- Who pays for Electricity, Water and Gas?
The Landlord pays for the physical installation of services. The Landlord also pays for the annual supply charge for water and sewerage. The Landlord pays all rates and taxes, which includes the ‘water abstraction charge’ on your water bills because that is a tax. The tenant must pay for the connection of all services in their own name and any costs associated with the consumption of services, unless otherwise agreed by the Landlord.
- Do I need Contents Insurance?
You are not legally required to obtain contents insurance; however, it is generally a good idea to have your belongings insured.
- What fees do I have to pay?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the Landlord or property manager can only charge you rent and bond (section 15). However, if you breach a term of your tenancy agreement which causes a financial loss to the Landlord, you can be ordered to pay compensation.
- Do I have to get the carpet professionally cleaned?
During a tenancy you have to take reasonable care of the premises and keep them reasonably clean. Some Landlords and property managers request that you have the carpets steam cleaned once a year, however there is no need to do this under tenancy law. At the end of your tenancy you are obliged to return the property in substantially the same condition and level of cleanliness as it was at the beginning of the tenancy, with allowances made for fair wear and tear. If the lease requires you to have the carpets cleaned when you moved out and if the carpets were steam-cleaned before you moved in, you will have to bear the carpet cleaning cost. If the Landlord is planning on replacing the carpets when you end the tenancy, get the Landlord to confirm this in writing. You do not have to steam-clean the carpets if it would be of no benefit to the Landlord.
- Can the Landlord change the locks?
The Landlord or Agent cannot lock you out of your home. Even in an emergency, if the locks are changed, each party must provide to the other with a copy of the keys as soon as possible. The Landlord can only lock you out of the property under a court order.
- Who do I call if I have an after-hours maintenance emergency?
In the case of an after-hours emergency please refer to your lease pack. An emergency situation is interpreted as a situation in which, if not rectified immediately, further damage to the property and/or injury to a person or persons is likely to occur. Within your pack you will find a contact list with details of who to call for immediate assistance. An inconvenience is NOT an emergency.