The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) is the legislation that covers most residential tenancy agreements (tenancy agreements) in the Northern Territory.
This Act commenced on 1 March 2000 and applies to most tenancy agreements entered into after that date. The Act provides a framework that allows the parties to a tenancy agreement to interact within clear and consistent guidelines, and aims to reduce disputes between the parties. The Act also contains appropriate penalties for breaches of the key provisions (which may be enforced either by the Commissioner of Tenancies (the Commissioner) instigating court action or
issuing an infringement notice).
The Act applies to most types of tenancies including:
- private tenants who rent directly from a landlord;
- private tenants who rent through a real estate agent;
- boarders and lodgers where there are three or more in the premises;
- tenants in accommodation provided by their employer;
- caravans or mobile homes rented on private property; and
- public housing tenants who rent from Territory Housing (although some sections of the Act do not apply to such tenancy agreements - see section 7 of the Act).
The Act does not apply to tenancies such as:
- holiday accommodation;
- boarders or lodgers where there are less than three residing in the premises;
- caravans or mobile homes that are in caravan parks; and
- emergency or charitable accommodation.
Other tenancy agreements to which the Act does not apply are set out in section 6 of the Act. This guide attempts to address the main issues affecting the majority of tenants and landlords.
The guide is cross referenced to the corresponding sections of the Act. In some cases additional sections of the Act will also be applicable.
If you have a tenancy problem or question that isn't explained in this guide, contact your legal advisor, your real estate agent (if you have one), the Tenant's Advice Service or Consumer Affairs, for more information.