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Starting a tenancy 

A guide for tenants

At the start of every tenancy, the landlord or agent must give you a copy of a Fair Trading publication called the New tenant checklist. This fact sheet contains important information to be aware of before signing a new tenancy agreement. Read it carefully and ask your landlord or agent about anything you do not understand.

You should also be given:

  • a copy of your tenancy agreement 
  • two copies of the premises condition report, which you should fill in, returning one of the copies to your landlord or agent within 7 days. Take the time to fill it out with as much detail and accuracy as possible. The condition report will be a key piece of evidence at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning, damage or replacing missing items. For more information, go to the Filling out a condition report page.

Video available Watch a video on the tenancy condition report

To view or download the standard Residential Tenancy Agreement and Condition Report, go to the Forms page.

From 29 April 2016, you must also be given a copy of a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate (issued within the last 3 years) when you enter a new tenancy for a property with a swimming or spa pool. This requirement does not apply to properties in strata or community schemes with more than two lots as they are already subject to Council pool inspections every 3 years. 

You should not be asked to pay for the cost of preparing your tenancy agreement, or for the initial supply of keys and security devices to each tenant named on the agreement. You should not be required to pay more than 2 weeks rent in advance, or more than 4 weeks rent as a rental bond. Your agent or landlord may lodge your bond using a paper based process or they may give you the option to lodge your bond using Rental Bonds Online, a new service introduced in July 2015. For more information on this service visit the Rental Bonds Online For Tenants web page. For more information about what the landlord or agent must do with your bond, go to the Taking a bond page.

The information on the following pages may also be useful to you when starting a tenancy.

Tenancy databases
Discrimination when renting

Fact sheet quick access

All the information in this section, Starting a tenancy, has been compiled into one ready-to-print PDF document. To print or download information on any or all of the two topics in this section, go to Starting a tenancy - information for tenants (in PDF format size: 470kb).

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All the pages in this section listed above can also be individually viewed or printed as fact sheets by clicking on the PDF icon located on each page.

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