Renters and tenants need to be aware of their obligations when renting. They also should take safeguards to protect their interests.

The expert property lawyers at Parke Lawyers have prepared this guide to assist in navigating and understanding these issues and how to address them.

Do a thorough condition report

A reliable condition report can assist you greatly in the event there is a dispute between you and the landlord in relation to any damage to the rental property. Take photos of the property at the start of your tenancy, particularly of any damage present and keep those photos with your condition report. You should also consider engaging a professional building inspector to assist you in completing the condition report. Check all the electrical appliances and plumbing in the property are in good working order. You may also wish to consider what the costs of replacing fused lightbulbs in the property would be, and enquire if the landlord will be responsible for such replacements.

Check the tenancy agreement conditions and owners corporation rules

Do not rely on representations from the agent with regard to what you are allowed to do with the property, for example whether you can keep pets there, sub-let the property to another person or smoke inside. If you require certain things as part of your tenancy, make sure they are written into the tenancy agreement. They may be listed as “special conditions” in the agreement. If you intend to live in an apartment complex, it is wise to review the owners corporation rules carefully before you sign up to a tenancy agreement. Owners corporation rules can be quite restrictive – and sometimes unexpectedly so. For example, rules may provide that clothes must not be hung on the balcony or that only curtains of a certain colour may be used, to maintain the aesthetics of the building.

What if the landlord sells or puts the property up for rent?

If the landlord