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As a renter, your agent is usually the person you deal with on a day to day basis to discuss your tenancy. However, when things go wrong, it is actually your landlord that your dispute is with.
We know this can be really confusing - some of our clients don’t even know who their landlord is.
We wrote this blog to help you understand the difference between your landlord and your agent - and if you don’t know who your landlord is, we’ve included some tips below to help you find out.
Your landlord is the person or company that you are renting from in your rental agreement. A few things to note about your landlord:
If you don’t know who your landlord is, you should check your rental agreement.
The agent, also called a 'real estate agent' or 'property manager', is a person or company who the landlord pays to manage the property. Their responsibilities may include advertising the property, collecting rent, managing repairs and maintenance of the property, and managing issues with renters (for example, going to VCAT on behalf of the landlord).
A few things to note about your agent:
A landlord will usually give the agent permission to do certain things without contacting them. For example, a landlord might give permission for the agent to arrange for urgent repairs up to a certain amount.
If your rental property is being managed by an agent, then you should contact the agent if you have any issues with or questions about the property at first instance. However, in rare cases, even where there is an agent managing the property, you may need to contact your landlord directly. For example, if the agent is not responding to you, you may need to contact your landlord.
We last updated this page in July 2023. Please remember that this is only legal information. If you're thinking about taking action, you should chat to a lawyer for advice about your situation first.