Understanding your responsibilities as a tenant

There’s no denying the fact that the current market conditions in Perth favour tenants. There’s an unprecedented number of rental listings which brings plenty of choice for renters.

Having so many options gives tenants the chance to negotiate a good deal, move out of share accommodation to live on their own or move to a more desirable area.

Despite this, tenants need to remain mindful of their obligations and responsibilities.

Rent

Paying rent on time seems obvious but there are tenants who, for whatever reason, fail to do so. Your lease agreement will outline the amount of rent required to be paid each week, when the rent will be paid and the method in which it will be paid.

Condition of property

Tenants have an obligation to keep their rented property clean and tidy and regular inspections of the property will ensure you do so. There’s an expectation that the property will be kept in a similar condition to what it was at the start of the tenancy, taking into account general wear and tear of course.

When it comes to the condition of the property, tenants are responsible for basic household maintenance. This might include things like changing light globes, gardening and cleaning. Upkeep of the property with regards to things like plumbing, gutter damage and water leaks should be taken care of by the lessor.

Damage

If the property you rent is damaged in any way, either caused by you as the tenant, adverse weather conditions or because of another reason out of your control, you must notify your landlord or property manager as soon as possible so necessary repairs can be carried out.

Breaking a lease

If you break a fixed term lease, you will need to seek permission from the lessor, via the property manager. You should give as much notice as possible so that all reasonable steps are taken to find a replacement tenant as soon as possible.

As the tenant you are responsible for paying rent and maintenance expenses on the property until a new tenant is found or the original tenancy period expires.

This can become a costly exercise so I recommend you only break a fixed-term lease agreement if you have compelling reasons to do so.

Things are a little simpler if you have a periodic lease where you’re just required to provide 21 days notice, in writing, to your property manager or landlord.

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