Leasing in Tasmania

Leasing in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is a federal Australian territory that shares borders with Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland. It is considered as the least populated territory – with only 246,700 people on the area. However, as the economy is steadily rising, more and more job opportunities are showing not only for the locals but also for people from other places in Australia.

If you have a property in the Northern Territory, now is a good time to earn money by leasing it.

Leasing in Northern Territory: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in the Norther Territory?
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 the Northern Territory?

Leasing your property in Northern Territory for the first time is not as easy as it looks. As required by the Northern Territory law, you need to get the necessary documents and permits first before you can lease your property.

Here are some of the permits that you need to secure when leasing in Northern Territory:

Planning and building permit

Before you rent out your property, you need to make sure that it is in ideal condition. If there are some spots that need to be repaired, you need to seek planning and building permit first before executing any repairs.

Heritage Permit

If your property is considered a heritage or sitting in a heritage site, you need a permit from the Heritage Branch before carrying out any kinds of repairs.

Swimming pool and spa permit

According to the Swimming Pool Safety Act, if your property is less than 1.8 hectares and has a spa or swimming pool, you need to build a barrier or a fence that meets certain safety standards. Any pool or spa that is located in the ground, above ground, portable, and inflatable pools at houses, units, caravans, and townhouses, and mobile houses.


Leasing in Northern Territory

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

Leasing a property requires many legalities that both the tenant and the landlord need to fulfil. If you are going to lease your property in the Northern Territory, you need to be as legal as possible to avoid hassles and setbacks, both with the tenant and with the state or federal law.

When interviewing potential tenants, it is essential that you ask them to submit the following documents:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of income
  • Employment details
  • Recent bank statement
  • Rental history
  • Character references

Always make sure that you ask for permission before calling the names the applicants provided in their character references. This way, the persons mentioned won’t be surprised if you call them about the applicants’ tenancy.

How do I craft a tenancy contract?

Any kind of agreement, whether verbal or written, is considered legal and binding in Australia. A tenancy contract is not different. However, if you are going to enter an agreement with a potential tenant, make sure that you craft a written contract. This way, you can present clear evidence to the authorities if ever there is a breach of contract on the end of the tenant.

Before turning over the property to the tenant, make sure that it is at least:

  • Weatherproof
  • No leaking roof
  • Clean
  • Good repair
  • Good bathrooms and toilets
  • Excellent cooking facilities
  • Excellent electricity and water connection
  • Excellent lighting capability
  • Has a working heating facility
  • Well-ventilated

Turning over your property to the tenant in an unsatisfactory condition is a grave violation of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Fixed-term

If the tenant is going to rent your property for at least six to 12 months, the contract would be fixed-term. During this period, the landlord cannot forcibly evict the tenant unless he or she is in breach of the tenancy contract. Fine examples of breaches in the tenancy contract are non-payment of rent and extensive damage to your property.

Periodic

The contract is periodic if the tenant rents the property in an unspecified amount of time. The tenancy continues until the occupant gives the notice to end it. During the tenancy, the landlord cannot forcibly evict the tenant unless he or she is in violation of the contract.

After writing a tenancy contract, it is imperative to tell the tenant to pay the bond. A bond is a payment that acts as a security against any possible damages the tenant might cause during the tenancy.

You should bear in mind, however; it is illegal for a landlord to receive the bond directly. If your agent received it, the payment would be deposited in a tenancy trust account. You also need to make sure that the tenant has a copy of the receipt if they paid cash, cheque, or credit card. The receipt must show the following details:

  • Date issued
  • Name of the person/tenant who paid the bond
  • Amount paid
  • The address of the property

If there are two or more tenants, the contract must state how much would be paid by each. Otherwise, it would be assumed that each tenant paid equal amounts. But if the tenant has paid via electronic bank transfer, then you don’t have to issue a receipt anymore.

If you found out that the property has suffered a certain amount of damage during the tenants’ stay, you can claim the bond and use it as some sort of payment for the repairs.


Leasing in the Northern Territory

How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?

Believe it or not, disputes between landlords and tenants happen. It occurs when one party violates one or more violations stated in the tenancy contract. If you think that your tenant has violated a provision on the agreement, you can do these steps to correct it:

Talk to the tenant

Talking to the tenant directly is an efficient and cost-effective way of resolving disputes. If you are having difficulty talking to the tenant, make sure that you get a copy of his or her schedule in order to set a date for dialogue.

Issue a notice of breach

If talking to the tenant is not working, you can issue them a notice of breach. It informs the tenant in writing that he or she is in violation of certain provisions in your tenancy contract. However, if the breach in the contract is still not resolved, you can issue them a notice to vacate the property.

Bring the matter to a third-party mediator

Sometimes, you cannot resolve tenancy issues with just dialogue or written notices. If you are having trouble establishing communication with your tenant to bring the issue to an amicable resolution, you can bring the matter to Northern Territory Consumer Affairs.

You have to remember, though, that you cannot forcibly evict your tenant unless you have the decision of the Consumer Affairs.

 

How can I make property management easier?

Managing a property for the first time is not easy. It takes plenty of time and research before you can handle the leasing business by yourself. Hiring a property manager would help you decrease the stress of managing your property.

It also pays a lot to study and update yourself with the Northern Territory law. This way, you can stand your ground firmly during times of disputes with tenants. Knowing a great deal about tenancy laws can save you money and time. It also prevents you from bringing the issue to the court.  

 

Professional property managers are always updated with the current regulations regarding tenancy, especially in the specific state they have been working in. If you are looking for property managers in the Northern Territory, send us a message and we'll connect you with a reputable property manager to fulfill your needs.