Rental agreements

Rental agreements

This video provides basic legal information about rental agreements and dealing with real estate agents. It is the part of a series of videos about the law for people who have recently arrived in Australia. See more videos at What's the law?

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Transcript

Text: Renting

[Saw Paw Kunoo and his girlfriend, Nan, stand with their backs to the camera looking at an apartment that displays a “FOR LEASE” sign out the front. Nan clutches at Saw Paw’s arm.]

Nan: This unit is perfect for us!

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw and Nan facing each other and smiling in agreement.]

Saw Paw Kunoo: Yeah, it’s good. Let’s go back to the agent and fill in the forms.

[Vision changes to an image of a suburban shopping strip. A large corner shop displays a sign that reads “Real Estate”.]

[Vision changes to an image of the couple talking with a young female real estate agent in her office.]

[Real estate agent: OK, so sign this lease. You have to pay the rent in advance plus four week’s rent for the bond. If the property is not damaged at the end of the lease you will get the bond back.]

[Vision changes to a close-up image of a piece of paper with the title “Condition Report”.]

[Real estate agent: And you need to fill in this condition report. It lists all the damage that already exists.

[Vision changes to an image of the couple talking with a young female real estate agent in her office.]

Real estate agent: Check it is right so you will not have to pay for damage you did not do.

[Vision changes to an image of the couple looking at one another and smiling.]

Saw Paw Kunoo: OK, let’s go to our new home.

[Vision changes to an image of the apartment with a sign reading “LEASED”.]

[Vision changes to an image of Nan smiling and inspecting the empty living area of the apartment with the condition report in her hand.]

Nan: Mmm... everything seems to be working OK.

[Vision changes to an image of the man kneeling on the bathroom floor. The condition report sits above him next to the bathroom sink.]

Saw Paw Kunoo: Oh, look, there’s a cracked tile in the bathroom.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of a cracked tile.]

[Vision changes to an image of the couple inspecting the living room. The man is holding pen and paper while Nan is pointing to a spot on the floor.]

Nan: A-ha, and a cigarette burn in the carpet! Write that down.

[Vision fades to black.]

Text: Four week’s later

[An image shows of Nan kneeling beside the oven.]

Nan: Saw Paw, the oven isn’t working.

[Vision changes to an image of the man opening the fridge door and looking over at his partner.]

Saw Paw Kunoo: Yeah, when I tried to cook the chicken on the weekend the oven kept turning off.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw and his girlfriend sitting on the couch. Saw Paw is holding a mobile phone.]

Saw Paw Kunoo: Good morning. This is Saw Paw Kunoo from Unit 2 /25 William Rd. The oven in our unit isn’t working. Can someone come to fix it please?

[Vision fades to black.]

Text: Two months later

[An image shows of Saw Paw standing in the kitchen and looking displeased at the oven.]

Saw Paw: They still haven’t come to fix it!

[Vision changes to an image of Nan looking frustrated, her hands raised in the air.]

Nan: Call them again. We can’t bake or roast anything.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw looking cautious.]

Saw Paw: Oh, they might kick us out if we complain.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw and Nan’s real estate office.]

Male voiceover: At the end of the lease Saw and Nan move out of the unit.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw cheerfully handing keys to his real estate agent.]

Saw Paw: Here are the keys for our unit. Will you send us the bond?

[Vision changes to a close-up image of the real estate agent.]

Real estate agent: We’ll check the condition of the unit first then we’ll contact you.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw smiling at the real estate agent.]

Saw Paw: Thanks.

[Vision changes to an image of Saw Paw and Nan standing out the front the real estate office. Nan has a serious look on her face.

Nan: We need that bond back. We need that money now.

[Vision fades to black.]

[An image shows of Saw Paw and Nan sitting at an empty café table.]

Nan: I can’t believe it! The landlord said we’re not getting the bond back.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw looking confused.]

Saw Paw: How come?

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Nan responding to Saw Paw.]

Nan: They said we broke the oven and the carpet is dirty.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw looking indignant.]

Saw Paw: We broke the oven! I don’t believe it.

[Vision fades to black.]

[An image shows of the reception of Legal Aid through glass doors. A sign on the doors reads “Legal Aid Lawyers And Services”.]

[Vision changes to an image of a female lawyer talking with Saw Paw and Nan as they sit at a table.]

Lawyer: Well, the landlord should have fixed your oven immediately. You could have written down the problem in a letter to the landlord, and kept a copy yourself to show that you told them. You could have gone to see a tenant’s advocacy organisation if you needed help doing this. If your landlord won’t make repairs you can get free legal help.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw addressing the lawyer.]

Saw Paw: I didn’t want to complain. He might have kicked us out.

[Vision changes back to an image of the female lawyer talking with Saw Paw and Nan at the table.]

Lawyer: You have rights—they can’t kick you out just because you have asked for repairs. They need a court order. There are laws to protect tenants.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw addressing the lawyer.]

Saw Paw: So is there anything we can do now?

[Vision changes back to an image of the female lawyer talking with Saw Paw and Nan at the table.]

Lawyer: I’ll help you apply to get your bond back.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw smiling and looking thankful.]

Saw Paw: Oh, thank you, we really need the money.

[Vision fades to black.]

[An image shows of Saw Paw and Nan standing at a letterbox, holding either end of a letter and looking happy.]

Nan: We got our bond back.

[Vision changes to a close-up image of a cheque.]

[Vision changes to a close-up image of Saw Paw smiling.]

Saw Paw: Lucky we got some help.