When moving into a new rental property it’s important you know your rights as a renter. There are basic standards that every owner must comply to. This protects you as a renter from unsafe living conditions.
By law, owners must ensure that the property you’re living on is safe and fit for living in. When looking at rental properties take note of the following:
- Is the property structurally sound etc. weatherproof.
- Is it clean and in good condition inside and out.
- Must have working smoke alarms.
- Reliable hot and cold-water systems.
- The property can be secured/locked.
- Contains bathroom facilities with flushable toilet and bath or shower.
- Has cooking facilities, including stove, oven, wash basin and kitchen sink.
- Safe electricity and heating (i.e., fixed heater in main living area).
- That the windows have privacy.
- Is the house ventilated?
See more here
In the instance of an issue that makes the property unsafe, your first step is to talk to your property manager. If the owner does not fix it, they have breached the lease agreement. They are also violating the Residential Tenancy Act.
If you believe that the issue is serious enough and the property manager or owner has not responded in an acceptable amount of time, you can make a complaint to the Residential Tenancy Commissioner. This does not guarantee the owner will comply, but they can be fined for not following their duties.
Find more about filing rental disputes here
If wanting to end your lease, you must give them 14 days’ notice. This can be done through a Notice to Terminate.
If you are seeking compensation, you can get support from Tasmania Legal Aid.
Link to Tasmanian Legal Aid can be found here
A lot of renters don’t know or understand their rights, but it is important that everyone has a safe a reliable home to live in.