A Guide To Understand Lease Agreements In Canberra

A Guide To Understand Lease Agreements In Canberra

By : Angelina
Renting is one of the most affordable options for people and families moving to metropolitan cities like Canberra with limited financial resources. It is good to choose a rental property over buying a new house when running low on budget.When looking for a suitable rental house or apartment in Australian Capital Territory (ACT), thoroughly read the residential tenancy laws and lease agreements  to know your role, rules, responsibilities, clauses, duties, etc.  

Since a tenancy agreement is a legal document for the landlord and the tenant, ensure you know each and every aspect before signing it.

Here is a complete guide to understanding the lease agreements in Canberra, ACT, for a hassle-free experience:

A Guide on Tenancy Agreement in ACT

The Residential Tenancy Act 1997 is a crucial renting law in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It governs the rights and obligations of landlords/lessors/property managers and tenants/renters in the tenancy agreements.

According to this legislation, both parties must sign a binding document that includes the details of the lease, such as:

  • Terms of Lease
  • Rent and bond
  • Due Dates
  • Entry and Privacy
  • Fees
  • Mode of Payment
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Occupancy limits
  • Termination and eviction guidelines
  • Clauses
  • Agreed-upon conditions.

Both parties sign a lease agreement before the tenant moves into the premises. The process takes place after the landlord and tenant have reached an agreement on all the terms and conditions of the tenancy, including rent amount, lease duration and other provisions.

According to the agreement, a landlord has the right to hold back your bond money if the property is in a dirty state. That’s why most tenants hire professionals for detailed end of lease cleaning Canberra. They handle all the cleaning requirements and help tenants get the full bond back at the end of a tenancy.

The state government has introduced a Standard Form Tenancy Agreement that should be used for all residential tenancies in the state.

What are the Terms & Conditions of A Rental Agreement?

1. Rent Amount and Payment

The agreement includes the agreed amount of rent to be paid by the tenant. It includes the frequency of payment, such as monthly or weekly. It will also outline the accepted mode of payments and penalties for late payments.

2. Lease Duration

The written binding document also states the start and end date of the tenancy. So, carefully decide whether you want a fixed-term or a period lease before signing the papers.

3. Bond Money or Security Deposit

The agreement outlines the amount of the security deposit or bond, which is equal to three weeks of rent. A tenant has to pay the bond amount after signing the agreement and can claim a residential rental bond back at the end of the tenancy.

It also addresses the situations under which bond deductions, such as unpaid rent or dirty premises, may be made. That’s one of the reasons why tenants hire professionals for a thorough end-of-lease cleaning in Canberra and pass the rental inspection.

4. Property Maintenance & Repairs

The rental agreement clearly states the responsibilities of both parties related to maintenance and repairs. It is a tenant’s responsibility to maintain a clean state of the premises and return it in a pristine state at the end of tenancy.

Tenants must address and report maintenance issues to the landlord and make necessary repairs if they have damaged anything during their lease (except normal wear and tear).

It is good to hire professional end of lease cleaners Canberra who follow room-by-room cleaning checklist to help you pass the inspection.

5. Termination and Renewal of an Agreement

A well-crafted agreement should state the processes and notice periods required for terminating the lease. It should also include the renewal process for fixed-term and the automatic ones for periodic leases.

6. Pets and Additional Occupants

Do you have a pet? Read the clause to know whether pets are allowed on the property or not. There is also a term and condition for an additional occupant in ACT.

7. Entry and Access

It also includes the rights of the landlord to access the rented house for inspections, repairs and other crucial purposes. However, they need to provide a notice period before entering the premises for the sake of a tenant’s privacy.

Here is a complete guide on what property managers look for in a rental inspection at the end of a tenancy.

What are the Types of Tenancy Agreements in Canberra?

There are three different types of lease agreements that you can opt for depending on your specific needs. These are:

Fixed or Long Term

These agreements are used when both parties want to ensure security and stability over a longer period- which is between one to five years. It offers greater protection as compared to other types of lease agreements.

Short-Fixed Terms

These are usually for six months of lease or fewer. The tenant signs the agreement when he agrees to live in a rental property over a short period of time.

Periodic Agreements (month to month)

These are the least popular ones across Australia. However, it offers flexibility to both parties as they require no end date. Periodic tenancies can be renewed automatically at the end of each period unless either the lessor or the renter provides notice to terminate the lease.

What are the Obligations of the Landlord?

Landlords or property managers must give a copy of the proposed agreement and the standard terms to every renter before signing the agreement. A tenant needs to read and understand the terms of the agreement.

In addition, the landlord has to give the tenant a copy of the signed agreement within 3 weeks. Both parties should take enough time to read the terms before making the final decision.

What is the Importance of a Lease Agreement?

A rental or lease agreement is legally binding between the landlord and the tenant. It is signed when both parties are agreed upon the rights, obligations, roles, and responsibilities. This provides clarity and legal protection, minimising the chances of miscommunication.

A well-crafted agreement can be used as evidence in case of a rental dispute. That’s why it is always important for a tenant to read the agreement carefully before signing it. This can help them at the end of a tenancy.


These are some key aspects to help the landlords and tenants understand the lease agreements in Canberra. With respective terms and conditions and clauses, you can live in a rental property without any dispute, as there will be a written agreement on rules, responsibilities and duties for both parties throughout the tenancy.