Before signing make sure you understand the contract and are happy with its terms and conditions. If in doubt, ask a friend who speaks good English to help or phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (fees apply).
Once you’ve signed a lease you are entitled to receive a copy from your landlord within 21 days.
Often you’ll be asked to pay up to two weeks’ rent in advance. If you pay the rent in cash or by cheque, the landlord must give you a receipt. If the rent is paid directly into a bank account no receipt is required.
When you sign a lease you are required to pay a ‘bond’ in most instances. This money is lodged by your landlord with the Tenancies Branch and returned to you in full when you move out, provided you have not damaged the property, have paid your rent in full and on time and no further claims have been made.
Make sure you receive an official receipt when you pay the bond. Bond is calculated on weekly rent: if you pay up to $250 a week the bond will cost no more than four weeks’ rent but if you pay more than $250 a week the bond will cost up to six weeks’ rent.
A tenant has the right to sub-let or assign the premises but they must first obtain the landlord’s written consent. For more information, CLICK HERE
Before moving in, your landlord is obligated to provide you with an Inspection Sheet which records anything that is broken or damaged on the premises. This stops you being unfairly blamed for damaging anything that was already broken before you moved in. It also protects the landlord, helping you prove if you have damaged anything.
How reliable are your flat mates? It’s important to know because if the lease is in your name you are responsible for debts, damage and other problems even if not caused by you. You are also responsible for paying gas and electricity bills and cancelling bills when you move out, if they’re in your name.
While in most cases you will need to pay for your own electricity and/or gas, most contracts will let you use 136 kilolitres of water without have to pay anything. However, some agreements may require you to pay for all water including the supply charge. Be sure to check your contract.
Although unlikely, fire and theft can occur. To protect your valuables you should consider contents insurance. Before entering into an insurance policy, make sure you understand the contract and are happy with its terms and conditions. Find an Insurance company in our Student Directory.
When renting your own place you must:
- Pay rent on time
- Keep the premises clean and tidy
- Pay for items you or your guests break
- Have guests stay over without permission from the landlord
You must not (and could be evicted if you do):
- Use the premises for illegal purposes (such as using or growing illegal drugs)
- Change the property (for example paint the walls) without permission from the landlord
- Interfere with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of another person who lives near the premises (for example by playing loud music).
The landlord must:
- Provide the premises in a clean and reasonable state
- Maintain and repair the premises
- Allow you peace, comfort and privacy
- Pay council rates and land taxes
- Give receipts for rent (unless paid directly into a bank account)
- Keep proper records
- Provide and maintain locks on the premises
- Give between seven and fourteen days’ written notice to inspect the property
The landlord cannot:
- Inspect the property more than once every four weeks
- Enter the premises at unreasonable hours to collect the rent
- Enter the place whenever they feel like it (other than to collect the rent).
The landlord can enter the premises:
- In an emergency
- For repairs and maintenance at a reasonable hour, provided 48 hours’ written notice is given
- During the last 28 days of the tenancy to show the premises to new tenants