Frequently asked questions
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
A tenancy agreement is a written legal document between a tenant and the property owner (landlord) which explains the terms and conditions of your living arrangement. Example of a Standard form Tenancy Agreement in fillable PDF format (size: 114kb) from NSW Fair Trading.
Do I need a Tenancy Agreement?
Yes, the tenant and landlord are both required to sign a tenancy agreement before the tenant moves into the property. More information on what you must know before you sign a lease.
What kind of Tenancy Agreements are there?
There are 2 types of tenancy agreements - a ‘Fixed Term Agreement’ and a ‘Periodic (continuing) Agreement’.
If an agreement is for a specific period of time (eg., 6 months), then this is a fixed agreement. This type of agreement must include the end date, and may be used at either the start of a new tenancy, or when renewing an existing agreement once the initial fixed term period has finished.
If a fixed agreement has finished, and a new agreement has not been signed, the tenant will automatically move to a periodic agreement. You can also have a periodic agreement from the beginning of a tenancy but this is uncommon. In a periodic agreement, you and the tenant must follow the rules set out in the original agreement (or in the prescribed standard agreement if there wasn't a signed agreement).
The rights and obligations under both types of agreements are generally the same. However, there are differences in relation to terminating the tenancy and rent increases. If you fail to have a written agreement in the proper form at the start of a tenancy, penalties can be imposed. In addition, you are unable to evict the tenant without a reason or put the rent up during the first 6 months.
For more information on tenancy agreements, please visit - Fair Trading.
Can the landlord charge for the preparation/copying of the tenancy agreement?
No, the landlord is not allowed to charge the tenant for printing or preparation of the tenancy agreement. Stamp duty is no longer payable on tenancy agreements. Please note – if the tenancy agreement is for more than 3 years, the tenant may be required to pay the cost of registering the tenancy agreement with the Land and Property Management Authority.