Many individuals often sign Residential Tenancy Agreements (“Agreement/s”) without thoroughly reading the document, nor understanding what is required of the parties to the Agreement. There are some key matters and obligations to be aware of, whether you are entering into an Agreement as a Landlord or as a Tenant.
In NSW, the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) (“the Act”) governs domestic leasing relationships between individuals, sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants and is a key piece of legislation given there being an estimated 30% percent of renters across the state.
Under the current laws, all landlords are required to provide their tenants with the following:
Condition report of the property (this is to be completed by both parties at the beginning and end of the tenancy with the aim of identifying any potential or existing issues at the property in order to minimise any disputes arising during/at the end of the Agreement);
Residential Tenancy Agreement (there is a standard form provided in NSW which is binding on the parties once it has been populated and executed and this stipulates the expectations and rights of both parties during the tenancy); and
Tenant Information Statement (this is to be provided by the landlord/agent before executing the Agreement as this explains to any prospective tenants what a residential tenancy means and the options available to tenants).
The above-mentioned documents may not seem overly important in the preliminary stages of a leasing arrangement, but these provide clarity and assurance when potential conflicts arise, clearly express the rights and obligations of parties and are a key factor when determining and attributing fault and liability.
Residential Tenancy Agreements are often disregarded with parties, specifically tenants willingly signing such Agreements without providing the necessary thought required for such transactions. Ultimately, this Agreement, once executed is binding and will govern any disputes or issues that arise throughout the term of the tenancy, so it is paramount that the Agreement is given due consideration by all.