Accommodation Glossary


Bond - a security deposit that you pay at the start of your tenancy. The landlord must lodge your bond with the Bond Authority within 10 days of receipt. The maximum bond you can be charged is 4 weeks rent. Your bond is returned at the end of your tenancy provided the property is left in good condition.

Condition report - a document stating the condition of the property (inside and out) at the time you move in. The report helps determine if you are responsible for repairs/cleaning costs when you move out. The report should be filled in by your landlord & given to you when you move in. You then have three working days to add your comments & return the report to your landlord.

Cul-de-sac - a cul-de-sac is a dead end street. An example of a cul-de-sac is a street that ends in a circle instead of going into another street.

En-suite - an en-suite bathroom can only be reached by a door in the bedroom. If your bedroom has an en-suite, it is your private bathroom.

Flat - see also Unit.

Granny flat – self contained open unit, usually small and attached to a property with a house.

Kitty - money that the household members contribute toward shopping & household expenses.

Landlord/landlady - owner of the rental property.

Lease/Lease agreement - a written tenancy agreement made between tenant and landlord (or landlord's agent). A lease is a legally binding contract. It is best to secure a written agreement, regardless of format, whether it is a formal residential tenancy agreement, a share-housing agreement, or something written up detailing

Notice to vacate - depending usually one or two weeks' notice needs to be given by either Landlord or Tenant, depending on if rent is paid fortnightly or weekly, unless otherwise stated in a signed Lease or Agreement.

Rent - a payment made periodically by a tenant to a landlord in return for the use of a property or part of a property.

Rent in advance / Rent up front - up to two weeks' rental payments can be made in advance but cannot be accrued in lieu of bond, ie. rent is thereafter due only on the due date once that two week's rent is used up.

Real estate agent - agent who acts on behalf of the owner of the property.

Separate meter - meters measure the usage of utilities like gas, electricity and water. You are responsible for the cost of utilities if a separate meter is available in your rental property. If a separate meter is not available, the cost of utilities is your landlord's responsibility who may incorporate your share of utilities into the rent.

Tenancy - possession of land or property as a tenant. This may be agreed upon at a fixed term (e.g. 3 months, 6 months, 12 months) or periodic (i.e. no fixed term specified).

Tenant - a person who occupies a property or part of a property rented from a landlord.

Unit - includes dwellings in blocks that are self-contained.

Verandah - A porch or balcony, usually roofed and often partly enclosed, extending along the outside of a building.