Landlord Obligations

Being a landlord involves a lot more than collecting rent and maintaining the property.

As a landlord it is important for you to understand your rights and responsibilities.

While your property manager will advise you and act on your behalf, as an investor, it’s a good idea to understand the rules setting out your obligations as a landlord.

Unfortunately many landlords managing their own rental properties are not familiar with the regulations and become disillusioned with owning an investment property because “the tenant is being difficult”. Rest assured tenants know their rights; the problem is that many landlords don’t and the rental process can become very problematic.  

As the landlord you must:

  • Provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair and cleanliness Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) ss 67, 68];
  • Comply with all statutory requirements affecting the premises Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) s 68(1)(b)];
  • Not cause or permit any interference with the tenant's reasonable peace, comfort or privacy [Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) s 65];
  • Take all reasonable steps to enforce the obligation of the landlord's other tenants in adjacent premises not to cause any interference with the tenant's reasonable peace, comfort or privacy [Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) s 65(1)];
  • Give the tenant vacant possession of the premises on the day the tenancy is to begin [Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) s 64(1)];
  • Provide and maintain locks and other devices that are necessary to ensure that the premises are reasonably secure (SA) s 66]. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can alter or change the locks without the other's consent;
  • Provide written notification of their change of address details to a tenant within 14 days [s 48];
  • Keep proper records of rent and any other payments and provide statements and/or receipts as requested(SA) ss 57, 58];
  • Keep a copy of the residential tenancy agreement for no less than 2 years from the date of termination [s 49];
  • Pay all statutory rates. However, water supply rates and charges shall be paid for as agreed by the landlord and tenant; Where there is no agreement and the supply of water is separately metered, rates and charges are to be paid by the tenant. In any other case, rates and charges are to be paid by the landlord(SA) s 73];
  • Provide written notice of their intention to sell the residential premises not less than 14 days after they have entered into a sales agency agreement. If the property is sold, the landlord must provide written notice of the purchaser and the date from which rent is to be paid to them, at least 14 days before settlement [s 71A].