When renting or leasing residential properties like houses, units, rooms, houseboats, or caravans, the landlord takes on the property owner or manager role. At the same time, the tenant becomes the fortunate individual or group permitted to call that property home.
In the beautiful state of Queensland, tenants and landlords have rights and responsibilities outlined under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. To ensure a fair and smooth tenancy experience, the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) diligently oversees and administers the laws on residential tenancies. In this article, we’ll discuss landlord rights QLD in detail. So, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Starting of Tenancy
The landlord needs to ensure the accuracy of the rental agreement and is aware of what the tenant owes. It's important for the tenant to also know their outstanding balance. The two parties should have a formal agreement governed by the Property Occupations Act 2014.
A prospective tenant can be asked to pay a holding deposit to reserve the property for a specific time. If no time is agreed, the period is 48 hours. Only one holding deposit can be taken at a time. If a prospective tenant decides to rent the property, the holding deposit becomes part of the bond. If they choose not to rent, the holding deposit must be refunded within 3 days. Deposits must be refunded within 3 days unless there's an agreed-upon extension. Proceed with the tenancy only if terms are agreed upon.
The rented property should be vacant, clean, and in good repair. Floors should be cleaned, and rubbish removed. Nothing on the premises causes any danger, injury, or illness. All locks should work properly, and a key should be supplied for each lock. All appliances and equipment need to function.
It's important to follow safety regulations set by the council and government. This includes having smoke alarms and electrical safety measures. This includes having smoke alarms and an electrical safety switch on the premises.
The landlord must pay all charges, levies, premiums, rates, and taxes for the property. They must also lodge all bond money with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) within 10 days of receipt.
The tenant should have the contact details of the property manager and a list of emergency repair contacts. They should also be given a contact list for emergency repairs.
Tenants are protected for the first 2 months of their tenancy and can stay until the end of their fixed-term agreement if the property sells.
The Bond Process
Before the tenant moves into the property, the landlord can request a damage bond. The landlord is responsible for lodging the bond with the RTA within 10 days of receiving it. Once lodged, the RTA will securely hold the bond for the entire duration of the tenancy. Protecting your interests when dealing with property is important, particularly during times of change or movement.
Rent-Related Rights and Obligations for Landlords in Queensland
Landlords are entitled to rent payments on time, per the lease. If tenants are late, landlords can issue a notice to remedy the breach. This formal communication prompts the tenant to settle the outstanding amount within 7 days from the date of issuance.
Should the tenant still not settle the outstanding rent within the given timeframe, a 'notice to leave' can be issued by the landlord. Tenant must vacate within 7 days of the second notice.
If the tenant continues to ignore the situation despite receiving the 'notice to leave,' the landlord must take the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). This application aims to seek an official order for the tenant's eviction from the property. The QCAT will then review the case and decide on the appropriate action. It's essential to follow legal procedures and seek resolution through the proper channels to ensure a fair and lawful process.
To ensure the safety of tenants, all residential rental properties must adhere to the current safety laws in Queensland. If the property includes a pool, it becomes the landlord's responsibility to ensure that the pool fences comply with the prevailing pool safety regulations.
In Queensland, strict laws concerning smoke alarm installation and maintenance are in place. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is equipped with the appropriate type of smoke alarm. Batteries must be tested and replaced within 30 days before new or renewed tenancy.
Landlords must understand that their landlord rights QLD are governed by the law in Queensland. Not following the safety requirements can result in legal repercussions. To maintain a safe and compliant rental property, landlords must diligently adhere to the safety guidelines and legal standards set forth by the authorities. By doing so, they contribute to creating a secure living environment for their tenants and minimise the risk of potential legal issues.
Under specific circumstances, landlords in Queensland have the right to pass on water and electricity usage costs to the tenant. This is possible when the tenancy agreement explicitly states that the tenant is responsible for paying utility costs and includes clear details on calculating these costs.
- The landlord can only pass on charges if each unit has separate meters to measure water and electricity usage.
- The property must also meet water efficiency requirements to qualify for passing on water usage costs. Water-efficient properties comply with the necessary standards to promote water conservation.
The landlord can't pay the tenant for sewerage or fixed access charges. These charges remain the landlord's responsibility and should not be included in the utility costs passed on to the tenant.
When it comes to pests, Queensland's residential tenancy laws do not explicitly designate responsibility for pest removal in a property. Tenants who cause pest infestations may have to pay for extermination, even though landlords are responsible for maintenance.
In such situations, the best action is for both parties to communicate openly. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) recommends that landlords and tenants discuss the pest issue and try to reach a fair agreement on handling it.
Property Selling Process
Landlords must notify tenants before selling property. The notice tells the tenant important information, like who will sell the property and how they plan to market it. The landlord needs to be transparent with the tenant during this process.
The tenant must first provide written consent for such arrangements to sell the property through an open house or on-site auction. Moreover, any photos used for marketing must not include the tenant's belongings or reveal their identity, respecting their privacy throughout the selling process.
If a tenant has a fixed lease agreement, the the landlord cannot end the tenancy early to sell the property. The tenant has the right to fulfil their lease agreement until its expiration. Landlords must disclose to potential buyers that the property is currently under lease.
End of Tenancy
When it comes to the end of the tenancy, it is the tenant's responsibility to leave the property in a condition consistent with the details recorded in the entry report while also accounting for reasonable wear and tear.
Upon the tenant's departure, the landlord must complete an exit report that carefully documents any damage or discrepancies found in the property. A final copy of this report is then provided to the tenant.
Landlords can keep a portion of the deposit if the property is left in a worse condition than at the start of the tenancy and repairs or cleaning are needed.
The landlord typically requires the tenant's signature to release the bond. However, should the tenant disagree with the landlord's proposed deductions, the landlord can still proceed by lodging the release form without the tenant's signature. The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) will review the situation to make things fair.
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