Renting rights and responsibilities

There are differences between NSW and Victorian tenancy laws, so your rights and responsibilities may vary depending on whether you are renting in Wodonga or Albury. Do not assume that the information you are given in one state will apply across the border.

Information and support

Before you rent a property, read this important information on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website:

There is a free consumer advice service for advice, conflict resolution, house and agent issues: T: 1300 558 181.

You can also contact our Campus Accommodation Officer for information and advice
:

Building 4, top floor, room 4239
T: (+61 2) 6024 9847
E: accommodation.aw@latrobe.edu.au 

Applying for a property

To apply to rent a property, you must submit an application form to the real estate agent. The approval process may take a few days and there are likely to be other people applying for the same place. If you have rented or boarded before, it is a good idea to bring a reference from your previous landlord. If you have not rented before, a character reference may be helpful.

We suggest you discuss your rental choices with the Accommodation Officer before you approach a real estate agent.

Signing a lease

You should do these things to protect yourself:

  • Thoroughly inspect the property before signing the lease or rental agreement.

  • Make sure you fill in the condition report accurately (see below).
  • Report immediately any issues with the house directly to the property manager.

Bond

A bond is money that the tenant pays as security in case they don’t follow the terms of the tenancy agreement. It is paid at the start of the tenancy and is usually an amount equal to one month’s rent. 

The landlord can only request a bond if there is a condition report. Landlords must deposit bond money with a government agency.

Your bond is refunded at the end of your tenancy, provided you have met the terms of your agreement. If you have not met the terms (e.g. if you owe some rent or damage the property) the landlord may try to claim some of the bond money to cover the costs.

You may also be asked to pay a bond for home board.

Condition report

A condition report is a document that records what general condition the property was in before you moved in. It’s usually first filled in by the landlord, then you must check it in detail, make any necessary changes, and sign it.

It is really important to fill this report in accurately, to protect yourself if there are any disputes about damage later on. For example, when you move out, if the landlord asks you to pay to fix damage that was already there, you can use the condition report as evidence that it was there before you moved in.

When you fill in the condition report:

  • Make sure you record all details and correct any parts that you think are not accurate – every imperfection no matter how big or small should be put on the condition report.
  • Take photos – photos that are dated make good evidence of the state of the property when you moved in.
  • Take the original to the agent or accommodation provider within three days of your lease commencing. Attach copies of photos to the condition report.
  • Keep a photocopy of the condition report and original photos for your own evidence.

Rent in advance

Tenants must usually pay rent in advance. For example if you pay rent monthly, you will be asked to pay the first month’s rent at the start of your tenancy. The landlord cannot charge you more rent until the month you have paid for has passed.