Frequently asked questions

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What is the difference between a rooming house agreement and a residential tenancy agreement?

A rooming house agreement is used where boarders or lodgers rent a locakable room in a property in which there is accommodation for three or more people. You might rent your room on your own or with a friend. The owner ( proprietor ) might also live in the property or just visit regularly. Some owners visit to provide meals or clean the common areas or just check that all residents are abiding by the House Rules which the owner must have displayed in a place where all residents can see them.

A residential tenancy agreement is used where you (the tenant ) rent the whole property from the owner ( landlord ), or you rent a room from the owner and share the rest of the house with other tenants who also rent a room from the owner. Under a residential tenancy agreement the landlord cannot come onto the property without consent or without first giving you proper notice.

When I pay money to the owner, should I get a receipt ?

If the payment is made in cash the owner ( proprietor / landlord ) must give you a receipt immediately. If the payment is made in a form other than cash a receipt must be given within five days. However if the payment is made into a bank account kept by the owner ( proprietor /landlord ) or their agent, a receipt does not have to be given.

What can I do if the owner ( proprietor / landlord ) won't return my bond at the end of the agreement

Contact the Tenancies Branch on 8204 9544

Do I have to complete the inspection sheet at the commencement of a residential tenancy agreement ?

When you move into a property the landlord must provide you with two copies of a completed inspection sheet. This sheet will indicate the condition of the property. You should check the inspection sheet and note any areas where you disagree with the landlord's assessment of the property. Make sure that you note these changes on both copies of the inspection sheet, and then give one copy to the landlord. It is important for you to have this record as you may need it at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute about the condition of the property.

How much bond can my landlord ask for under a residential tenancy agreement ?

The maximum bond a landlord can ask for depends on the weekly rental amount. If the rent is $250 or less per week the landlord can ask for a bond that is equal to or less than four weeks rent. If the rent is over $250 per week the landlord can ask for a bond that is equal to or less than six weeks rent.

Always get a receipt immediately when paying a security bond.

Can the landlord hold on to the bond money under a residential tenancy agreement ?

No, the landlord must lodge the bond money with OCBA Tenancies Branch within seven days of receiving it. If the landlord has an agent managing the property for them, the bond must be lodged within thirty days of receiving it. Once, the bond has been lodged the Tenancies Branch will send you a receipt so that you know the bond has been lodged.

Where is the Office of Consumer & Business Affiars ( OCBA ) ?

Office of Consumer & Business Affairs

Chesser House

91 - 97 Grenfell Street

Adelaide, SA, 5000

Phone: 08 8204 9544

Website: http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au/tenancies/res/index.html