What type of tenancy agreement should I use?

Aside from the time frame, there are subtle differences between the three different types of tenancy agreements

  • A short fixed-term lease – which can run anywhere from one month up to five years – is required to be in a standard, written form.
  • A long fixed-term lease – an agreement that exceeds five years – allows a little more flexibility in the terms of the lease, including the ability for rent increases, "top-ups” to the bond to match rent increases, modifications to the property, and additional clauses to manage bringing the tenancy to an end.
  • A periodic or "month-by-month” lease begins life as a short-term lease. After the initial fixed term ends, the tenant can either sign a new lease or continue on a "periodic tenancy”. This means the tenant doesn’t sign a new lease, but the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement still apply on a month-to-month basis. Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the periodic tenancy with one month’s notice.
  • What must be included in a lease agreement

    A residential lease should outline:

    • the details of the landlord and tenant
    • the amount of rent and how it is to be paid
    • the length and type of tenancy
    • the amount of bond required
    • obligations on the parties, i.e. maintenance, cleanliness, use of premises, restrictions on sub-letting, etc
    • any special terms agreed by the parties.

    Most states have similar residential tenancy legislation, although there are some variations around pets, disability access, short-term sub-letting, and so on.

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    Jason Gwerder
    Monday, 7 December 2020

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