Managing Expectations

Being a host/landlord is great because you will get a stable income that will give you the financial freedom to start doing lots of new things..

However it involves more than just collecting rent and maintaining the property.

In this document we outlined your rights and responsibilities.

It is important to you understand these so that you avoid any headaches. Unfortunately many hosts/landlords are not familiar with the regulations. Rest assured tenants know their rights; and the rental process can become too hard. This document will help you avoid many of these mistakes.

The more information your provide to your guests the better and easier the entire experienv


We strongly recommend you ensure all of your tenant agreements are documented in the form of a lease agreement. This will protect both of you in the event of a legal issue, and means you mutually understand what’s expected from one another. Agreements and other helpful documents are typically found on your state or territory’s Department of Commerce website.

Your lease agreement will formalise important aspects like monthly rent, bond amount, inspections and damage reporting, to name a few. You’ll also have the opportunity to clarify what’s OK and not OK for your renter, such as whether pets are allowed or whether repainting the walls is permitted. And of course, you can spell out the consequences of breaking the agreement.

You can find lease agreement and damage report forms in the different state government websites:


There are a number of set ways to end a tenancy agreement and these methods vary slightly from state to state. Even if an agreement has a fixed end date, you will need to give notice to end the tenancy.

Always check:

  • The reasons allowed in your state for giving notice to end a tenancy.
  • Whether the notice needs to be given on an official notice or form.
  • How much notice you need to give before the end of the agreement.

Depending on which state you are in, your tenant will be obliged to provide between approximately two and four weeks' notice before vacating.


Purchasing landlord insurance (also known as rental property insurance) is one of the most important steps to take before renting your home.

One of the most common misconceptions among new landlords is the assumption that their building insurance will cover them in the event of damage or loss of rent: It does not. It won't cover any rent default or destruction by your tenants, which is why it’s best to invest in landlord insurance.

There are a variety of companies that can insure you. Some examples are among many others are: *please note these are not endorsing any of these companies.

In addition to the things covered in a typical homeowner’s policy, landlord insurance will protect you from major damage done by tenants, as well as from legal actions they may take against you. Be aware, though, that rental property insurance will not cover your tenant’s personal property—they’ll need to purchase rental insurance to cover their belongings.


All hosts/landlords should take a bond from their tenants as a security deposit. In the unlikely event that the tenants fail to keep the premises clean, damage the property or don’t pay rent, the landlord can claim some or all of their bond to cover these expenses at the end of the tenancy.

It is important that the bond is forwarded to your state’s residential tenancies bond authority. They will hold the bond on behalf of the tenant and landlord during the tenancy.

In most cases, the bond is equivalent to two to three weeks rent. This is your choice. You can request this as soon as the student arrives to the premises.

Occasionally hosts/landlords believe they can claim on the bond because the property is not in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the tenancy.
Remember that the costs of “fair wear and tear” can’t be claimed. However, you can make a claim on the bond for:

  • Damage caused by the tenant.
  • Cleaning expenses (agreed at arrival with the guest).
  • The tenant abandoning the premises and breaking the lease agreement.
  • The tenant leaving the landlord to pay bills the tenant should have paid.
  • Loss of the landlord’s goods.
  • Unpaid rent.


It is extremely important that a clear process is followed in this regard and that the full rent amount is paid on the specified date. If you are not clear on this you may find your tenant is constantly late. Be clear that rent must be paid in full and on time. Don't drop in to collect rent, avoid part payments and ensure there is one party that is responsible for communicating any issues with rent payments (in the case that you have couples or groups staying in your place).

It is your choice to have the rent paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly, however if rent is paid weekly, the landlord can’t ask for more than 14 days rent at the beginning of a tenancy.

Don’t be afraid to raise the rent.

Certainly, there’s always the risk of a good tenant moving out when his monthly rent is increased. But if you don’t raise your rent when the market goes up, you’re being unfair to yourself by throwing income.

Please note that you can’t increase your rent until the end of the fixed term unless your agreement states otherwise. Rent cannot be increased more than once every six months and you must give the tenant at least 60 days notice of any proposed rent increase.

Please note: even if you increase the rent on the property during the tenancy, unfortunately you can’t increase the amount of the bond accordingly


The landlord must pay all installation and initial connection costs for electricity, gas and water supply.

