Is This Normal? Lease Agreement Victoria

Hi

I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne with my wife. We have been approved for a rental property in Melbourne west but the agreement we have been given has a few clauses related to landlord's insurance. Just wanted to check with people in other states that is this normal?. I am pasting some of the conditons below. Please let me know if you guys think this is normal. The house we are moving to is fairly new so i understand from Landlord perspective that they want to be covered. i have asked further details of point 1; 'where it says Tenant will not allow anything to be done which would invalidate the policy'. I dont know what anything means here and what would break his policy so ask clarification of that point and also to change 0 children in point 7 to one child atleast. lol

  1. The TENANT shall not allow anything to be done which would invalidate any insurance policy on the premises or
    increase the premium and the TENANT shall pay to the LANDLORD all increased premiums and all other expenses
    incurred as a consequence of any branch of this term.

  2. The TENANT agrees to pay the LANDLORD for any excess amount charged or any additional premium charged by the
    LANDLORD’S insurance company as a result of accidental breakage of glass, toilet bowls and wash basins in the
    premises where the damage has been caused by the TENANT or by anyone on the premises with the consent of the
    TENANT.

  3. The TENANT agrees that the premises will be the place of residence for 2 adults and 0 children only.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    The first two are pretty standard in VIC. I've seen it on every lease agreement. It's a very roundabout way of saying if you break something so badly that an insurance claim is made, you may have to compensate the Landlord in the event they incur an excess or increased premium. The "policy" would be a pretty standard building insurance, so doing things like criminal activities might invalidate insurance. I guess it would be within your right to actually view the landlords insurance policy (if they have one).

    •  

      good to know if it is standard as nsw didnt have these but unit was old so may be the landlord didnt bother. I understand premium is an ongoing increase, does this mean i am meant to keep paying the premium for the life time. lol

      I have asked the agent to clarify what 'anything' means or provide a list of things what will affect the policy. Didnt know i could ask for the insruance policy but now i do . thanks

      •  

        This is actually a good thing, in NSW as a tenant you break it you pay for it which would be much more than the excess. Not sure about the increased premium, a bit hard to prove the premiums went up solely due to a claim. I don't think a tenant can take out landlord insurance, just contents.

  •  
    1. and 2. might be OK, but you would have to have the clauses expanded upon. How do you know what policy clauses exist in a policy you have not seen?

    3…. is a NO NO - they expect you to leave the house if you fall pregnant? What the……

    • +1 vote

      Predicting a thread in 9 months time: My Wife Just Gave Birth And The Landlord Just Evicted Us. Can He Do That?

      • +6 votes

        haha. not in 9 but in 4. we are already expectant parents. lol.

        • +1 vote

          what they dont want is you sub renting or having more people living there as like other 2 adults which would put more "wear" on the property, if you have a child no problem,

    • +3 votes

      Pretty sure VCAT ruled a while ago No. 3 is completely unenforceable as against children of the tenants. I wouldn't even mention it if I was OP to be frank - and I doubt the landlord would enforce it against OP having a kid. More of a general clause to stop OP moving in another adult (or teen) relative or friend, or complete random.

      Insurance is standard - basically it means no criminal activity, no commercial activity, and to take reasonable care when using the place. It covers the landlord in situations where, for example, OP leaves a tap on, floods the whole apartment, but the landlord's actual "losses" are the amount of his excess, and yet is also stuck paying higher premiums down the track which normally he wouldn't be able to recover. Under this clause, the landlord can now also claim those higher premiums from OP (which makes sense if it's due to something OP did).

      •  

        I think you are right about 3 not being forceable. i spoke to the agent and she said doesnt apply to you and you are fine to grow.lol

        Thanks for confirming its standatd. I was more worried about the use of the 'anything' so i have asked them to either provide a policy document or append it to the agreement.

        Excess makes sense but does agreeing to this mean a tenant will be paying higher premium for the landlord even after vacating? sounds more like child support.

