A Residential Tenancy Agreement, also known as a lease, is given to a successful applicant of a rental property, by either the agency who is managing it or the landlord.
It is a legal contract between the landlord and tenant which can be in either written or verbal form, however it is recommended it be in writing. It must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Extra terms and conditions may be added to the lease agreement however, these must also comply with the Act.
Where the lease is in written form, the agency or landlord must give the tenant an unsigned copy of the lease. This is because there is no cooling off period when a tenant signs a lease, therefore they must read through it carefully before signing and it is recommended they ask questions to clarify any parts they may not understand.
The lease is given to the tenant in triplicate to sign (1 copy each to – agency, landlord, tenant) before the tenant moves into the property and outlines:
– the amount of rent and how it is to be paid (weekly/fortnightly/monthly
– the length and type of tenancy
– the amount of bond required
– other conditions, rules and special terms agreed to by the parties
The two most common types of lease are:
Fixed Term:A fixed-term lease is for a set period of time, usually six or 12 months. After a fixed-term lease expires, a tenant can either sign a new fixed-term lease or roll automatically onto a periodic lease. If neither party gives notice to end the fixed term agreement, the agreement also automatically becomes a periodic agreement.
Periodic:A tenant will usually roll over to a periodic lease (commonly called a ‘month by month’ lease) when their fixed-term lease ends. Normally, when a lease becomes periodic, the tenant does not sign a new lease; however, the terms and conditions of the original agreement still apply. A tenant on a periodic lease does not have to sign a new fixed-term lease, although if they do not they may risk the security of their tenancy.
No matter which type of lease it is, if a tenant or landlord wishes to give the other party a Notice to Vacate, it still needs to be in writing and minimum notice periods still apply (including the number of days to allow when notice is sent by registered post, based on the day of the week it is posted).
One Agency Robert Mure will take the stress and anxiety out of renting your home. We pride ourselves in taking very good care of your investment and freeing up your time so you can get on with enjoying life.