Renting in Hobart What are Your Legal Obligations?
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Baxton.me
4 February 2018

Renting in Hobart What are Your Legal Obligations?

As a prospective tenant in Hobart, you may wonder what legal obligations come with renting in Hobart, especially if you’re new to Tasmania. After all, laws vary from state to state. Of course, you know that you must pay your rent, and this is payable in advance, but what else can your landlord expect of you? The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania sets everything out neatly in a booklet you can refer to, and a good landlord will provide you with a copy. But just to sum things up, we’ll give you a broad outline of its contents.

Your Bond

You are obliged to pay a bond before moving in. Many private landlords aren’t even aware that the bond or security deposit you pay must be held by the Rental Deposit Authority. If you are asked to pay your bond directly to your landlord, you should point this out. If there are damages other than regular wear and tear, your landlord may claim the bond, but must justify why he or she is doing so.

What Payments are You Responsible for Other Than Rent and Bond?

Tenants in Tasmania must pay for water and sewage, but only if there is a meter that measures only their home’s water consumption. They also have to cover telephone bills and electricity bills. You’ll also have to pay for any damage to the property your family may cause. So, if your kid whacks a ball through a glass window, for example, that’s for your account. However, if the pane gives in because the window putty failed, it’s up to the landlord to pay for the repairs.

Maintaining the House and Yard

It’s up to you to keep the house and yard neat, clean, and tidy. Obviously, it’s in the landlord’s interests that you take good care of his or her property for rent in Hobart, but there’s also the matter of costs incurred if you fail to take good care of the property.

For example, landlords are responsible for pest control services, but if your kitchen is full of food residues, a household pest problem could be seen as being a form of damage you’ve caused. In that case, the cost of addressing the problem is your responsibility.

Getting Permission for Alterations

You may be eager to make certain alterations to the property, especially if you’re planning to stay for the medium to long term. As a rule of thumb, anything you can’t easily return to the condition in which you found it requires written permission from the landlord.

You can make minor changes without asking permission, but these must be things you can easily return to the original state.

Other Odds and Ends

Presumably, you’re not planning any illegal activities while you’re renting in Hobart, so let’s take the fact that you’re obliged to refrain from doing so as read. You probably also know that if you decide to get a pet or already have one, you need written permission to keep pets on the property.

Ending your Tenancy in Hobart

If your lease runs out in the normal way, all’s well that ends well, but if you decide to end your tenancy early, you have an obligation to “mitigate loss.” In practical terms, that means that you’re responsible for the rent until the time when your lease expires, or your landlord is able to find a new tenant. That includes any costs incurred to find a new tenant.

If, however, you are leaving because the landlord has failed to meet his or her obligations, you will not be liable for these costs provided you follow the correct steps.

Renting in Hobart: Deal with Professionals

We’ve heard stories of landlords dealing with their tenants in a less-than-professional way.  For example, they may try to claim for damages that never occurred, or say that the carpets need cleaning after you move out even though they didn’t have them professionally cleaned before you moved in.

Avoid unpleasant disputes by dealing with the people who will treat you right. Baxton Property Management in Hobart has established its reputation for professionalism by treating landlords and tenants fairly and in line with what the law requires. Renting in Hobart can be plain sailing if you choose Baxton.


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The information contained in this article is based on the authors opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.

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