It is your choice if you want to absorb these services within the rent paid by the student (an all inclusive deal).


You will need to respond to requests for urgent repairs without delay.

If you don’t do anything (eg you are overseas on a trip) your tenant has the right to arrange for these repairs to be completed up to the value of $1,000 – at your expense.

Non-urgent repairs must be carried out within 2-3 weeks (time varies depending on your state's legislation). Our recommendation is the sooner the better. If non-urgent repairs are not attended to, your tenant may apply to the tribunal for an inspection and subsequent report.

Please note: tenants cannot withhold rent while waiting for repairs to be done.

Keep in mind that these costs are tax deductible so you should be claiming these to reduce your taxable income.


Make sure you have a list of questions to ask (We provide sample questions in our guide: "Why Host a Student" e-book.

Gut instincts will play an important part in your decision making. Make sure you clearly understand who they are and if their personality will fit the room/house you are renting.

Other action points you can take that may bring you further peace of mind are:

  • verify all these details independently
  • call previous landlords or agents they have rented from.
  • check the tenant register in your state to ensure that they have not been identified as being poor tenants.
  • Once you are comfortable with your choice of student, approve them quickly before another host does.


  • Give the tenant a copy of the booklet relevant to your state outlining their rights as or before they move into your property
  • Make sure the premises are vacant and freshly cleaned on the day the tenant is due to move in.
  • Keep the premises and common areas in good condition and all items repaired.
  • When replacing any water appliance, fitting or fixture, ensure it meets Standards Australia ‘A’ rating.
  • Pay all installation and initial connection costs for electricity, gas and oil supply. If there isn’t a separate meter to the premises, the landlord must pay all other charges.
  • Reimburse the tenant if the tenant has paid the costs of any utilities for which the landlord is liable. If bottled gas is provided, the landlord pays for the supply or hire of bottles.
  • Make sure all external doors have locks and windows can be secured.
  • If there is a need to change locks, give the tenant the new key as soon as possible.
  • Let the tenant have peace and quiet and enjoyment of the premises. IF general inspections are required, follow rules regarding proper notice periods.
  • Do not arrive unannounced and unexpected. You can’t just get in whenever you feel like it. Local legislation will stipulate how frequently you can do this and how to go about it. As a general rule, an inspection occurs three months after initial occupancy and every six to 12 months thereafter. Keeping thorough records and photographs is recommended.


  • Accounting issues: It would be wise to enlist an accountant to help you sort through the tax implications of renting your house. They will help you figure out how to minimize your tax bill by helping you choose the right depreciation strategy and also work out the records you’ll need to keep in order
  • Legal Issues: A one-off meeting with a lawyer could result in a good lease agreement will specify the ways tenants can and cannot use the property, how many people can occupy the rental, what insurance is required, who is responsible for paying utilities, and what will happen if the tenant doesn’t uphold his or her obligations. You could avoid issues like:
    • Preventing tenants sneaking animals: Include a clear description of what will happen if the tenant is discovered to have an unauthorized pet on the premises
    • Overnight guests: include language in the lease regarding your expectations for overnight guests. To prevent external people from staying without permission.
    • Prevent excessive damages: The best way to protect yourself from tenant negligence, recklessness, or malice is to thoroughly document the state of the property immediately prior to move-in. A tip could be to take detailed photographs of key aspects of the property, then have the tenant sign off on the photo log as you conduct the move-in walk-through.
  • Other insurance: Also, insure yourself for ‘acts of nature’, which can pose a real threat to your property value. Let’s face it, Australia is no stranger to storms, floods or earthquakes. Even if where you live poses a small risk, it’s much riskier to take the chance. So, sign up and save yourself the stress, and extra expenses.


Police checks are required for homestays that wish to host international students over 18 years of age.
You can obtain a form either from websites below or from local police stations.

If you are considering hosting students that are under 18 years of age (we are currently NOT accepting under 18 students through Bedssi) you are required to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWC) both for Victoria and NSW, if you reside in QLD you will need to obtain a Blue Card.

These are strict but necessary screenings (includes police and employment checks) and your house/apartment will need to undergo strict check ups as well.

These are required by law.


It is Great that you are part of the Bedssi team. To make it easy for you, we created a "welcome pack" page where you will be able to find information quickly. Please contact us if you think we should include more information.