        • +1 vote

          Hahahaha - if it ever comes to that, the landlord would likely just add an extra lump-sum amount, in addition to whatever damages he thinks you're liable for, for the increased premiums into the future. It protects the landlord so that what he can claim from you isn't limited to just his excess. But imo that's a bridge to cross if you ever come to it, and for now just understand you could be up for more than just the excess if you do something drastically horrific to the place.

    •  

      I have asked more info on 1 specifically around 'anything. thats just a big blanket without a clear list of things what will invalidate the insurance.

      Yeah 3. is pretty ridiculous. i have asked them to remove the clause or amend it.

  •  

    I believe point 1 is referring to things like DIY/non certified construction, electrical, plumbing work etc, operating a business out of a residentially insured premises (eg running a welding business from your living room) or doing something illegal that breaches the insurance policy.

    Point 2 is pretty clear - if you or your consented guests accidentally smash a window, toilet bowl or sink you are responsible for paying to get it fixed.

    Point 3 seems unusual

    •  

      I think you defined the word 'anything' pretty well. may be i should send them the list of thing you mentioned to change the clause to 'things like DIY/non certified construction, electrical, plumbing work etc.

      I shared point 2 to get an opnion about excess and premiums. Because the standard tenant agreement doesnt have those clauses. may be in future consumer affairs will add these clauses in.

      When i read point 3, it did sound pretty unusual but agent said that just means you are two adults at the time of moving in and having kids while there would not be a an issue.

  •  
    1. Considerinig this clause you should ask for a copy of the insurance contract so that you know what would invalidate it
    2. Glass breakage, toilet bowls (not seats) and wash basins (not tiles, baths, etc) - pretty defined list there. No need for further clarification.
    3. This is the most concerning one. Is the property a one bedroom or studio? If so, then fair enough. But if not, raises concerns about overreach.
    •  
      1. Agree with you on that. I have asked the agent and she agreed it need more clarification. She was trying to suggest that i should get my own insurance too. I said I am agreeing to this I need clarification.
      2. thanks for pointing out. Didnt look at it from that angle that it is a defined list.
      3. yep it was a concern. But agent confirmed that just mean you are two people when you applied and at the time of moving in. and no the property is a three bedroom house.
      • -1 vote

        3 No dice on that two person clause then. Three bedrooms means I am paying enough rent to allow anyone I want to reside there for periods of time, unless they want to change it to say any permanent tenants in future need to be added to the lease. Although I have no idea why they would. Tenancy agreement is really just to hang the liability for any unpaid rent or damage to property onto someone. They have that so this is definitely overreach and I would ask that they remove this two person clause.

        •  

          exactly my thought. it is three bedroom house why would you restrict it to two people.
          I have asked them to remove the clause

          •  

            @Frankenbeanie: I know how tempting it is in the rental market to subjugate yourself to get the house or unit you want to live in so kudos to you for sticking firm on these matters. It really helps in the long run to set the tone at the beginning of the relationship for fairness and ethics.

        •  

          Three bedrooms means I am paying enough rent to allow anyone I want to reside there for periods of time

          That's ridiculous. More people means more wear-and-tear, more outgoings, more of a tonne of other expenses. You're basically saying the landlord should or would charge the same amount for two adults as they would for three adults.

  •  

    Agree never seen #3 before. I mean "no pet" leases are pretty common but "no children?" Lol

    Actually I think it's just listing how many are going to be living in the property. If more people started living there you would have to tell the Landlord anyway soo..yea seems normal

    •  

      My agreement in nsw was pretty standard agreement from the fair trading nsw and these guys have the whole agreement re-written so i just get an idea if these clauses are standard.

      they have been generous and allowed me 'The TENANT has permission to keep 0 dogs and 0 cats' .lol

  • +3 votes

    People are reading too much into No.3. It's a standard clause that basically: only two adults are on the lease right now. It stops OP from using the place as an AirBnB, or just adding extra people to the lease for example. It wouldn't be enforceable against OP having a kid.

