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Things to Know When Leasing Privately in NSW

Here’s what you need to do as a landlord in NSW and how to protect yourself

Before approving a tenant:

  1. Do a thorough check on the tenant (you can arrange this through us).
  2. Phone/check all the tenant’s references – they will be asked to supply details of their current employer, current landlord, and personal references on our tenancy application.
  3. Physically sight or take copies of proof of identification, proof of income, proof of address, and proof of rental history (e.g. lease agreement, written reference, or tenant ledger).

When you know you want to approve a tenant:

  1. Meet to sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement form (available here). At this time, you should also supply them with a New Tenant Checklist (available here). 
  2. Complete a property condition report within 7 days of the tenancy’s commencement. Keep one copy for yourself and supply two copies to the tenant. Where possible, it can help to minimise disagreements if you complete this with the tenant. You can download this report here.
  3. Request a bond of 4 weeks rent. When you receive it, make sure you give the tenant a receipt and have them sign a Bond Lodgement Form, available from any Service NSW service centre (what used to be RTAs), or Fair Trading office, or by calling 13 32 20. Important. You must offer the option of using Rental Bonds Online (Fair Trading’s secure online service) to manage and refund bond money easily and directly.
  4. Lodge the bond with Service NSW within 10 days. You can either post or take it to a Service NSW service centre. To cover damage, if the tenant breaks the lease or stops paying rent, you can apply for release of monies to you. Find more information about bonds and bond lodgement here. Bonds can also be lodged online. Register at Fair Trading NSW.

During the tenancy:

  1. Conduct routine inspections of the property up to 4 times a year and with 7 days written notice each time.
  2. Make sure you document any occurrences, (e.g. copies of any letters/receipts you send to tenant, photos of any damage etc.), just in case there’s a dispute in future.

Other recommendations:

We strongly recommend completing National Tenancy Database/TICA blacklist checks before approving any tenant (you can arrange this through PropertyNow). 

As well as checking tenancy blacklists, you should consider checking the ACCR criminal court attendance database here. You can also order full police background checks through PropertyNow, if you wish.

Most importantly, we recommend taking out Landlords Insurance – this covers you for theft, malicious damage, or loss of rent if the tenant stops paying.  There are many different providers so make sure to shop around. Here’s two to get you started:

We also strongly recommend reading Fair Trading NSW’s Renting a Home guide.