Disclosure requirements before entering into a rental agreement guide

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Under new renting laws, rental providers (landlords) must disclose important information to renters before they sign a rental agreement. 

Before entering a residential rental, rooming house or site agreement, the renter, rooming house resident or caravan/residential park resident must be informed of whether: 

  • an agent has been engaged to sell the property or, if a contract of sale has been prepared, that there is an ongoing proposal to sell the property,
  • there is action underway to enforce a mortgage over the property which means the mortgagee is acting for possession of the property,
  • the rental provider is not the owner of the property, and what rights they have in letting the property 
  • the electricity is supplied to the property from an embedded electricity network, and the details of this network 
  • the premises or common property is known by the rental provider to have been the location of a homicide in the last 5 years 
  • the premises comply with the rental minimum standards 
  • the rental provider has received a repair notice in the last 3 years that is related to mould or damp in the premises which is caused by or related to the building structure (this requirement starts on 31 December 2021) 
  • the date of the most recent gas safety check, electrical safety check, and pool barrier safety check (if relevant) 
  • there are any outstanding recommendations to be completed from a gas or electrical safety check 
  • the premises is registered under the Heritage Act 2017 
  • the premises is known by the rental provider to: 
    • be contaminated because the premises has been used for trafficking or cultivation of a drug of dependence in the last 5 years 
    • have friable or non-friable asbestos based on an inspection by a suitably qualified person 
    • be affected by a building or planning application 
  • the premises or common property is known to be the subject of any notice, order declaration, report or recommendation issued by a relevant building surveyor, municipal building surveyor, public authority or government department relating to any building defects or safety concerns for the property, 
  • there is a current domestic building work dispute under the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 which applies to or affects the premises, 
  • there is a current dispute under Part 10 of the Owners Corporations Act 2006 (any internal dispute, for example between lot owners, occupants and/or the manager) which applies to or affects the premises, 
  • there are any owners corporation rules applicable to the premises – and if so, the renter must receive a copy of them.  

Who does this apply to?  

This information applies to residential rental premises, rooming houses, caravan parks and residential parks. For rooming houses and caravan/residential parks, there are also some additional pieces of information that must be provided.  

Additional information for rooming houses 

Before entering into a rooming house agreement, the rooming house resident must also be informed of whether: 

  • the rooming house operator is licensed under section 16 of the Rooming House Operators Act 2016 

  • the rooming house is registered under Division 4 of Part 6 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 

  • the rooming house operator is a registered housing association or registered housing provider and is not required to be licensed under section 7(1) of the Rooming House Operators Act 2016.  

Additional information for caravan and residential parks 

Before entering into a site agreement, the caravan or residential park resident must also be informed of: 

  • the caravan/residential park rules 

  • a list of amenities available for use 

  • whether the park or site is in a flood area 

  • whether the park or site has a history of subsidence 

  • whether the park is being operated under a lease.  

What is an embedded electricity network? 

An embedded electricity network is where a privately owned and managed network supplies power to all the properties in a single building or development. 

For example, where a caravan park or apartment complex owner buys electricity in bulk from a retailer and then on-sells it to customers inside their network. 

If homes are in an embedded network, renters may have to buy their electricity from that network and changing to another retailer may be difficult and costly. 

The new rental laws apply from 29 March 2021.