English Introduction


PDF Short introduction to your rights as a tenant in NSW [PDF]

Below is a very short introduction. For more information, see the full list of Tenants Rights Factsheets.

Short introduction to your rights as a tenant in NSW

Tenants in New South Wales have rights. The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 is the law that sets out the rights and responsibilities you have as a tenant. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal hears disputes between landlords and tenants under this law.

Moving in

Your rights:

  • to be given a copy of the residential tenancy agreement. There is a standard form of agreement that all landlords must use. It is a legally binding contract
  • to be given a condition report filled out by the landlord
  • to be required to pay no more than 2 weeks rent in advance
  • to have any bond you pay to your landlord lodged with NSW Fair Trading; the bond should be for no more than 4 weeks rent
  • to be given your place, including any outdoor space, in a safe, clean and reasonable condition.

Remember your responsibilities:

  • to give the landlord a copy of the condition report with your comments within 7 days of the start of the agreement. The condition report is important evidence if there is a dispute over the bond at the end of the agreement.

During your tenancy

Your rights:

  • to be given rent receipts if you pay in person or by cheque
  • to have exclusive use and quiet enjoyment of the premises
  • to have reasonable safety and security
  • to have necessary repairs carried out in a reasonable time
  • to be given notice when the landlord wants to visit. You should get 2 days notice for access to do repairs unless they are urgent repairs and 7 days notice before an inspection
  • to be given 60 days written notice of a rent increase. You can challenge a rent increase but you must apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal within 30 days of receiving the notice.

Remember your responsibilities:

  • to pay rent on time
  • to care for the premises
  • to report the need for any repairs or maintenance
  • to pay utility bills
  • not to alter or make additions without the landlord’s written permission
  • not to change any locks without the landlord’s written permission
  • not to interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours
  • not to use the premises for illegal purposes
  • to ask the landlord’s written permission before you make any changes to tenancy arrangements, for example sub-letting or transferring your tenancy to another person.

Leaving

Your rights:

  • to be given correct written notice of termination. Your landlord must give you 14 days notice if you have not kept to the terms of the agreement or are 14 days behind with the rent.

    If your agreement ends on a specified date your landlord must give you 30 days notice before that date if they want you to leave. After that date 90 days notice is needed to terminate the agreement.

Remember your responsibilities:

  • to give correct notice when you leave. To end the agreement at the end of the fixed term you must give 14 days notice in writing. If you want to leave before the end of the fixed term you may be liable to pay the landlord a fee or compensation. 21 days notice in writing is needed to end a periodic (continuing) agreement
  • to leave the premises in the same condition as when you rented them, except for normal wear and tear.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The tribunal hears disputes between landlords and tenants. If you and your landlord cannot come to an agreement, apply to the tribunal for an order to enforce your rights. The tribunal will make decisions about your case according to law.


Your landlord cannot evict you. Only the tribunal can.

Tips

Start by reading your residential tenancy agreement. Get some help if you cannot understand it.

Tell your landlord, or the landlord’s agent, about any problems and tell them what you want. You should confirm anything you say or agree to in a letter to them. Remember that the agent works for the landlord.

Keep a written record of what happens between you and your landlord or their agent, including what each of you said and when. Keep copies of your:

  • residential tenancy agreement
  • condition report
  • receipts for rent and bond money
  • letters and written records.

Never sign a blank form or any papers you don’t understand.

If you receive notice of a tribunal hearing you should always attend, even if the landlord says you don’t need to go.

Remember that if you stop paying rent you can be asked to leave. Rent strikes do not work.

There are more factsheets available on this website at on a range of topices, such as starting a tenancy; rent increases; repairs; share housing; access and privacy; utilities; and the landlord ending the agreement.

For more help

Contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service for free, independent tenancy advice. Workers will be happy to call you back if you are making a long distance call.

If you need an interpreter phone 131 450.

 

For more information, see the full list of Tenants Rights Factsheets.

 

© Tenants' Union of NSW July 2014

 

 

 

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