Terms of the Standard Tenancy Agreement

The Act says that landlords must use the standard terms set out in the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010. Many of the terms are the same as those listed above. The terms of the standard residential tenancy agreement cannot be varied (except for tenancy agreements that are for a fixed term of 20 years or more – contact your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service for more information). If you do not carry out your responsibilities you can be said to have ‘breached’ (broken) term/s of the agreement.

Prohibited terms

  1. Section 19(2) of the Act says: “Terms having the following effects must not be included in a residential tenancy agreement:
  2. That the tenant must have the carpet professionally cleaned, or pay the cost of such cleaning, at the end of the tenancy [unless the cleaning is requiredbecause animals have been kept on the premises during the tenancy],
  3. That the tenant must take out a specified, or any, form of insurance,
  4. Exempting the landlord from liability for any act or omission by the landlord, the landlord’s agent or any person acting on behalf of the landlord or landlord’s agent,
  5. That, if the tenant breaches the agreement, the tenant is liable to pay all or any part of the remaining rent under the agreement, increased rent, a penalty or liquidated damages,

That, if the tenant does not breach the agreement, the rent is or may be reduced or the tenant is to be or may be paid a rebate of rent or other benefit.”
In addition, the Regulation says:“A residential tenancy agreement must not contain a term having the effect that the tenant must use the services of a specified person or business to carry out any of the tenant’s obligations under the agreement.”

Inconsistent and prohibited terms are void

A term is void if it is:

  • inconsistent with any term of the standard residential tenancy agreement, or
  • prohibited by the Act or regulations.

Additional terms

Additional terms may included in the standard residential tenancy agreement if:

  • both you and the landlord agree to them
  • they do not conflict with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 or any other legislation
  • they do not conflict with the terms of the standard agreement.

If you are unsure about an additional term, get advice from your local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service or apply to the CTTT for an order that the term is invalid.