A Lease is a contract between the owner, known as the landlord, and the tenant. In a Lease the owner retains ownership of the property yet transfers exclusive possession of the property to the tenant for an agreed period and on agreed terms. A Lease is a very important document because it contains the main terms of the agreement between the landlord and the tenant. It is the contract they have to live with for the term of the Lease.
The law relating to Leases in New South Wales comes from three sources being the Common Law, Legislation and the principles of Equity. The three sources of law mean that there is a lot of law in New South Wales concerning Leases. Most of this law has been derived from English Common Law which placed importance on the ownership of land and the right for a tenant to possess and use that land.
The law of Equity is the set of legal principles derived from the English Common Law. The law of Equity may also override or sit alongside the Common Law. The Courts may exercise the principles of Equity when application of the Common Law would operate harshly or unjustly.