FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a rental contract?
Also, called a Lease or Rental Tenancy Agreement, this document explains the rights and responsibilities of you and your landlord. It includes how much rent you need to pay and how long you can stay on in the property. Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand and agree to its terms and conditions. Remember that the rental agreement is a legal document. You should get a copy of it from your landlord within 21 days.
2. What is a bond?
A bond or deposit (also known as a security bond or security deposit) is an amount you pay up front, a type of insurance for the landlord. When you move out, if the property is in good repair you should get your bond money back.
3. What does co-tenancy mean?
A co-tenancy is when two or more people are listed on a lease agreement (rental contract) with a landlord. As a co-tenant, you share all rights and responsibilities of the other tenant(s), such as in a share house. Either one or both tenants can be held legally responsible to the landlord. It’s important to know that disputes between co-tenants will not be covered under the Residential Tenancies Act. So, make sure you’re sure before you enter into a co-tenancy agreement as you will have to pay legal fees if you need to settle disputes in court.
4. How long does it take to find accommodation?
Depending on your housing preference and budget, it typically takes between one and four weeks to secure a place to stay. It is usually faster to find accommodation through commercial purpose-built student accommodation and residential colleges rather than a private rental. If you are interested in a private rental, we always recommend you visit the property to inspect it personally before submitting the deposit.
5. Who can help me?
For renting and accommodation advice, the South Australian Government’s Consumer and Business Services website is a good place to start. If you still have questions you can ask your education provider for further counselling and assistance.
6. What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
You should pay the rent on time, keep the premises clean, and try not to damage anything. If damage occurs, you should tell your landlord as soon as you can. Make sure you do not make any changes to the premises without asking your landlord first. It’s important to abide by the terms and conditions of your contract and don’t use the premises for illegal purposes.
If you are living in a rooming house or intend to, click on one of the links below to find out more:
2. What is the average price of accommodation?
Rental prices vary considerably depending on the type of accommodation you are renting. It can be anywhere between $130 and $300 per week based on your choice of accommodation.
Finding help and advice
What is the Tenancies Branch for?
The Tenancies Branch is:
- A place to lodge and refund private rental security bonds
A place to go for advice if you are:
- A private rental landlord or tenant
- A rooming house owner or tenant
- A residential park operator or resident
Ground floor, Chesser House 91-97 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000
GPO Box 965, Adelaide 5001
How do l access information about my bond online?
Agents, Landlords and tenants can now access information about their bonds through an online service called Residential Bonds Online.
This is a free service providing secure, convenient and easy access to information about bonds paid for private rental tenancies and lodged with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) in South Australia.
You can access information about the status of a bond, including when an existing bond was:
You can access the service here
What should I do if the bond is not lodged with the Tenancies Branch?
Speak with the agent/landlord and ask them to lodge the bond. If they still will not lodge the bond, contact the Tenancies Branch on 131 882 or online and let them know as soon as possible.
What is normal ‘wear and tear’?
This is something to discuss with your landlord or agent, but here are some guidelines: fading paint, wear to a carpet, faded blinds and curtains and anything that occurs from normal day-to-day use of the property. Actual damage can include stripped paint, torn carpets, broken fixtures and furniture, and excessive amounts of dirt, grime and dust, or anything caused intentionally or negligently.