In Victoria, for residential properties, landlords are the property owner that permits another party to live in their home for a certain amount of time. The people who have been allowed the right to live in the property are known as the tenants. The landlord must be notified of the tenants that are living in the home, and they all need to be named in the agreement. If a tenant moves out before the end of the lease time has come, it is the right of the landlord to replace the tenant. 

The tenant and landlord relationship will occur when a landlord confers a right to occupy for the tenant. This right can be given as a written or verbal agreement. When a written agreement is given, known as a tenancy agreement, it must be done via the Victorian government standard lease form. If the tenant relationship is a commercial one, business lawyers may need to be involved.

Regardless of whether the agreement is referred to as a rental agreement, tenancy agreement or a lease, the rules will be the same for all rental properties. There are two types of tenancy leases. You can have a fixed-term contract that allows the tenant to live in the home for a certain period and makes it harder for the landlord to evict before the end of the lease. There is the periodic lease which is just a month to month agreement, with both parties able to end the lease at the end of the month. The tenants and landlords obligations in Victoria, before the relationship is even formed, will stay the same after the tenancy ends.

Landlords obligations include:

  • Preparing the lease agreement
  • Preparing a report that states the condition of the home
  • Lodging the bond with the right company
  • Respecting a tenants privacy
  • Ensure that their home is in a liveable condition
  • Organise any repairs that may need to be completed
  • Ensuring spas and pools are fenced
  • Make sure all water fittings are three-star rated
  • Completing a final inspection after the tenancy
  • Refunding a bond unless repairs are to be made

Landlord rights are:

  • To claim a portion of the tenants bond if damage has been done
  • The tenant must report the damage to the landlord
  • The home must be kept clean and tidy
  • Complete inspections of the house when the time has been organised
  • Receive their rent on time
  • To receive a rental bond

To solve a problem between a tenant and the landlord, the parties will need to have a chat about the issue. If the landlord has hired a property manager, the communication is done via the property manager to try and reach an agreement without the need for formal proceedings.

If an agreement has been reached, ensure it is put in writing. Both the tenant and the landlord sign the contract. That way if a party denies there was an agreement and refuses to uphold their end of the bargain; there is evidence to back it up which can be used in court if needed. Most times, there is a mediation process that can help the parties come to an agreement, leaving court as a last resort. Most often, the disputes are resolved, and there is no need to further complicate the matter by taking it to court. This is costly and time consuming for everyone involved.

It is essential to ensure you enlist the services of a conveyancing lawyer when making decisions about property. Real estate and property lawyers can assist to handle any queries or problems you incur. Enlisting property management services can also ease stress on landlords and free up their time.