent is “the interior painting is rarely done while the tenant is in the property and usually attended to at the 7 or more years”. Whilst this may be true, given I have been an excellent tenant (no property damage, no late rent payments etc) I would expect that this should be done especially since I’ve giving the landlord another year with no stress!

    So the question is, is there any way I can try and force the issue here? What is the situation on painting at my own expense?



    • September 13, 2016 @ 2:30 pm Michael Yardney

      Chris the agent is right – but everything is negotiable – as a landlord I would consider doing it to keep a good tenant happy – but I’d put up the rent a little to cover my cost


  133. October 24, 2016 @ 3:03 pm Sia

    Hi Michael,

    We have recently re-signed our lease for a second year. The owner of our property (who is not our go to for any house related problems) has now twice driven past and made comment on our front yard. The first time was due to palm fronds that the gardener had yet to collect and most recently due to our lawns overgrown state after the recent storms (in SA). Both times he was ‘in the area’, even though our street is fairly isolated withing the suburbs, and no inspection was scheduled. After this most recent event he has requested a personal inspection on the grounds that he is fearful we are neglecting the interior of the house, even though all previous inspections have labeled us as exemplary tenants. We find this very invasive, and on top of there has been consistent inadequate provision of repairs, mostly provided by friends of the owner, we were wondering if his drive by inspections would constitute a breach of lease inspection or privacy guidelines.

    Kind regards,
    Three stressed out female university students.


    • October 24, 2016 @ 3:49 pm Michael Yardney

      Do you lease directly through the owner (you NEVER should) or through a property manager?
      Please explain your concerns to them.
      An owner or property manager has the right to a reasonable number of inspections to ensure you are looking after the property internally and externally. I understand yoru concerns but it would be hard to complain about 2 drive bys in a few years (even though they were a few weeks apart.)


  134. October 27, 2016 @ 11:12 am Rei

    Hi, Michael

    We are currently renting a property in NSW.
    We recently had an accident that caused some damage to a wall in our kitchen and after a close look at the broken wall, we decided to send some of it to be tested for asbestos as the house is quite old and we were fairly concerned.
    The test came back positive for asbestos. We went straight to the real estate agent after getting the results and told them about the accident and that we had found asbestos in the wall. They offered to fix the hole in the wall, but not take any further action to remove the asbestos. We told them that we were uncomfortable living in a house with flimsy walls that contained asbestos and proceeded to tell the agent that the wall around and under the sink (made from the same material) had water damage and appeared to be rotting away the bench and that we felt this posed a health/safety risk to us. The real estate agent responded that we had accepted the house in that condition.
    We have tried explaining that, while we knew about the water damage and were ok with the condition of the walls at the time of moving in, this was ONLY because we did not know and were never informed that the walls contained asbestos. If we had known we never would have taken the house/signed the lease. The agent does not seem to understand our concerns and just keeps saying that we knew the wall was damaged and would not be repaired when we signed the lease.
    When asked if they could speak with the owner to organise removal of the asbestos, the agent told us “that is between us and the owner and is not your business”

    Our lease is ending soon and we are planning to give notice this week to leave within the month, but I am just wondering, what steps can we now take to ensure this is problem is fixed? If not for us, then to ensure that other tenants are not moved in before the asbestos has been dealt with. We have lived here for 12 months, not knowing that the whole time those rotten, water damaged walls contained asbestos.

    Would appreciate if you have any suggestions,
    Thank you!


    • October 27, 2016 @ 10:14 pm Michael Yardney

      Rei, its a real pity that some landlords don’t look after their tenants and their properties isn’t it.

      I don’t know what you can do – most older properties have some asbestos, and there is no way of forcing owners to fix them as far as I know


  135. November 3, 2016 @ 1:50 pm Tash

    Hi Michael,
    I’m renting through a property manager and the sprinklers have been broken for the last year, they are underground sprinklers and leak down the road without watering the grass. Every time summer hits we get complaints about the grass dying however we’ve requested the sprinklers be fixed on numerous occasions. They have sent out six different contractors who have all agreed that there is an underground pipe that is burst but the landlord refuses to allow them to dig up the front yard to fix it. He then sends us a $900 water bill when our average is $250 from all the water that has run down the road. It’s become a rather frustrating situation and with another 7 months on our lease it honestly doesn’t seem worth staying. The landlord has repeatedly tried to charge us for damage to the grass and for the ridiculous water bill. Is this grounds for breaking our lease?
    Kind Regards,


    • November 3, 2016 @ 3:40 pm Michael Yardney

      You have a right to be upset and complain tot he tenancy tribunal


  136. November 5, 2016 @ 3:41 am Linda

    Hello. We are landlords in nsw. Our tennants were given 95 days notice to vacate premises from periodic lease. They were due to move out this weekend, however now have informed at short notice-today (Friday) that they won’tbe out for another week. We have been living overseas for 14 months and we planned to move back straight into our family home beginning next week (we are travelling back to Australia this weekend). We have 2 young children and will have to stay in a hotel for a week or so until our property is vacant. Not only has this late informed situation been tremendously disruptive it will incur extra expenses for us hotel, removalist cancellation, potential loss of earnings for my husband (due to start new job and then has to reschedule start date to assist with removal also does not bode well with new employer ). Can we al least claim hotel and removal costs for this from tennants bond?