  • +1 vote

    No.3 is standard. Doesn't prevent you from having a child or having friends stay temporarily

  • +1 vote

    It's all fairly standard - here's a paraphrased version :)

    1. You're not allowed to do anything that will invalidate my landlord insurance, such as using the premises for business purposes, setting up a grow house or meth lab.

    2. If you damage my house or any of the fittings in it, you pay the excess along with any additional amount.

    3. Don't sublet my property.

    It's illegal to discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant on the grounds they have children, or may have in the future.

  •  

    The TENANT shall not allow anything to be done which would invalidate any insurance policy on the premises or
    increase the premium and the TENANT shall pay to the LANDLORD all increased premiums and all other expenses
    incurred as a consequence of any branch of this term.

    This is just specifying the scope of compensation should you breach the agreement. Fair

    The TENANT agrees to pay the LANDLORD for any excess amount charged or any additional premium charged by the
    LANDLORD’S insurance company as a result of accidental breakage of glass, toilet bowls and wash basins in the
    premises where the damage has been caused by the TENANT or by anyone on the premises with the consent of the
    TENANT.

    Same as the above. Fair

    The TENANT agrees that the premises will be the place of residence for 2 adults and 0 children only.

    The landlord has priced the rental with the estimated wear and tear of two adults. Fair

    Next

  •  

    if you are expected to pay the excess, shouldn't there be some kind of cap on that? It would easily abused, a landlord cranking up the excess to get a cheaper premium because the tenant pays the excess.

    •  

      If you try and legislate forcing landlords to get lower premiums by paying for more insurance landlords will just increase rent prices by the difference

      •  

        yeah. I guess if a tenant wants to dispute it they would have to prove the excess is, well, excessive and hope the tribunal/whatever agrees.

    •  

      It would easily abused, a landlord cranking up the excess to get a cheaper premium because the tenant pays the excess.

      No, because the easy solution would be "Don't damage the property". Or better yet, take out your own insurance.

      •  

        actually that's a good point. Is there something like the tenant equivalent of landlord insurance, and could that be made a condition of the lease? I mean that would make it fairer to both side wouldn't it? the landlord doesn't need to pay for the insurance and the tenant can shop around for the best/cheapest cover?

        • +1 vote

          There is - renters insurance is a thing and one that I basically advise everyone I talk to to take out. But it shouldn't be a requirement: if a tenant wants to insure, sure. If not, they can be extra careful, and pay if there's any damage. But it's different from landlord insurance because it covers different things. As an example, if there's an issue with common property and the property isn't livable, landlord insurance would cover lost rentals and it wouldn't be an issue for the tenant at all.

  •  

    The TENANT agrees that the premises will be the place of residence for 2 adults and 0 children only.

    Sign the lease and start having babies.

    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/applying-for...
    Children and renting

    A landlord or agent cannot refuse to rent out premises to a person with children (that is, under the age of 16), except in certain cases. These include if the:

    property is the landlord's main residence
    property's location and design make it unsuitable for occupation by a child.

    If a person believes a property is suitable for children after being told it is unsuitable, they may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which will decide the matter.

    https://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/discrimination/...
    How can dis­crim­i­na­tion in accom­mo­da­tion happen?

    Dis­crim­i­na­tion can hap­pen when accom­mo­da­tion providers, such as real estate agents, land­lords or ven­dors, treat you unfavourably because of a per­sonal characteristic pro­tected by the law by:

    refus­ing to sell or rent a prop­erty to you. For exam­ple, because you have children.

  •  

    One thing to know before getting yourself too concerned is that property managers are pretty lazy here in VIC. In the 7 years I've lived here, all in rental properties, I've only had 1 or 2 periodic inspections where they've actually turned up. In the last house I lived my housemate/friend moved out and another friend took their place, we never bothered swapping names on the lease because there was a transfer fee involved, never had any follow up from the real estate even with multiple times where they would have obviously been alerted to the fact.

    For the most part as long as you pay rent on time you won't get any hassle from your real estate. It's a set and forget business for these guys.

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