A person may enter into a written Residential Tenancy Agreement in order to rent in Tasmania. The agreement may be oral or in writing, although it is strongly recommended that tenants enter into a written agreement which will provide a clear record of your rights and obligations as a tenant. A Residential Tenancy Agreement is a contract that will state the terms of your rental, such as the duration and rent payable.
Age may not be a restriction to renting in Tasmania. A person under 18 years of age may enter into a contract, so long as it is for their benefit and they understand the nature of the contract. A lease is likely to be considered ‘for the benefit of’ a minor because it provides a necessary service. Therefore, a person under 18 years of age will be bound by such contracts unless they didn’t understand that the agreement would be binding when they signed it. A person under 18 years of age will be bound by such contracts.
A family has a legal responsibility for their children until they are 18 years of age. Your family has the responsibility of ensuring that you have a safe place to live. If you leave your home before you turn 18, your family may seek assistance from the police or the Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania to have you return home. Whether you are likely to be required to move back home will be dependent upon many factors. You will not be required to return home if it is unsafe for you to do so.
A landlord cannot discriminate against a potential tenant on the basis of age. A landlord may, however, have a number of reasons for rejecting an application for tenancy. It may therefore be difficult to prove that you have been discriminated against on the basis of age. You may lodge a complaint with either the Equal Opportunity Tasmania or the Australian Human Rights Commission if you believe you have been discriminated against.
People under the age of 18 sometimes have difficulty finding a landlord that is willing to rent them their property. They may be worried that you will damage the property or cannot afford the rent. Here are some things to include in an application for rent that may help your application:
A landlord may ask you to pay up to 4 weeks rent as a Bond upon entering into a lease. This will provide the landlord with security in case you breach your rental agreement, in certain ways, such as by not paying your rent. You must pay the bond directly to the Rental Deposit Authority, who will hold the money until you or the landlord makes a claim for the bond to be paid. Usually the tenant gets the bond back at the end of the lease. Your landlord can ask you to pay up to 4 weeks rent as a Bond. Your landlord can also ask you to advance a maximum of 1 payment periods rent (to a maximum of 4 weeks rent), which is often called a ‘holding deposit’ so make sure you budget for these costs.
There are two ways you can get your bond back after your tenancy agreement has ended:
if you and your landlord can’t agree on the amount, you can challenge it by sending the above form anyways but without the landlord’s signature. If the landlord disagrees with your claim, you might have to go to a hearing.
Your landlord can make a claim for any intentional, negligent or irresponsible damage you have caused. They cannot however make a claim for ‘reasonable wear and tear’.
Reasonable wear and tear includes:
Damage that you may be responsible for includes:
If you think that your landlord is unfairly holding on to all, or part, of your bond, you should fill out and lodge this form.
Your landlord must make sure the property is reasonably clean, do what’s reasonable to provide quiet enjoyment of the property and make sure the property is in good repair.
You must allow the landlord to enter when they have the right to, not cause a nuisance or disrupt neighbours, avoid damaging the property and common areas, not damage the property or allow damage by anyone you allow on your property, keep the property in a reasonably clean condition and not make changes to the property without permission from your landlord.
If either you or your landlord do not do all the things you are responsible for, the other person can may be able to terminate the tenancy, request compensation or apply for a Tribunal order to make the person in breach fulfil their responsibilities. Even if your landlord fails to fulfil their responsibilities, you should keep paying rent, otherwise they may terminate your rental agreement.
Landlords can increase your rent if your tenancy agreement allows them to do so or you have no written tenancy agreement but there are certain rules they must follow. If they do not follow the rules, then you do not have to pay the increase and. Your landlord:
You can challenge the rent increase by making a request to the Residential Tenancy Commission (you must make a request within 60 days after the landlord let you know of the increase). However, if the landlord complies has complied with the rules above, you should pay the increased amount even if you are in the middle of challenging it. If your challenge is successful, your landlord may be made to return your money.
Tips on what to do if you’ve missed a rent payments:
If you are late on rent, your landlord may notify you and give you at least 14 days to pay or vacate the property.
Co-tenancy is when there are two or more tenants who have signed the same lease. If you are co-tenants then you will be Jointly and Severally Liable under that agreement. This means that if you leave before your lease is up but your name remains on the tenancy agreement, then you may still be liable for the rent payments., therefore You should make sure that you let your landlord know in writing if you leave, so your name can be removed from the lease. Your responsibilities as a co-tenant include:
Therefore you can be sued for payment of required to pay for rent and damage to the property and/or be evicted even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
Sub-tenancy is when one or more of the tenants are the Head-Tenant and the others are the Sub-Tenant. Only the head-tenants’ name(s) will be on the lease. The head-tenant is responsible for all the actions of the sub-tenant. The head-tenant becomes the landlord for the sub-tenant and will be responsible for all the things a landlord is responsible for. A tenant cannot sub-let the property without the landlord’s written consent. See Consumer Affairs for more details.
You may be able to end your Tenancy Agreement if you are able to come to an agreement with your landlord to end the agreement, if your landlord has breached your agreement, if your landlord has failed to repair damage to the property that was not your fault within 28 days of you telling them, by giving the correct 14 days notice if you have a Periodic Tenancy Agreement where the fixed term has expired or no fixed term has been agreed or by breaching the agreement. If you breach your agreement you may have to pay your landlord compensation to find a new tenant. You can use this form to give your landlord notice that you would like to leave.
You may be able to apply to the Magistrates Court to terminate your Tenancy Agreement if your landlord has or is likely to cause damage or harm to yourself, a neighbour, the property, or a neighbour’s property and where a Family Violence Order is made against a tenant.
If you accidentally leave items behind, you should contact your landlord as soon as possible to arrange for them to be returned. If you don’t, your landlord can:
If any of your items are sold, you are entitled to claim the money (minus any amount you owe your landlord, such as outstanding rent). You have to claim your money within 6 months, or it becomes the property of the Residential Tenancy Commissioner.
Blacklisting is a process that involves a tenant being added to a Tenancy Database. A Tenancy database may include information about you as a tenant that might make it harder for you to rent a property in the future.
You may be added to the Tenancy database after your tenancy has ended. Your name will only be added if:
Your landlord must inform you if they want to put your name on a Tenancy Database and give you at least 14 days to review the information and object to the accuracy, completeness and clarity of the information. A landlord considering your application who comes across your name on a database must also tell you.
You can request the Tenancy database listing to be changed or removed. Write to your landlord using this sample.
If that doesn’t work, you can appeal to Residential Tenancy Commissioner. You can appeal to the Commissioner if the listing is more than 3 years old. You can also appeal to the Commissioner if you think the listing is unjust, inaccurate, incomplete, ambiguous or out of date (you have repaid the bond difference or the court’s termination order wasn’t enforced). The Commissioner may then order for the listing to be removed or changed.
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