The Renter’s Glossary: A Guide To Rental Terms

Joshua Chadwick By Joshua Chadwick December 14th

Renting comes with a unique set of terms that can be puzzling to even the most experienced movers. Whether you’re a tenant searching for a home or a landlord managing a property, understanding fundamental rental terms is crucial for a smooth process.

In this guide, we’ll demystify terms like “bond,” “PCM” (per calendar month), and “wear and tear,” clarifying what was their role and now what their roles now are in defining rights and responsibilities. From “arrears” to “condition reports”, each term plays a crucial role in fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship and overall pleasant renting experience.

With that said, let’s dive into the essentials for rental terms, so you’re not left looking clueless in your next tenant/property manager catch-up.

Connect Utilities In Under 8 Minutes!

Get connected


Arrears refer to unpaid rent that has not been received by the property manager on or before the due date. Tenancy agreements typically outline the procedures and consequences related to rent arrears in line with tenancy laws as part of the Residential Tenancies Act.

Body Corporate

The term “Body Corporate” refers to a collective entity responsible for managing and maintaining common areas within a property complex or strata title.

In Australia, particularly in apartment buildings or shared communities, the Body Corporate is entrusted with overseeing shared spaces, enforcing bylaws, and managing funds collected from property owners for maintenance and improvements.


Similar to a security deposit, tenants in Australia are often required to pay a rental bond at the start of the tenancy. It is held by the relevant state or territory authority to cover any unpaid rent or damage to the property.

Rental Bond Loans

Looking for more information about rental bond loans? Check out our article below where we detail everything you need to know before applying for one!

Rental Bond Loan: How Do I Apply?

Condition Report

A document provided to tenants at the start of the tenancy, detailing the current state of the property. It is used to record existing damage and can be helpful during the bond refund process.

More Conditions

Much like most in this list, it’s important you know everything there is to know about a condition report. Check out our article below where we detail everything you need to know about condition reports!

Condition Report – Everything you need to know

Dispute Resolution

The process for resolving conflicts or disagreements between the tenant and landlord is often facilitated by a relevant tenancy tribunal or authority/administrative tribunal.

End Date

The “End Date” of a lease or tenancy agreement is the specified date on which the agreement concludes. It marks the conclusion of the agreed-upon term, whether it’s a fixed-term lease (such as six months or one year) or a periodic agreement (month-to-month).

Both the property manager and tenant should be aware of this date for planning purposes, whether it involves lease renewal, planning to move out, or negotiating new terms.


An inspection refers to periodic checks of the property by the landlord or property manager to assess its condition, identify maintenance issues, and ensure compliance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Preparing for a rental inspection

The property inspection can lead to ensuring your bond is kept and, in some cases, ensuring your lease is renewed. However, there’s no need to fear, as we’ve prepared a list of things to do to assist you in preparing for an inspection of your rental property.

How To: Prepare for a Rental Inspection


A detailed list of the contents and condition of the property, including furnishings and appliances. It is often used at the beginning and end of a tenancy to assess any changes and potential costs.


The term “Lessor” refers to the party that owns the property and grants the right to occupy it through a lease or rental agreement. In simpler terms, the lessor is the landlord who provides the property for rent. The lessee, or tenant, is the party renting the property from the lessor.

Per Calendar Month (PCM)

A common way to express the monthly rent amount. It specifies the total rent for each month, regardless of the number of days in that month.

Need to calculate rent?

If you’re a first-time renter, you may be left feeling confused about how your monthly rent is calculated. You might be happy to learn; that you’re not alone! It’s one of the most commonly asked questions by first-time renters.

Thankfully, we explain how monthly rent is calculated and provide you with a quick and easy-to-use rent calculator formula in the article below!

Monthly Rent Calculator: How To Calculate Monthly Rent

Property Manager

A Property Manager is a professional hired by the property owner to oversee the day-to-day operations of a rental property. In Australia, property managers play a crucial role in marketing the property, screening tenants, collecting rent, and addressing maintenance issues and urgent repairs.

They act as a liaison between the landlord and the tenant, ensuring that the tenancy runs smoothly and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Quiet Enjoyment

“Quiet Enjoyment” is a legal concept that ensures tenants have the right to peacefully and without disturbance occupy and use the rented property.

This means the property manager must refrain from actions that disrupt the tenant’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the premises, allowing the tenant to live in the property without unwarranted interference.

Renewal Option

A clause in the tenancy agreement that outlines the conditions under which the lease can be extended for an additional term.

Residential Tenancy Agreement

This is the Australian equivalent of a lease agreement. It outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement between the landlord and tenant.

The written agreement will contain all standard terms regarding the amount of rent owed and how it is to be paid, the length and type of agreement (periodic tenancy or fixed-term agreement), potential rent increase calculations and other special terms.

The rental provider will give the renter a copy of the agreement along with their condition report and a set of keys to the tenant/co-tenant.


A subtenant is an individual who rents all or part of a property from a primary tenant. In this arrangement, the primary tenant acts as the middle party between the property owner (landlord) and the subtenant.

Subleasing/Sublet is subject to the terms of the original lease, and the primary tenant retains responsibilities to the landlord while taking on the role of a landlord to the subtenant.


Utilities refer to essential services such as electricity, gas, internet and water, which are required for the proper functioning of a property. A tenancy agreement will outline whether the tenant or landlord is responsible for the payment of these services.

Understanding the terms regarding utilities is crucial for both parties to ensure a clear understanding of financial responsibilities and avoid potential disputes during the tenancy.

Wear and Tear

The gradual deterioration of a property due to normal, everyday use. Landlords/property managers are generally responsible for maintaining the property in good repair, while tenants are expected to report any damage beyond normal and fair wear and tear.

Deterioration or Damage?

The difference between wear & tear and other damages can be very slight, but that fine line can be the difference between a repair at the property manager’s expense or coin out of the tenant’s pocket or even their bond.

With that being said, we distinguish what falls under wear & tear and what constitutes tenant damage below.

Home Deterioration: Wear & Tear or Damage?

If you need help getting your utilities connected sorted, please call MyConnect on 1300 854 478 or use the Get Connected form here! All residents from Victoria (VIC), Queensland (QLD), New South Wales (NSW), Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and South Australia (SA) can get connected this very business day. If you’re a first-time home buyer and you’re unsure about using a utility connection company, this post here can assist you.

Connect Utilities In Under 8 Minutes!

Get connected

Joshua Chadwick
Joshua Chadwick