Tenant Rights (Residential)

Tenants Obligations
It is very important that tenants understand their obligations relating to a rental property. If they do not fulfil their obligations then it is possible their bond may be lost when problems arise.

A tenant must:

  • Pay the rent on time.
  • Ensure the property is used for residential purposes.
  • Keep the property up to a reasonable standard of cleanliness.
  • Inform the landlord of any damage as soon as possible.
  • Pay for the repair of any deliberate or careless damage by the tenant.
  • Comply with all conditions in the tenancy agreement.
  • At the end of the tenancy remove their belongings and leave the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness. Return any keys and leave the chattels provided by the landlord.
  • Allow the landlord reasonable access to the property.
  • Pay for all electricity, gas, telephone services used by the tenant.

A tenant must not:

  • Damage or allow others to damage the property.
  • Use or allow others to use the property for any unlawful purpose.
  • Interfere with the neighbours peace and comfort.
  • Make any alterations to the property in anyway without the landlord's permission.
  • Refuse the landlord entry when they are entitled to enter.
  • Sublet without the express permission of the landlord.

Giving Notice to Finish a Tenancy
Any notice to end a tenancy must be:

  • In writing.
  • Give the address of the tenancy
  • Give the date when the tenancy is to end.
  • Be signed by the person giving the notice.

In general, a tenant has to give a landlord at least 3 weeks notice in writing when they want to end the tenancy. A landlord must give a tenant at least 3 months (90 days) written notice to end the tenancy. However, if the landlord needs the property for family members or employees or has an agreement to sell and the buyer wants the property empty then the notice period can be 6 weeks (42 days).

If the notice is given for 42 days only then it is a good idea for the landlord to let the tenant know why the notice is not 90 days. If the tenants choose to move out sooner than the date given by the landlord then they must give 21 days written notice to the landlord. Sometimes the landlord won't mind the tenant leaving earlier but it must be agreed to between the two parties in writing. With fixed term tenancies neither the landlord nor the tenant is able to end the tenancy by notice. The tenancy ends on the date stated in the tenancy agreement.