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Important Links

Visit the following websites to find out important facts and services available to you while you live in South Australia. It͛s a good idea to bookmark or print this list of website links in case you ever need help or more information.

We have divided these important links into several sections to allow easy navigation of the content.

Renting Guides for international students

Water
SA Water provides water services to more than 1.5 million South Australians every day. To find out about pricing or for tips to save water in your home, visit their website

Electricity and Gas
For tips to save energy at home, and information about energy concessions, see the South Australian Government͛s Energy page. You can also compare energy plans on the You Compare website.

Internet
From online study to playing games or surfing the net in your spare time, access to the internet has become an essential service for many people. Visit the You Compare website to compare broadband plans and get the deal that͛s right for you.

Public Transport
There are loads of options to get around Adelaide – from trains and trams to taxis, buses, private and hired cars, bikes, scooters or just walking! Check out the Adelaide Metro website for information about public transport tickets and plan your journey around Adelaide.

Further help and advice
For South Australian Government services not listed above, see the South Australian Government website.

Getting advice and information
Consumer and Business Services (CBS) gives advice and information on:

  • contracts and lease agreements
  • your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • bond, rent and other charges
  • options available to help you resolve a problem with a landlord.

For more information see Dispute resolution for landlords and tenants in private rental.

Help to resolve problems
If you are having a problem with your landlord it is always recommended that you try to talk the problem over with them in a calm and courteous manner in the first instance. If this isn͛t successful there are services that can help you.

The Community Mediation Service offers a free and independent mediation service.

Free and independent advice for both landlords and tenants is available from CBS. They can act as a neutral third party offering advice that may help you reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Problems with the property or maintenance
If you are having problems getting your landlord to complete maintenance or carry out repairs you can write a letter or complete a request for repairs (PDF 161.9 KB) to give to your landlord. This is a formal written notice that the landlord must complete the necessary repairs or you will take the action as detailed on the form. You should always request maintenance in writing, even if you have already spoken to your landlord about the problem. For an alternative version of this document contact the CBS tenancies branch.

If the landlord still refuses to comply, you can make an application to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). The tribunal can make a legal order to the landlord to have these repairs carried out.

If the repairs required are numerous and serious, e.g., there is no running water, you can ask to have the property assessed to see if it is substandard. For more information see Renting a substandard property.

For an alternative version of the documents in this section contact the CBS tenancies branch.

Disputing a bond claim
If your landlord is claiming all or part of your bond and you disagree with that, you can put in a dispute see Disputing a private rental bond claim.

Complaints about public or community housing
If you have problems or disagree with a decision made by Housing SA or a community housing organisation you can make a claim, or you may be able to appeal against the ruling. For more information see What if I have a problem with Housing SA or Options for resolving disputes with a community housing provider.

Getting support or advocacy
The Tenants Information and Advocacy Service is a free and independent state-wide service available to low-income tenants in private rental, community housing or public housing. They can provide:

  • information and advice on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • support and negotiating with your landlord
  • advocacy at an SACAT hearing or an appeal
  • financial counselling.

South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
SACAT is an independent judicial body that has the authority to make legally binding decisions in disputes between landlords and tenants.

For more information on how the SACAT can help and how to make an application visit the SACAT website.

Getting legal advice or aid
Get free legal advice or legal aid from the Legal Services Commission.

Rental disputes

1. Resolving a Rental Dispute
Having trouble with your landlord or the other tenants in your house? Confused about what your options are?

This helpful link will take you step-by-step through the process and will show you how to resolve the problem with help from the Tenancies Branch.

2. Where can I get more information?

Rental Guides in Your Language

Looking for a renting guide in a language you understand? Check out these simple but helpful renting guides for international students that will help you to understand all the basics for renting in South Australia.

Read your rights and obligations as a tenant
Interested in your rights and obligations as a tenant and those of your landlord? Many of these are protected under law, which means they can͛t be changed, even if you and your landlord agree.

Click here to read the summary of the Residential Tenancies Act

3. Who can help me?

The Office of the Training Advocate
International students in South Australia can contact the Office of the Training Advocate for advice and information about living, working or studying in South Australia. They are here to help you, so don’t hesitate to visit their website for more information.

Consumer and Business Services Tenancies Branch
The Consumer and Business Services Tenancies Branch is a South Australian Government branch that can give you a range of helpful information about renting. View their contact information here.

Community Mediation Services
There are many services provided for people living in South Australia who are involved in neighbourhood and community disputes. Mediation will help you and your landlord to come to an agreement that solves your problem without having to go through the time and expense of the legal system. Visit this link for more information.

Residential South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)
The Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) is the next step to take if other attempts to solve the problem do not work. You will need to make an application to the tribunal and pay a fee to have your case heard. If you choose to go ahead with your claim, the decision the tribunal makes is legally binding. Find out more at the Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) website.