Some Common Questions Regarding Commercial / Residential Tenancies (i.e. landlord/tenant)

Disclaimer: This content has been prepared by third party lawyers, not by ARAG nor by the Insurer. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not intended to constitute legal advice, and you should not rely on this information as a substitute for obtaining your own legal advice. If any of the below issues apply to you, then you should obtain legal advice about your specific circumstances. ARAG and the Insurer disclaim any liability for damages howsoever arising out of or in connection with the use and/or reference to any of this content.

Published on 01.07.2020.

There is a problem with the water supply in my apartment. I have called my landlord several times, but they are not doing anything to fix it. What can I do?

Your landlord is required to ensure that your apartment is supplied with water. Water supply touches and concerns the property that you are renting, and your landlord is legally obligated to fix this problem. If your landlord refuses to assist, you can make an urgent application to the relevant Tribunal to seek an order that the landlord fulfils his/her obligations under the tenancy agreement.

I lease several properties and have had problems with one of my tenants. They keep defaulting on their rent and damaging the inside of the home. Am I able to terminate their lease?

In ordinary circumstances, your tenant is obligated to pay rent as specified in your agreement. They are also responsible for repairing the damage that they cause. You may be able to terminate the lease if these events have occurred.

You must also consider your state’s COVID-19 eviction regulations and whether the tenant has been financially impacted by the pandemic.

My landlord has given me an eviction notice. I have been unable to pay my rent because I have lost my job due to COVID-19 restrictions. Is there a way that I can challenge this?

Most states have introduced eviction moratoriums due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the circumstances which permit a landlord to evict their tenant. In NSW, the government has implemented a 60-day stop on landlords issuing eviction notices where a tenant has been financially impacted by COVID-19. This requires the landlord to negotiate a rent reduction in good faith, and only issue an eviction order after the 60-day period has concluded if it is reasonable to do so.

The government has advised that tenants must meet certain criteria of financial disadvantage to qualify for this grace period. This involves a COVID-19 impact test. One or more rent-paying members of your household must have lost their employment or been required to reduce their working hours, and the weekly income of the household must have been reduced by at least 25%.

The insurer of ARAG Legal Expense Insurance products is HDI Global Specialty SE – Australia (ABN 58 129 395 544, AFS License number 458776) (Insurer). ARAG Services Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 14 627 823 198, AFS Licence number 513547) (ARAG) has been granted delegated authority by the Insurer to enter into, vary or cancel policies and handle claims for ARAG Legal Expense Insurance products on the Insurer’s behalf.
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