Around a quarter of all Australians rent, rather than own a home.

And while landlords often remain well out of view most of the time, situations can arise that cause us to question our rights as the people who live in a house each day, but don't have our name on the deed.

This article gives you the quick rundown on whether or not a tenant can refuse an open house in NSW and other questions you may ask yourself during your next lease.

As property prices have risen over the last few years, let's be honest, the great Aussie dream of owning a home has escaped a few of us.

But don't despair, the rental market is solid, and you have plenty of opportunity to find a long-term lease, so you can really settle in and make a house a home.

When leasing, more often than not, your landlord will leave you to it and half the time you will forget they even exist and these four walls aren't your own. But every now and then, something will come up that causes you to cross paths.

In these situations, it's really important you know your rights and obligations, firstly, so you are protected and can remain comfortable in your home, and secondly, so you can continue to be a good and respectful tenant who is worthy of another 12-month lease!

Here are our top three rental questions for which all tenants should know the answer!

1. Can a tenant refuse an open house in NSW?

As with many aspects of the property industry, this question does not come with one clear-cut answer, it comes with a list of rules that need to be applied depending on the situation.

According to Fair Trading, the long and short of it is that you, as the tenant, have a right to privacy, but the landlord or their representative, as the owner, has a right to access.

To run an inspection on the property to see that you are looking after it, an agent can make an appointment with seven days written notice, up to four times each year.

As a decent human, an agent will try to fit in with you if they can, that is, if you tell them you have a six-year-old birthday party and 50 kids in the backyard when they want to inspect, they will likely reschedule to a time that suits. Ultimately, the agent just needs to give you that seven days notice.

To enter your home and make normal repairs, the agent needs to let you know two days in advance, except if the repair is an emergency, in which case, they can drop by without notice.

If there is an emergency, highly likely you are the one who has reported it and the one who needs it fixed most, so notice possibly isn't an issue in this case.

If you are intending to move out and you are in your last two weeks of renting, the agent needs to give you 'reasonable notice' to show another prospective tenant through the house.

If the property is for sale, the agent is required to let you know two weeks prior to the first inspection that they will be entering the premises with a prospective buyer (or several).

After the first viewing, they can bring people through up to twice a week with 48 hours notice. Anymore than two visits in one week, and you have a right to refuse.

2. How much notice do tenants have to give to leave?

Just like the first question, the answer to this one depends on the circumstances.

If you are approaching the end of your fixed-term tenancy, you need to let the agent or landlord know of your plans to end the tenancy, in writing, 14 days before you leave. This applies right up until the last day of your fixed-term arrangement.

For those of you on a rolling arrangement, for example, month-to-month, because your fixed term has already ended, you will need to provide 21 days notice to the landlord or agent, in writing, to confirm your intent to leave the tenancy.

In the case of the property being offered for sale, often you will be unclear if the new owner will continue the tenancy or not, so you may want to move out early so you have more security and clarity.

In this situation, if you are in the fixed term of your tenancy and the house wasn't on the market prior to your agreement, you need to give 14 days' notice before you leave and your landlord cannot penalise you.

There are other circumstances under which you may wish to leave, one that has a special provision is situations where domestic violence is an issue.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, new laws allow you to end your tenancy immediately without being penalised.

In order for this to apply, you may need to fill out special paperwork which is available on the Fair Trading website, and provide evidence.

3. Can an agent take my bond without justifying their reasons?

Bond is looked after very carefully in NSW, in fact, it must be deposited with Fair Trading and the agent must issue you a Bond Lodgement form to be sent off with the bond and a receipt for your payment.

At the end of the tenancy, if the agent feels your bond should not be refunded, they can make a claim to Fair Trading to have it paid to the landlord instead. This can occur in a few different ways.

If you submit your claim for your bond, the agent will be notified and essentially asked to agree within 14 days. If they dispute the payment, they apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to have the case heard and the outcome determined.

If you live in a rental in NSW and the tenant lives interstate, the case may be heard in local court instead of NCAT.

Alternatively, the agent may proactively make a claim from the bond, and in doing so, within seven days, will give you a copy of the condition report as well as costs, receipts etc for work that is or was required to bring the premises up to the expected standard.

If you disagree with the claim, NCAT or local court will determine the outcome, depending on the location of the premises and landlord.

Though one of the most common answers sought by renters is whether or not a tenant in NSW can refuse an open house, there is so much more to know about your rights and your obligations.

Sites like and Fair Trading are valuable resources that will help provide you the information you need to enjoy your home in peace and privacy.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Please seek independent legal advice is you need it.