Know Your Rights

“You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are.”

- John Roberts

Being a student is the coolest period in our life. You have already finished school, enrolled in a University, College or Academy, and are looking for accommodation options away from home, with students like yourself. At this point, a lot of questions may arise in connection with the search for a room and the signing of a rental contract. Before you sign a rental contract, you need to study your rights and responsibilities. You also need to know that the contract signed by the tenant and the landlord must comply with the legal standards of your state and territory. An agreement between the tenant and the landlord is called a residential tenancy agreement. A careful study of your rights will allow you to avoid the problems associated with renting the premises.

 The most important questions when renting

 Am I eligible to get rent assistance?

 Full-time students who are Australian residents may be eligible for rent assistance. To get more information, go to the Department of Human Services website.

 Department of Human Services (Rent Assistance) (opens in a new window)


 What do I have to know before signing a contract?

 You must receive from your landlord or agent all documents, such as a tenancy agreement, bond lodgement form, and premises condition report. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information

 NSW Fair Trading (New Tenant Checklist) (opens in a new window)


 Do I have any privacy rights during a rental tenancy?

You have the right to privacy during the rental period. A landlord or agent cannot visit the premises without your consent. Access to housing is possible only in accordance with the lease and your consent. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information.

 NSW Fair Trading (Privacy when renting) (opens in a new window)


 Are there any rules regarding rent increases?

 The rent may be increased by the landlord on the terms specified in the tenancy agreement and so long as 60 days’ written notice is given. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information.

 NSW Fair Trading (Rent increases) (opens in a new window)


 What should I do in case of a breakdown or leakage in a rented house?

 In case of any breakdown that needs fixing you must contact your landlord or agent. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information.

 Fair Trading (Getting repairs) (opens in a new window)


 Can I terminate the lease agreement before the deadline?

 You can terminate the lease agreements, but in this case, you must refund the landlord some costs. There are some circumstances in which you can terminate the lease agreement early without penalty. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information.

 NSW Fair Trading (Breaking a lease early) (opens in a new window)


 Can I get my bond back in case of termination of the lease agreement?

 You can get your bond back. In case of violation of the terms of the lease agreement or the destruction of the rental property, your bond will be withheld in favour of the lessor. Visit the Fair Trading website to find more information.

 NSW Fair Trading (Getting your bond back) (opens in a new window)


 I am an international student. Where can I get information in languages other than English?

 The Fair Trading website provides important information in 17 languages.

 NSW Fair Trading (International Students) (opens in a new window)

 A tenant's guide (in foreign languages) (opens in a new window)



 Did you find mistakes?

 Please feel free to relay your comments, suggestions or corrections, in case of omission or mistake.

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