A lease or tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract, so don't rush into it.
Do not agree to a lease unless you are sure that you understand all the details. If you have any doubts at all, don't feel pressured to sign it or even agree to it verbally. Get independent advice from UniSA Accommodation Services or the Tenancies Branch.
A fixed term lease has a start and end date, and cannot be changed unless both you and the landlord agree to the changes. Here are some important points about different types of leases.
Although a fixed term lease can be assigned to another person who is willing to take over the property, we recommend that you start a new lease instead. With a new lease, you avoid complications regarding liability for damages caused by previous tenants.
Always use written agreements in English. You can download standard Residential Tenancy or Rooming House agreement forms.
If a landlord agrees to improve something in the rental property (eg. paint the walls, install an air-conditioner, replace window locks, etc.) ensure that this is specified in the lease, including the completion date.
Some landlords include water usage in the rent, some don't. Ensure that the details of the arrangement are absolutely clear in the lease. For more specific advice, please refer to the Tenancies Branch fact sheet on water charges.
Obtain and keep a copy of your agreement.
If you are entering a boarder/lodger agreement (owner lives in the same property as you), the tenancies laws may not apply to you. Ensure that you have a written record of your arrangement with the home-owner. This can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Download an example of a boarder/lodger occupancy agreement.