NSW Rights and Obligations during Tenancy

Landlords and tenants have various rights and obligations during the tenancy agreement. These include paying for utilities, repairs and maintenance, and security.

This guide covers landlords (or head-tenants) and tenants (or sub-tenants) in a Residential Tenancy. This applies to the majority of share accommodation and residential property rental situations. To confirm it covers your situation visit What is my share accommodation situation?

Who is responsible for utility fees and other charges?

Various different charges arise during the tenancy for the premises. Generally, tenants pay for utilities like water that are separately metered for their use. Landlords pay for most other charges like land taxes and council rates.

Read more about Fees and Charges

What rights and obligations do tenants have?

Throughout the tenancy the tenant has a number of rights owed to them by the landlord, as well as various obligations they must fulfil. For example, the tenant has the right to enjoy the rented premises without any interference by the landlord. The tenant is also under an obligation to keep the premises clean and to notify the landlord of any damage.

Read more about Tenants’ Rights and Obligations

When can the landlord enter the premises?

During the tenancy the landlord may need to enter the premises for a particular reason. Importantly, landlords can only enter under a certain number of circumstances. If the tenant consents, the landlord can enter at any time. If the tenant does not consent, then the landlord can only enter for specific reasons like an emergency or to conduct repairs.

Read more about the Landlord’s Rights to Enter the Premises

Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

Landlords are under a general obligation to provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair throughout the tenancy. Therefore it is generally the landlord’s responsibility to conduct or arrange for repairs. If the tenant believes that maintenance is necessary but the landlord refuses, then they can apply to the Tribunal for an order requiring the landlord to conduct repairs.

Read more about Repairs and Maintenance

When can alterations or additions be made to the premises?

Before the tenant installs any fixtures or makes any alterations to the premises, they must get the landlord’s consent. Unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise, installations or alterations are at the tenant’s expense.

Read more about Alterations and Additions

Who is responsible for security?

The landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining the premises at a reasonably secure standard. Each of the tenants should be given a key for the premises at no extra charge at the beginning of the premises. Generally, if the locks need to be changed by the landlord or tenant they should get the consent of the other party.

Read more about Security and Locks


These legal guides provide a brief summary and introduction of the laws and regulations affecting share accommodation. They do not cover all cases in all legal jurisdictions and might not apply in your specific share accommodation situation. It is important that you use this information as a guide only and seek independent Legal Advice or consult the Relevant Acts. We do not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.