What is a Lease?

A lease, or rental agreement, is a contract between you and the landlord or real estate agency that sets out your terms and conditions of the tenancy.

A lease should include:

  • how much rent you have to pay, when it is due and how it is to be paid;
  • how much bond you have to pay;
  • the names of the tenants;
  • when the lease starts, how long the lease is for, and the date that the lease ends;
  • who to contact if something needs repairing;
  • your obligation to keep the house clean and tidy.

The lease may also include things like:

  • if you are allowed to have pets at the property; or
  • whether any utilities are included in the rent (ie. water and electricity).

You will be asked to sign the lease agreement – make sure that you read it carefully and completely understand the lease that you are signing, and that you ask for a copy of the signed document and keep it in a safe place – having a copy of the lease may assist you at a later stage if any dispute is raised concerning the terms of your agreement.

As well as your lease or rental agreement, it’s also a good idea to keep a copy of the completed condition report for the property and a copy of the body corporate by-laws if applicable.

Check below for who to contact in your region if you need help or advice with a lease.

Any extra rights and obligations that are not contained in the lease will be covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.  Where a term written in a lease conflicts with the Residential Tenancy Act, the Act overrides the lease.

If you do not understand the lease you can seek advice from the Tenants Union.