A retirement village, which rents people a home with no premium, is called a lifestyle village. A premium is a one-off entry payment to live in the village.
A tenancy agreement, also known as a lease, is a legally binding contract. There are two types of agreement.
Fixed term agreement
A fixed term agreement is for a set period of time – eg 6 or 12 months. If a tenant moves out before the end of the lease they may need to pay for advertising, re-letting or rent until a new tenant is found.
A tenant or landlord needs to give at least 28 days written notice before the lease expires if they want the tenancy to end on time. If notice isn't given, the lease continues as a periodic agreement.
A periodic agreement doesn't have an end date. A tenant needs to give 21 days written notice, or a period equal to the rental period, when leaving – eg rent paid monthly = one calendar month's notice. A landlord ending the lease needs to give the tenant 90 days notice (or 60 days for a specific reason).
Tenants and landlords have a number of rights and responsibilities to follow. Visit starting a tenancy for more information.
A tenant may be asked to pay a bond:
- if rent is $250 per week or less, the bond can not be more than four weeks rent
- if rent is over $250 per week, the bond can not be more than six weeks rent.
Any bond must be lodged with Consumer and Business Services within two weeks – four weeks if the landlord has an agent. The landlord must provide a receipt within 48 hours of payment.
At the end of a tenancy, either party can arrange for the bond to be refunded. If there isn't a dispute – eg damage or unpaid rent – the bond can be refunded to the tenant.
In most circumstances, a bond can be lodged and refunded online.
Rent can only be increased once every 12 months or at the start of the lease. A tenant must be given 60 days written notice before increasing the rent.
Rent can't increase during a fixed term agreement unless it is stated in the agreement.
Rent can increase at any time if both parties agree. This might happen if an improvement is agreed on – eg air conditioning. This agreement should be in writing.