Leasing in New South Wales

Leasing in New South Wales

Earning money from your property is a very exciting prospect, especially if your property is located in New South Wales or NSW. NSW, the state where Sydney is situated, is one of the perfect places in Australia to start property leasing due to its rich cultural and economic background. However, before can you earn from your property, there are certain rules that you need to comply first when leasing in New South Wales. One of them is crafting the best residential tenancy agreement. You have to know, though, that these regulations are specific only in NSW.

Leasing in New South Wales: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in New South Wales?
What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?
How do I craft a tenancy contract?
How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?
How can I make property management easier?

What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in New South Wales?

Leasing your property in NSW may require more paperwork than you expected. Before you begin screening potential tenants, you need to get the essential documents to ensure the legality of your actions. Once you have done it correctly, this will guarantee that your tenancy business will operate smoothly and without conflict to any state or federal laws.

Here are some of the documents and permits that you need to secure:

Planning and Building Permit

Does you property need to undergo some repairs or major modifications? If so, then certainly you need to get a planning and building permit first from the council. However, if the repairs concerned are only minimal, then you don’t need to get a permit anymore.

Heritage Permit

If your property is located on or near a heritage site, then you cannot commence any kind of repair - whether major or minor without the approval of the Office of Environment & Heritage. However, if the repair on your property is only a minor one, you can apply for exemption using the Exemption Notification Form.  

Swimming Pool and Spa Permit

As a property owner, it is your duty to ensure the safety of the tenants that are going to use the facility, especially the children. In NSW, any swimming pool or spa with water needs to have a good barrier or fence to prevent small children from drowning. This particular requirement applies to both outdoor and indoor swimming pools and spas.

What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?

Requiring your potential tenant legal documents will make your duty as a landlord a whole lot easier.

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to choose the best tenants that could give you with good earnings monthly and reduce your operational costs. One way to screen the possible tenants is by writing a tenant checklist. The checklist you will help you determine their potential without risking any square inch of your property.

Here is a sample requirement checklist that you can use to screen the applicants:

  • Valid IDs and proof of income. This is one way of checking that the person signing for tenancy tenure in your property is definitely the one who they say they are. In addition, the proof of income provides you information that the applicant can really pay the agreed rental fee on time.
  • Check the National Tenancy Database. The National Tenancy Database keeps records of tenants who have bad records. Through this, you can know the tenant’s behaviour on their previous properties that they have rented. But you have to know that using the National Tenancy Database is not free. You have to do this only if you are ready to offer the applicant a tenancy contract.
  • Call their employers. Calling the applicants’ employers will give you a clue about the tenants’ behaviour. If the applicant is a good employee, there is a good possibility that they will treat your property with utmost respect.
  • Character references. Tenants must provide character references to help you judge their personality. Through this, you can tell if they are responsible, clean, respectful, and peaceful neighbour.

Here are some other documents you can require them:

  • Employment details.
  • Proof of income.
  • Recent bank statements.

Once they have submitted these documents, ask them for approval to call the names that they have given for character references.

How do I craft tenancy contracts?

All agreements made in Australia, whether written or verbal are considered legal and binding. However, it would be best if the contract that you are going to enter with a possible tenant is in written form. Written contracts are a good way of providing evidence of any possible breach in the contract in case disputes with your tenant arise.

Basically, there are two kinds of agreements that you can offer your tenant:

  • Fixed-term agreement. If the tenant wishes to rent your property for 6 to 12 months, then the contract would be fixed-term. Any day exceeding the specified time period stated on the tenancy contract is punishable by a fine or legal action from the court. During this period, the landlord cannot forcibly evict the tenant unless there is a serious breach in the contract such as damage to property and the neighbouring properties.
  • Periodic or continuing agreement. A periodic or continuing agreement is a contract that has no specific end date. You can only terminate or end the contract if the tenant has decided to end the contract earlier than agreed or if they are in serious violation of the provisions written in the tenancy contract. If a fixed-term contract ends and a new lease contract is not finalised, the tenant’s contract will automatically turn to a periodic agreement.  

How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?

It is not uncommon for a landlord and a tenant to find themselves in a dispute. This may begin on a violation of any part of the tenancy agreement by either landlord or tenant. In any case, disputes need to be solved first amicably before deciding to terminate the contract.

Here are some tried and tested suggestions on how to handle tenant disputes:

  • Talk to your tenant personally. Talking to your tenant personally will save you time, effort and money that you could otherwise spend on resolving the matter. Make sure that you know your tenant’s work schedule so that you can set up a meeting with them. If the tenants cannot allocate time, you can also discuss the problem to them over the phone.  
  • If talking to the tenant did not yield the expected result, you can issue a notice of breach of contract. It is a written notice you can give the tenant to allow them to fix their supposed breach.
  • Bring the dispute to a third-party mediator if the notice of breach of contract did not resolve the matter. The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal or NCAT is considered the primary setting for deciding residential tenancy issues between tenants and landlords. They will decide on the finality of case. Also, their decision is considered legal and binding.

You should remember that a landlord can only file a complaint if the tenant is uncooperative and is deliberately violating the rules and regulations stipulated in your lease contract.

How can I make property management easier?

Managing a property for the first time is not as easy as it seems. There are many cases wherein the landlord loses a tenancy dispute case on the NCAT simply because they don’t know their responsibilities.

Here is how your can make your work as a landlord or property manager a whole lot easier:

  • During the first day of the tenancy, make sure that you inform your tenants their respective duties and responsibilities. Ask them if they have really understood every provision on the contract as much as possible before giving them the property.
  • Make sure that you give prior notice before setting up and doing repairs and maintenances inside the property. You could give them at least a week’s worth of notice before doing any kind of work inside the property. Once they have noted your notice of repair schedule, only then they can give you permission to begin the repair and maintenance.
  • Ask the tenants for any kind of updates about the state of the property. This way, you can prepare the budget for repairs and maintenance ahead of time.
  • Always take time to update yourself with NSW tenancy laws. The NSW government always updates their laws from time to time. Not knowing these legislation changes will certainly put you in an unfavourable position someday.


Leasing in New South Wales is truly a complex process, especially if you are new to property management scene. However, once you find that you have complied with the rules and regulations, you will certainly find earning money from your property enjoyable and exciting. All it takes for you to make the most out of your property is one cooperative tenant.

If you find that these leasing regulations are too tough for you to handle, you can always hire a property manager. Send us a message and we'll connect you with the best property manager in the area.