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Do you know your General Obligations as a Property Owner??

By March 11, 2017No Comments

The RTRA (Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation) Act prescribes obligations for both Owners and Tenants, ensuring both sides of a Tenancy Contract remain fair and equitable.

A Property Owner’s major obligation is covered in Section 185 of the RTRA Act (see insert). This states that Owners are required by law to present and maintain their properties to a certain standard.

When it comes to general repairs and upkeep of appliances, it makes sense for an Owner to maintain these items as it also maintains the valu
e of their investment.

However, there are a few items covered in this section that may not appear obvious.

Owners are also responsible for ensuring that essential services to the property are maintained.

Examples of this may include:

  • Access to water
  • Sewerage fee
  • Annual Gas Facility Fee
  • Connection to phone/NBN


Tenants would be responsible for their usage costs, but any fee associated with access to this service must be paid by the owner.

Failure by an owner to adhere to Section 185 may result in an early termination of a tenancy and/or financial compensation to the tenants.


185 Lessor’s obligations generally


(2) At the start of the tenancy, the lessor must ensure—

(a) the premises and inclusions are clean; and

(b) the premises are fit for the tenant to live in; and

(c) the premises and inclusions are in good repair; and

(d) the lessor is not in breach of a law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises.


(3) While the tenancy continues, the lessor—

(a) must maintain the premises in a way that the premises remain fit for the tenant to live in; and

(b) must maintain the premises and inclusions in good repair; and

(c) must ensure any law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises is complied with; and

(d) if the premises include a common area—must keep the area clean.


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