The rights and obligations of landlord and tenant

The landlord/tenant dynamic is rarely smooth, even at its best.  But the COVID-related rental freezes in 2020 further divided relations and opinion.

Getting back to basics

Simple reminders often stem potentially complicated situations. 

Entering into the contractual commitment of a residential or commercial lease is a legally binding agreement under which both parties comply with individual responsibilities.

The laws and conditions vary according to the state. 

Victoria, for example, is implementing changes to rental laws from March 29 for the increased safety and fairness of tenant and landlord. But the basic rules apply.

As with any harmonious and mutually compatible arrangement, communication is key – and landlords and tenants have their distinct roles to play and duties to fulfil.

We touch on a few areas where landlord and tenant rights, rules and regulations hold sway:

The landlord’s duties  

  1. In the first instance, a landlord must provide a dwelling that is safe and habitable. Once a contract has been signed, the landlord is in breach of his leasing agreement if the residence is deemed unsuitable for residential use when the tenant is due to move in.
  2. A landlord is required to not only maintain the premises in a physically habitable and housing code-compliant manner, but he or she is obliged not to interfere with the tenant’s permissible use of the premises, without notice.   
  3. Recoverable costs associated with damages and repairs can be perceived as a grey area. The landlord is obliged to pay for internal or unforeseen repairs. However, in the case of a broken electrical system, for example: if the landlord refuses payment for repair and the tenant is forced to remedy the situation at their initial expense, the cost is the ultimate responsibility of the landlord.  

Duties and rights of tenancy

  1. By law, the tenant is obliged to pay the rent on time, not use the premises for illegal purposes, and refrain from wasteful practices and wilful damage.  
  2. The tenant has the right to refuse the landlord entry, unless the tenant has received 24 hours’ written notice. Permissible entry is generally accepted between 8 am and 6 pm on any day, public holidays excluded. If these terms are breached, the landlord’s unauthorized entry is tantamount to committing an offence. 
  3. The tenant may break their lease, depending on the rules of their bond and other contractual agreements. If a tenant leaves the premises before the terms of their lease, they forfeit or partially forfeit their bond entitlements. If the property is damaged during a tenant’s occupancy, the tenant is financially responsible for any and all repairs.   

If in doubt about your rights and duties as a tenant or landlord, you are advised to consult your property manager promptly.  


Managing Director – New Vision Financial Services & New Vision Real Estate After years in the banking, finance & commercial sector Chris noticed that the industry needed a company with a personal touch that offered their customers a complete solution. In 2015 New Vision Financial Services was created to allow our consultants to use their experience (including approving and structuring large complex commercial transactions through to basic home loans) and to concentrate on offering a personalised service to their clients. With the growth and success of New Vision Financial Services a decision was made in 2019 to launch New Vision Real Estate to provide an end to end solution for client weather they be first home buyers or seasoned investors. Chris has built a team at New Vision Financial Services and New Vision Real Estate that have access to over 70 different lenders, insurers, lawyers, accountants and financial planners giving you more flexibility when making a decision. We offer a full service Real Estate agency offering Sales, Leasing, New Developments, House & Land and Commercial. Call me anytime on 0433 181 544 or email The team at New Vision Financial Services have access to over 70 different lenders, giving you more flexibility when making a decision. Our consultants have had extensive experience within the banking, financial and corporate sector. At New Vision Financial Services we specialise in finance lending for home, investment, business, commercial, asset, debtor and many other requirements. As New Vision Financial Services has progressed, we have developed strong relationships with professional service providers such as; Financial Planners, Accountants, Settlement Agents, Leasing & Equipment Providers, Debt Management Specialists and any more to allow our clients access to a complete suite of services.