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

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

Key deposit - a real estate agent usually asks for a $50 key deposit & a copy of identification before giving you the key to view a property. The $50 is returned to you when you return the key.

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

Landlord / landlady - owner of the property.

Lease - a written (or verbal) tenancy agreement made between tenant & landlord (or landlord's agent). A lease is a legally binding contract. It is best to secure a written agreement, as verbal agreements need to be proven before rental laws apply.

Notice - 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 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.

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