Tenant Obligations & Rights

Tenants rights and obligations

The tenants right to quiet enjoyment of the property

Sec 65. (1) It is a term of a residential tenancy agreement that –
(a) The tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the premises without interruption by the landlord or a person claiming under the landlord or with superior title to the landlord’s title; and

(b)The landlord will not cause or permit an interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the tenant’s use of the premises; and

(c) The landlord will take reasonable steps to prevent other tenants of the landlord in occupation of adjacent premises from causing or permitting interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the tenants use of the premises.

(2) If the landlord causes of permits interference with a reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of the tenant in the tenant’s use of the premises in circumstances that amount to harassment of the tenant, the landlord is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: $2000.

Tenants responsibility for cleanliness and damage

Sec 69. (1) It is a term of a residential tenancy agreement that the tenant –

(a) Must keep the premises and ancillary property in a reasonable state of cleanliness; and

(b) Must notify the landlord of damage to the premises or ancillary property; and

(c) Must not intentionally or negligently cause or permit damage to the premises or ancillary property.

(2) A tenant who intentionally causes serious damage to the premises or ancillary property is guilty of an offence.

(3) It is a term of a residential tenancy agreement that, at the end of the tenancy, the tenant must give the premises and ancillary property back to the landlord in reasonable condition and in a reasonable state of cleanliness.

Alterations to the property

Sec 70. (1) It is a term of a residential tenancy agreement that a tenant must not, without the landlord’s written consent, make an alteration or addition to the premises.

(2) A tenant may remove a fixture affixed to the premises by the tenants unless its removal would cause damage to the premises.

(3) If the tenant causes damage to the premises by removing a fixture, the tenant must notify the landlord and, at the option of the landlord, repair the damage or compensate the landlord for the reasonable cost of repairing the damage.

Not use the property for illegal purposes, or be a nuisance

Sec 71. It is the term of residential tenancy agreement that –

(a) The tenant must not use the premises, or cause or permit the premises to be used, for an illegal purpose; and

(b) The tenant must not cause or permit a nuisance; and

(c) The tenant must not cause or permit an interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of another person who resides in the immediate vicinity of the premises.

Conditions for tenant to claim for self-funded repairs

Sec 68. (3) If –

(a) Premises or ancillary property are in a state of disrepair that does not arise from a contravention of the residential tenancy agreement by the tenant; and

(b) The state of disrepair is, unless remedied, likely to result in personal injury or damage to property or undue inconvenience; and

(c) The tenant notifies the landlord of the state of disrepair or makes a reasonable attempt to do so; and

(d) The tenant incurs costs in having the state of disrepair remedied; and

(e) The repairs are carried out by a person who is licensed to carry out the necessary work and the person provides the landlord with a report on the work carried out and the apparent cause of the state of disrepair, the tenant is entitled to recover from the landlord the reasonable costs of having the repairs carried out.

Breaches of tenancy

What happens if the tenant breaks one or more of the conditions of tenancy?

Depending on what has happened depends largely on what action is taken. If the breach is minor approaching the tenant verbally or in writing may be appropriate. If it is something serious we will consult with the landlord first to discuss what action to take.

‘Serious breaches of tenancy’ may involve using the property for illegal purposes, or bringing in pets without prior permission, etc.

We may serve a termination notice to rectify the breach.