Tenants – Up-front costs of your new rental home

Tenants who are renting homes and apartments need to be aware there may be a little more than paying a refundable up-front bond when signing on a new lease agreement with the real estate agent.

Depending on which state in Australia, there are one-off expenses which tenants may be required to pay, especially in the case of brand new apartments, units or townhouses which tenants are moving into for the first time. It is always advisable to check with the Department of Fair Trading if tenants are unsure about their rights and obligations.

Based on guidance from the Department of Fair Trading, a list of common expenses which the tenant is liable to pay in the course of leasing a new residential dwelling include the following items:

  1. Water usage – tenant can only be charged for the metered amount of water usage. In the event there is no individual meter for a rented premises such as apartments and units, then a tenant cannot be charged for water usage.
  2. One-off and on-going expenses which include opening of account with utilities such as:
  • Electricity provider
  • Gas provider
  • Telephone / internet service provider

The landlord is responsible to pay for all service charges relating to water and sewerage issued by the local water supply authority. Under no circumstances can connection fees be passed on to the tenant.

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