    • November 5, 2016 @ 6:18 am Michael Yardney

      Linda. This is very unfortunate and must have been very distruptive. You should be able to make some claim on the tenant – check with your property manager


  137. November 8, 2016 @ 6:49 pm abir

    One question, my tenant has been renting the house since 2014 and I have sent her a 90 days notice that i need the house for personal occupancy as I dont have any other house & she agreed to moveout by december. Now, she is claiming she has birdmites in the kitchen cabinets and she wants me to pay +350$ for pest control. whose reposnsibility is this under south australian law?


    • November 8, 2016 @ 6:58 pm Michael Yardney

      Abir. Infestation and pest removal is usually the responsibility of the landlord


  138. December 3, 2016 @ 11:59 am Ingrid

    HI my tenants have broken the key off in the front door lock. Does this come under emergency repairs and are the landlords responsible for the replacement of the lock. Or as the lock has been in good working order and new keys were provided at beginning of tenancy because the tenant broke the key is it their responsibility to replace the lock and provide new keys to the landlord. The property comes under NSW law.


    • December 3, 2016 @ 1:30 pm Michael Yardney

      I can understand why you may think this is a grey area, but if you think about it it would be very hard to break a key unless the lock was stuck, if the lock worked properly the key would turn it and nothing would have brocken.
      Accept it as a cost of owning an investment property and don’t let it bother you


  139. January 2, 2017 @ 7:35 pm Anna

    Hi Michael,

    I recently signed a lease for 6 months for a studio in Sydney’s Inner West, a terrace that was quartered and recently renovated 6 months ago, fresh with a new house smell. The problem is, I have now left the property after a week as this ‘smell’ left me waking up with sore eyes/ears/throat, exacerbated eczema and dizziness for hours after leaving the apartment. This was worst when using the ‘ventilator’ in the apartment. It was a little better when I slept with the window open, but it’s a ground floor apartment with *severe* noise pollution from 6am. I am currently a nomad until the real estate open at full staff this week.

    The place was advertised as having a front courtyard with door and clearly had an openable window. I left the inspection unconcerned, I assumed I would just leave the window open and air the space out. After moving in, I quickly learned I was living now right under the busiest Sydney flightpath (Stanmore which as 41-293 planes a day) and despite being four suburbs away from the airport, the international planes are low flying due to the suburb being higher up than those closer. The place is soundproofed, which helps, as the noise is too loud and frequent to be reasonably tolerable otherwise.

    I have since left, frustrated that the inspection had been quiet due it it just simply being held within a quiet air traffic patch, plus there was sound-proofing anyway. I lived down the road previously, and was never overly bothered by the prevalent planes of the Inner West. Being directly underneath them is a whole new ballgame. The root of my problem here is that I have no choice but to have the noise pollution (which I could not mentally handle), or seal the place off, close everything only to be visibly affected by the indoor fumes (I ended up getting a medical certificate detailing my reactions). On calling up my real estate agent and expressing that this is not ok, she simply forwarded the terms of the lease and said it would be 6 weeks rent upfront to end the lease, and has been on holidays since.

    Could you help steer me in the right direction with rights/responsibilities when discussing ventilation issues, indoor pollutants and excessive aircraft noise?


    • January 2, 2017 @ 8:30 pm Michael Yardney

      You’re in a difficult position Anna. You were aware of the location of the apartment, so I don’t think you can argue about the “noise pollution.”

      Similarly if you are allergic to the “new house smell” but it is clean and in new condition, I’m not sure what argument you have against the owner to break your lease. You may just have to ask the agent to find a new tenant and pay their costs and put it down to experience


      • January 2, 2017 @ 10:30 pm Anna

        I do appreciate your prompt response Michael, you’re good to answer these queries!

        I guess my case lies in that I’m likely reacting to cheap building materials/paint still off-gassing after 6 months — without the option of sufficient ventilation. The repeated dizziness is what makes it serious for me, when needing to work etc. Keep in mind that those toxins are still around when others don’t react so easily.


        • January 3, 2017 @ 6:06 am Michael Yardney

          Anna – yes you are in an unfortunate position that you seem to be reacting more than others are, but I’m not sure how this helps your case – you signed a lease which binds both you and the landlord for a fixed time.


  140. January 9, 2017 @ 8:15 am Abs

    Hi Michael,
    I subleted my garrage due to some emergency without owner consent for a very short period of time (1 Months). The sub-leter kept some furniture inside garrage. The building caught fire within one month and all the garrages in that apartment has burnt fully along with the furniture inside. Actually, there is no written paper for sub-letting. Real-estate knows verbaly about sub-letting but didn’t interfare much on that. The furniture owner now threatening me to give his money back for extremely huge amount.
    What could be the leagal solution, if this case brought to the court?
    – Abs


    • January 9, 2017 @ 9:19 am Michael Yardney

      While the building would be insured by the owner (landlord) this would not cover your contents or that of your friend who subleased your garage.
      I’m not a lawyer but I can’t see how he could sue you for this – it’s his property that he must insure


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