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Tenants advisory service: things to know

A tenants advisory service is a union, group or business that offers advice to tenants who are renting a property in Australia. The motives behind organisations such as a tenants advisory service are usually to protect tenants and to ensure that they are given their legal rights, are safe, and are treated with respect. When a person is renting someone else’s home, the landlord/owner is then in a position of power. They have keys to the home and in some cases, they have the ability to evict the tenant. Unfortunately, because of this, some landlords abuse this power and don’t treat their tenants like they should. They may charge unrealistic prices, harass their tenants or show up at the property unannounced. In order to best prevent these occurrences from happening, people are able to seek advice from a tenants advisory service. People are able to ask questions about what their rights are and can usually download letter templates which they can send to their landlords if need be. When there is a court case involved, a tenants advisory service can advise what the best documentation to keep is in order to build the best case possible.

What kinds of advice are they able to help with?
A tenants advisory service is able to help with a wide variety of advice. This can begin even before moving into a rental property. They can help with advice on how to fill out a rental application, what documentation needs to be provided and what to do if discrimination occurs. Once an application has been accepted, advice can be given on what will happen with locks and key and how to record the initial condition of the house. Information can be given on bond payments and on lease transfers as well as on how to request repairs when living in the home. Each rental lease can be different which is sometimes why occupants of the home can get confused. One landlord may pay for water and gardening, where another landlord will expect the tenant to pay for all of the utilities. It is important to carefully read and agree to these terms and conditions before entering into an agreement. When an agreement is broken by the landlord, a tenants advisory service can also provide information of what to do next. While it can be aggravating when a landlord is not doing the right thing, it is imperative to remain calm and to communicate via email where possible. This way more information can be gained as evidence and it is more likely for everyone to reach a happy outcome.

How to get in contact with these types of services
Usually advisory services will be available online. This means that a request is able to be sent online or via email. A representative will then reply with advice on the scenario at hand. Alternatively, tenants can easily call the phone numbers provided on the website to chat with a representative about their circumstances. Advice can be given on the phone and usually relevant phone numbers can be passed on. For example, it may be best for someone to be passed on to legal aid in their local area. While the team members of a tenants advisory service are usually pressed for time because of the overwhelming number of occupants that call in each day, they are usually friendly and sympathetic about situations that can arise.

At the end of the day, it can be extremely stressful when something goes wrong with a rental lease, but thankfully there are services out there such as a tenants advisory service that are able to offer a listening ear and support in times of need.