Things you should know about your consumer lease
This statement tells you about some of the rights and obligations of yourself and your lessor. It does not state the terms and conditions of your lease.
1. How can I get details of my lease?
Your lessor must give you a copy of your consumer lease with this statement. Both documents must be given to you within 14 days after the lessor enters into the consumer lease, unless you already have a copy of the consumer lease.
If you want another copy of your lease write to your lessor and ask for one. Your lessor may charge you a fee. Your lessor has to give you a copy —
- within 14 days of your written request if the contract came into existence 1 year or less before your request; or
- otherwise within 30 days.
2. What should my lease tell me?
You should read your lease carefully. Your lease should tell you about your obligations, and include information on matters such as —
- details of the goods which have been hired; and
- any amount you have to pay before the goods are delivered; and
- stamp duty and other government charges you have to pay; and
- charges you have to pay which are not included in the rental payments; and
- the amount of each rental payment; and
- the date on which the first rental payment is due and either the dates of the other rental payments or the interval between them; and
- the number of rental payments; and
- the total amount of rent; and
- when you can end your lease; and
- what your obligations are (if any) when your lease ends.
This information only has to be included in your lease if it is possible to give it at the relevant times. If your lease does not tell you all these details, contact your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme, or get legal advice, for example from a community legal centre or Legal Aid, as you may have rights against your lessor.
3. Can I end my lease early?
Yes. Simply return the goods to your lessor. The goods may be returned in ordinary business hours or at any other time you and the lessor agree on or the court decides.
4. What will I have to pay if I end my lease early?
The amount the lease says you have to pay. If you have made rental payments in advance then it is possible that your lessor might owe you money if you return the goods early.
5. Can my lease be changed by my lessor?
Yes, but only if your lease says so.
6. Is there anything I can do if I think that my lease is unjust?
Yes. You should talk to your lessor. Discuss the matter and see if you can come to some arrangement. If that is not successful, you may contact your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme.
External dispute resolution is a free service established to provide you with an independent mechanism to resolve specific complaints. Your credit provider’s external dispute resolution provider is AFCA and can be contacted at 1800 931 678 or www.afca.org.au.
Alternatively, you can go to court. You may also wish to get legal advice, for example from a community legal centre or Legal Aid, and/or make a complaint to ASIC. ASIC can be contacted on 1300 300 630 or through ASIC’s website at http://www.asic.gov.au.
7. If my lessor writes asking me where the goods are, do I have to say where they are?
Yes. You have 7 days after receiving your lessor’s request to tell your lessor. If you do not have the goods you must give your lessor all the information you have so they can be traced.
8. When can my lessor or its agent come into a residence to take possession of the goods?
Your lessor can only do so if it has the court’s approval or the written consent of the occupier which is given after the occupier is informed in writing of the relevant section in the National Credit Code.
9. What do I do if I can not make a rental payment?
Get in touch with your lessor immediately. Discuss the matter and see if you can come to some arrangement.
You can ask your lessor to change your lease in a number of ways —
- to extend the term of your lease and reduce rental payments; or
- to extend the term of your lease and delay rental payments for a set time; or
- to delay rental payments for a set time.
10. What if my lessor and I can not agree on a suitable arrangement?
If the lessor refuses your request to change the rental payments, you can ask your lessor to review this decision if you think it is wrong.
If the lessor still refuses your request, you can complain to the external dispute resolution scheme that your lessor belongs to. Further details about this scheme are set out below in question 12.
11. Can my lessor take action against me?
Yes, if you are in default under your lease. But the law says that you can not be unduly harassed or threatened for rental payments. If you think you are being unduly harassed or threatened, contact your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme or ASIC, or get legal advice.
12. Do I have any other rights and obligations?
Yes. The law will give you other rights and obligations. You should also read your lease carefully.
If you have any doubts, or want more information, contact your credit provider. You must attempt to resolve your complaint with your credit provider before contacting your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme. If you have a complaint which remains unresolved after speaking to your credit provider you can contact your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme or get legal advice.
Please save the link to this page or download this Information Statement in PDF format below. You may want to refer to it at a later date.