Starting a tenancy

  • Know your rights and responsibilities before you look for a place to rent.
  • When you find a place you like, you may be asked to pay a holding deposit until you sign the tenancy agreement.
  • The type of agreement you sign will depend on the type of property you rent.
  • Read the agreement carefully before you sign it, or pay any money.
  • Make sure you are clear about the rent and what it includes (e.g. water, furniture, yard maintenance).
  • Get receipts for any money you pay (e.g. rent or rental bond) and a copy of the agreement.
  • A rental bond is paid at the start of the tenancy and is lodged with the RTA until the end of the tenancy.
  • Get a copy of the Entry condition report (Form 1a) and carry out a careful inspection on the property.
  • If you are renting a room, find out about the house rules and any special rules written in the agreement.
  • Get a copy of the RTA booklet Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units (Form 17a).

During a tenancy

There may be regular inspections by the property manager/owner. This is to check that the property/room is well maintained. Make sure the place is clean and tidy before any inspections.

End of a tenancy

  • You get your bond back at the end of the tenancy as long as no money is owed to the property manager/owner for rent, damages or other costs.
  • Bonds are refunded into Australian bank accounts only. International money transfers and cheque will not be issued.
  • See getting your bond back and ending a tenancy for more information.
  • International students should keep their Australian bank account open until they have received their bond refund from the RTA. Direct deposit refunds in Australian bank accounts are secure and take less than a week to process.

Useful resources

An interpreter service is available, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 during RTA hours of business. TIS will telephone the RTA for you at no cost.

Contact us for information on any aspect of renting.

Pocket guide for tenants - houses and units (Form 17a)
v11 Oct21

The Pocket guide for tenants - house and units (Form 17a) is for tenants who live in houses, flats, units, townhouses and houseboats. It includes information the tenant will need while renting and explains their rights and responsibilities under the law.

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