Renting - Rights & Responsibilities
Know what is expected of you
There are rules when renting a house, unit, share house, room, caravan or houseboat in Queensland.
These rules are set out in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).
Understanding your rights and responsibilities will help you avoid or quickly resolve differences with your neighbours, real estate agent or landlord.
You should be aware of your rights and responsibilities. These can vary from state to state.
Lease/tenancy agreements differ between states, so ensure you have the appropriate documentation for your state. In Queensland please refer to www.rta.qld.gov.au
Before deciding to rent a property there are a few rules and regulations you need to know. A Residential Tenancy Agreement or ‘lease’ will be drawn up. This is the legal contract that both you and your landlord must abide by.
The lease should include information such as:
- Name of the Tenant, Property Manger and/or Owner
- Address of the property
- Rent amount and how and when this should be paid
- Bond amount
- Start and end date of your tenancy
- Details on what can and cant be done
- Any necessary Special Terms
Tip: Never sign a blank form. If you do not understand something, contact the correct authority and ask for advice.
At the start of a tenancy, a tenant may be asked to pay a rental bond. This is lodged with the RTA via QGov and we do this on your behalf and remains in a trust account until the end of the tenancy.
Tenants must pay their rent on time and use the rent payment method written in their agreement.
A Bond is a security deposit paid by the tenant(s) at the beginning of a tenancy. This is then lodged with the RTA and held by them until such time the tenant vacates the property. The money is paid back to the tenant provided no money is owed to the owner for rent, damages, cleaning or other costs.
Entry Condition Report
Documentation of property's condition
Once you have signed a lease / tenancy agreement and paid a bond you should be provided with a condition report. This report records the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. Check it carefully and immediately discuss any issues with the property manager/landlord. It is important that this is filled out thoroughly and properly to avoid any problems and disputes in the future.
Tip: Photographs are a good way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. Keep these in case the landlord objects about returning your bond at the end of your tenancy
- The property manager/owner completes the form, signs it and gives a copy to the tenant at the start of the tenancy.
- After completing and signing the form, the tenants must return the completed entry condition report to the property manager/owner within 3 days.
- The property manager/owner will then return a copy of the signed and completed report to the tenant within 14 days.
- The Entry condition report will be a vital tool in getting a bond refunded at the end of the tenancy.
- If a tenant does not complete and return the report it means that they agree with the property manager/owner’s description of the property and it is an offence not to complete the report.
- The completed report and any photos or video could be used as evidence by the tribunal in the event of a dispute.
Tips for Moving in to a Rental
Make sure you fill out your Entry Condition Report and be as thorough as you can. Do this before you move in and go from room to room filling each necessary section on the report. Make sure you include everything you see that hasn't been added by the Property Manager - marks, damages, stains etc. Check that everything works, lights, oven, cooktops, air conditioning units, smoke alarms, plumbing ... etc. Note the condition of everything! Take photos for your records and make sure you sign your report and hand it back to your Property Manager, getting a copy for your records.