general information on renting in queensland
As a tenant, it’s important to make yourself familiar with the basics of renting in Queensland to avoid the headaches and have a happy, stress-free tenancy. We’ve put together some helpful information to get you started.
When renting in Queensland your responsibilities include:
• Paying the rent on time
• Keeping the property clean and undamaged and leaving it in the same condition it was in when you moved in (fair wear and tear excepted)
• Abiding by the terms of the tenancy agreement
• Respecting your neighbours’ right to peace and quiet
your tenancy agreement
Your General Tenancy Agreement (RTA Form 18a), also called your lease agreement, is a legally binding written contract between you and the property owner. It must include standard terms and may include special terms (e.g. keeping pets).
You and the property owner (or the managing agent on the owner’s behalf) must sign the agreement and you should be given a copy.
Fixed term agreements – have a start date and an end date with a fixed amount of time (e.g. 12 months).
Periodic agreements – have a start date but no end date. These are put in place when you agree to rent the property for an unspecified amount of time.
your bond and bond increases
A rental bond is a security deposit you pay at the start of your tenancy and it is lodged with the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority). Once you pay your bond, you’ll be given a receipt and you will need to complete and sign a Bond Lodgement form (RTA Form 2). Any time your rent is increased your bond will also increase (to ensure the RTA are holding an equivalent of 4 weeks rent at all times). For example, if your rent were to increase by $5 per week, you would need to pay an extra $20 towards your bond ($5 x 4 = $20).
You will be given a receipt for any extra bond you pay and you will receive notification once it has been lodged with the RTA.
You can be charged full water consumption costs if:
• The property is individually metered
• The property is water efficient
• The tenancy agreement states that you must pay for water consumption
Water bills may be issued quarterly or half-yearly. These bills will be provided to you within a reasonable timeframe and you must pay within one month of the bills being provided to you.
For more information regarding water charging, download the RTA’s water charging fact sheet – here.
electricity / gas / phone / internet
It’s best to check your tenancy agreement for information relating to payment of utilities at your property. In most cases you will need to arrange connection and pay for the services.
If you need assistance with connecting your utilities, we can point you in the direction of a utility connection company who may be able to help.
Your property will have smoke alarms installed that are in line with Queensland legislation. Although tenants are not responsible for the installation of smoke alarms, tenants still have responsibilities including cleaning smoke alarms and replacing batteries.
maintenance and repairs
While you are responsible for looking after the property and keeping it, and any inclusions (like the oven), clean, the owner and our agency, as the owner’s managing agent, is responsible for ensuring the property is fit to live in and in a good state of repair, including carrying out general repairs and maintenance during your tenancy.
You should notify our office of any necessary repairs as soon as you notice them. We’ll then notify the owner and organise a licenced contractor to carry out the repairs based on the owners instructions. A contractor will need to enter the property to carry out the repairs, making sure to give you the minimum required notice of 24 hours.
The owner will generally pay for any repairs unless it’s found that the repairs were needed due to tenant fault (e.g Blocked toilet caused by wipes being flushed), in which case you would be responsible to pay for the repairs.
getting your bond back
At the end of your tenancy, you would typically get your full bond back as long as no money is owed to the owner or our agency for rent, damages or other costs. Bonds can only be refunded into Australian bank accounts and you’ll need to provide the RTA with your contact details, forwarding address and bank account details to receive your bond refund.
If the refund amount is agreed upon, the Refund of Rental Bond (RTA Form 4) must be signed by all parties and submitted to the RTA. The RTA will refund the bond, on average, within a few days.
If there is a disagreement on the refund amount, the matter will go through the RTA’s dispute resolution process and, ultimately, QCAT if an agreement can’t be reached. You can find out more information regarding the dispute resolution process on the RTA’s website