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Tenants Advice

Who pays for Electricity, Water & Gas?

The landlord pays for the physical installation of services. The landlord also pays for the annual supply charge for water and sewerage. The landlord pays for all rates and taxes, which includes the ‘water abstraction charge’ on your water bills because that is a tax.

The tenant must pay for the connection of all services in their own name. The tenant must also pay for any costs associated with the consumption of services, unless otherwise agreed upon by the landlord.

Do I need Contents Insurance?

You are not legally required to obtain contents insurance, however, it is generally a good idea to have your belongings insured.

What fees do I have to pay?

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the landlord or property manager can only charge you rent and bond (section 15). There are no fees mentioned anywhere in the legislation.

However, if you breach a term of your tenancy agreement and this causes the landlord a loss, you can be ordered to pay compensation.

How much notice must I give to end my tenancy?

If your fixed-term tenancy has expired, you must give 21 days’ notice of your intention to vacate the premises in writing. Please note that the period of notice commences on the day that we receive your formal written notification, and not on the day that it is written.

The purpose of the notice is to allow your landlord or agent time to organise advertising and for a date for the final inspection.

Do I have to get the carpet professionally cleaned?

During a tenancy, you have to take reasonable care of the premises and keep them reasonably clean. Some landlords and property managers request that you have the carpets steam cleaned once a year, however there is no need to do this under tenancy law.

At the end of your tenancy you are obliged to return the property in substantially the same condition and level of cleanliness as it was at the beginning of the tenancy. Allowances are made for fair wear and tear. If you signed a lease that stated you would have the carpets cleaned when you moved out, and if the carpets were steam-cleaned before you moved in, you will have to pay for the carpet to be cleaned.

If the landlord is planning on replacing the carpets when you end the tenancy, get the landlord to confirm this in writing. You do not have to steam-clean the carpets if it would be of no benefit to the landlord.

Can the landlord change the locks?

The landlord or agent cannot lock you out of your home. Even in an emergency, if the locks are changed the other party must be provided with a copy as soon as possible. If you have been locked out you may be entitled to compensation.

Who do I call if I have an after hours maintenance emergency?

In the case of an after hours emergency please refer to your lease pack. An emergency situation is interpreted as a situation in which, if not rectified immediately, further damage to the property and/or injury to a person or persons could occur. Within your pack you will find a contact list with details of who to call for immediate assistance.

For more information regarding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant contact your property manager.

Blackshaw Corporate

27 Bougainville Street
Manuka ACT 2603