Signing a Lease Fact Sheet

Signing a Lease - Plain English

Signing a Lease - Easy English

A Residential Tenancy Agreement is a document that explains your rights as a tenant. In the fact sheet, we will call it a lease. It also explains what is expected of you. It also explains what is expected of us as the owner of the home.

All of the leases used by Housing Tasmania are based on the rules in the Residential Tenancy Act 1997. This is the law that explains the rules for people renting any home in Tasmania. Your lease will also explain how long you can live in the home.

How long will the lease be for?

For most people moving into a Housing Tasmania home, the first lease will be for six months. The next lease you sign may be for a longer or shorter time. The length of the lease depends on how your tenancy is going. We may offer you a shorter lease if there are problems with your tenancy, or if you had problems with a tenancy in the past.

All new tenancy agreements are fixed term.  These types of leases can be renewed. But if you don't follow the rules, we may ask you to move out. We want you to have a stable home for as long as you need it. We don't end leases without a good reason.

Getting support to stay in your home

We want you to enjoy living in your home. We can offer you support to make your tenancy a success. If you are having problems, you can get in touch with Housing Connect. Housing Connect is the way to get housing and support in Tasmania.

What if you want to move out?

You need to tell us in writing 14 days before you want to move out. When you move out, the home must be in the same condition it was in when you moved in. You also need to pay any outstanding bills that you have with us.

What if you transfer to another property?

If you transfer to another property, we will ask you to sign a new lease.

The rules in your lease

Every lease has rules that explain what is expected of you while you are living in the home. Your lease also includes the rules about what is expected of Housing Tasmania. We explain these rules below.

What is expected of you?

Please also note: the information below is about the rules that are included in most leases. Your lease may have different rules, so it's important to check.

While you are a tenant in a rented home, you must:

Make sure that your home is free of pests and insects, like mice and ants
Not change the property – including things like renovations, building work or painting – without asking us
Not keep pets at your home without asking us
Not purposefully damage the home 
keep the home clean and tidy, both inside and out
Let Housing Tasmania know if there is any damage to the home, no matter how it happened
Not purposefully hurt anyone who works for Housing Tasmania
Not let other people live in your home without asking us
Not store dangerous goods or substances at your home
Only park your car or bike in the driveway, garage, carport or the car space that is especially for your home
Not run a business from your home without asking us
Not do anything illegal at your home
Pay the right amount of rent on time and in advance
Not disturb your neighbours.

What is expected of Housing Tasmania?

As the owner of the home you live in, Housing Tasmania must do a number of things.

  • Provide a clean home when you first move in.
  • Fix any damage that is considered to be fair wear and tear. We explain fair wear and tear below.
  • Pay the rates and taxes that apply. This may include some or all of your water bills.
  • Let you have 'quiet enjoyment' of the home. This means you can get on with your day-to-day life without interference from us, as long as you are not causing problems for anyone else or damaging the property.
  • Let you know in writing if the amount of rent you need to pay is going to change.
  • Make sure that the outside doors have good locks on them when you move in. We will maintain the locks unless you damage them.
  • Give you notice of when we are coming to visit you or inspect the home, unless there is an emergency.
  • End the lease according to the rules in the Residential Tenancy Act.

What is fair wear and tear?

When we live in our homes for a while, some types of general wear and tear can take place. For example, the carpet in a busy hallway may get worn down after a long time or the paint on the outside of the house may start to fade. The person who inspects your home will talk to you about what is considered fair wear and tear.

Big problems – such as broken glass, damage to walls and doors, untidy gardens and rubbish that needs to be removed – are not considered to be fair wear and tear. You may be charged to fix these things during your tenancy

More information

Other fact sheets that might be useful:

  • Applying for a home
  • Can you renovate?
  • Moving out
  • Offering you a home
  • Paying the rent
  • Pests and vermin
  • Pets

Housing Connect contact details

Housing Connect - 1800 800 588

Housing Connect - housingconnect@dhhs.tas.gov.au


Our contact details

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Housing Tasmania - 1300 665 663

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TTY users phone 133 677, then ask for 1300 13 55 13. Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

Internet relay users connect to the NRS then ask for 1300 13 55 13.

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Department of Communities Tasmania
GPO Box 65
HOBART TAS 7001

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www.communities.tas.gov.au/housing