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The following is supplied as a reference source to keep you up to date with the processes as well as relevant legislation when you rent a property in Queensland.
At the beginning of a tenancy there are key items that must be addressed by the lessor (or their property manager) and also the tenant:
1. Both parties must sign a written tenancy agreement (Form 18a) that includes the standard terms and any special terms
2. The lessor/property manager must provide the tenant with a copy of the RTA Form 17a – Pocket Guide for Tenants and the Bond Lodgement Form 2.
3. The lessor/property manager must provide the tenant with a completed copy of the Form 1a – Entry Condition Report.
The tenant is then permitted three calendar days to note any additional comments and return a signed copy to the lessor/property manager. Take care in completing report, sign and return to the lessor/agent within 3 days.
Prior to occupying the property, a tenant is required to pay a bond and commonly the first two weeks rent.
There are two types of tenancy agreements that exist in Queensland - a ‘fixed term agreement’ and a ‘periodic agreement’. The main defining difference between these agreements is that a fixed term agreement has a start and end date, whereas a periodic agreement has a start date but no specified end date. It is common practice for all tenancies to initially commence on a fixed term agreement for either a six or 12 month period. However, a fixed term agreement can be for any time frame providing it has a start and end date.
It is important to note that rent may be increased through a fixed term agreement; however, this must be clearly outlined as a special condition of the tenancy. A lessor/property manager is still required to give the minimum two months’ notice of the increase even though it is written into the agreement already. Rent cannot be increased in a shorter time period than six months from when it was last increased. If there is no special term regarding an increase, the rent cannot be increased until the end of the current agreement. For a periodic agreement, rent can be increased at any time providing the lessor/property manager has given the tenant a minimum of two months’ notice.
ENTRY CONDITION REPORT
The Entry Condition Report is one of the most important documents in a residential tenancy. The successful and thorough completion of this document by both parties will go a long way to ensuring that at the end of the tenancy the transition goes as smoothly as possible for all involved. The Entry Condition Report notes the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy and is used by the lessor/property manager to ensure the tenant leaves the property the same as it was when they initially moved in (fair wear and tear excepted). Whilst it is encouraged that this form be completed by both parties at the same time, this is not possible in most cases. It is a legislative requirement that the lessor/property manager gives the tenant a signed copy of the condition report no later than the day of the tenant’s occupancy.
Ensure the tenant leaves the property the same as it was when they initially moved in
If a tenant has any concerns about the report or finds anything additional or different to what the lessor/property manager has initially noted, these issues should be discussed and clarified as soon as the report is returned to the lessor/property manager. Dealing with the matter promptly will avoid any possible conflict of opinion when the tenancy ends. Tenants should ensure they keep a copy of the report in a safe place so they are able to refer back to it at the end of the tenancy.
Tenants should be mindful that it is their responsibility to have adequate insurance for their personal possessions. A lessor’s insurance does not cover tenant’s personal belongings.Source REIQ