Tenant Resources

If you’ve found somewhere that suits your needs and lifestyle, the next step is going to be preparing and presenting your application to the managing agent and inspecting the property to determine whether this property ticks all the boxes.

A property owner or landlord owns a rental property, but it is a tenant’s home. Tenants should only apply for a property if they are committed to entering into a lease term and should make sure a property matches their needs before signing a tenancy agreement.

Wright Place take pride in building relationships with potential tenants and offer a pre-approval option to all prospective tenants. Allow us to locate you your ideal property by advising us what the right property is for you.

 

Selecting the right Rental Property

Choosing a home to rent is rarely easy. First, you need to find one that fits your budget and lifestyle. And then there’s the small matter of negotiating a suffocatingly busy open for inspection.

  • Is the property the right size?
  • Is it in the right location for work and social activities?
  • Is it suitable for pets or children?
  • Can you maintain the property? (e.g. can you look after a pool, or large garden?)
  • Does the property have the facilities you need? (e.g. does it have a broadband connection? If not, can it be added and who will pay for these services to be made available?
  • Will you have to pay for water usage?
  • In a rural property will you need to refill the water tank in dry weather?
  • Will there be additional costs for occasional garden maintenance? (e.g. disposing of green waste, tree pruning)
  • In a caravan park, will there be extra site costs?
  • If there are gas bottles, will they be filled at the start of the tenancy and will a receipt be provided?
  • Does the property have the level of security you require? (e.g. screens on windows)
 

Applying for a Rental Property

Many first-time tenants worry that because they cannot prove a rental history, they will not be able to rent a property – leading to a catch-22-type situation.  Fortunately, every tenant has been a first-time renter at some point and there are a number of things you can do to strengthen your application.

A property manager will be mainly concerned with an applicant’s ability to pay the rent, as well as their ability to take care of the property and comply with the terms and conditions of the lease.

The information you should supply will vary depending on your previous circumstances – forexample, if you were previously living in student accommodation, you may wish to provide the details of the person who was in charge of managing the complex.

If you previously owned your own home and have sold the property, the agent who handled the sale may be able to act as a reference for you.

And if you are currently living with your parents, you will require personal references. In some situations, you may also choose to have a parent co-sign your lease with you.

Examples of documentation you can provide that will help a property manager make these decisions include:

  • Verification of employment
  • Verification of income
  • Reference from employer or fellow staff member
  • Reference from neighbour/teacher/business person/doctor/accountant
  • Photo identification – driver’s licence/passport/student ID
  • Three personal references – these should not be from relatives
  • Last gas/electricity/phone bill or rates notice
  • Talk to the property manager about what is required to apply for the lease.
 

Renting Costs

An important thing to note is that there can be some upfront costs. You will be required to pay a reservation fee – something which gives you first choice in signing a rental agreement and must be honoured by both you and the landlord.

You will then pay a bond and rent in advance. The Residential Tenancies Authority goes into detail about this, but the most rent you can legally be asked to pay ahead of time is one month’s worth. The details of this will also be set in stone on the most significant aspect of the Queensland rental process – the contract.

You cannot pay more than one month’s rent in advance for fixed-term leases, or two weeks for a period agreement. By law, you can’t be charged more than four week’s rent as bond if the rent is less than $500. However, if your rent is more than $500, an unlimited bond can be set.

In Queensland, your rent can only increase if it’s specified in the tenancy agreement. The contract must state how much the rent will be going up, and give at least six months’ notice. Additionally, it must have been at least six months since the last increase.

There are a few other costs that come with renting in Queensland:

  • A Reservation fee, to ensure you get the house – this is equivalent to one weeks rent and is payable on application approval.
  • Any setup fees for utilities such as electricity, water, power and the internet.

There are a fair few costs that you can’t be held responsible for. These include any expenses that come with setting up bonds or paperwork or obtaining keys or swipe cards for each tenant named on the agreement.

 

What is a residential tenancy agreement?

A residential tenancy agreement is a legal binding written contract between you, as a tenant or resident and a property landlord, is also commonly called a lease.  This document should be given to the tenant before paying any money or being committed to the tenancy.  Make sure you read it carefully and ask any questions.

What goes into the Tenancy Agreement?

  • the name and address of the tenant, and the property manager/owner or provider
  • the dates when the agreement starts and ends (or state that the agreement is periodic)
  • details about how the tenant should pay the rent and how much rent is to be paid
  • details about what the tenant and the property manager/owner or provider can and cannot do, known as ‘standard terms’
  • any special terms (these should be agreed in advance, e.g. that dogs are allowed but must be kept outside or carpet cleaning)
  • The length and type of tenancy – either a fixed term agreement where the tenant agrees to rent the property for a fixed term such as 6,9,12 months or a periodic agreement when a tenant / resident lives there for an indefinite period
  • The amount of bond required
  • Other conditions and rules.
 

Signing the tenancy agreement

There are two main types of tenancy agreements in Queensland:

Fixed term agreement

This contract allows you to stay in a Queensland rental property for a fixed period of time, hence its name. Usually, this is around six to 12 months, but it can be longer. A fixed-term agreement can be renewed between both tenant and landlord upon its expiry.

Periodic agreement

The periodic agreement can begin when you first move into a Queensland rental property, but normally, it will follow on from an initial fixed term agreement. A periodic agreement has no fixed end date, but it retains the same rules and regulations as a fixed term one.

Reading the fine print

The paperwork you sign for a rental property is crucial, as it doesn’t just outline how much you pay – it goes into detail about the condition of the property and the terms of your tenancy. An entry condition report details exactly how the home is, while bond lodgement forms are essential for protecting your deposit.

Tenancy agreements state the terms of your lease, everything from how long you will stay, to how much you pay, to special terms like where pets can be kept, and who is responsible for the garden. Any disputes that arise later in a tenancy will come back to these documents, which is why they are so crucial for a happy rental agreement between all parties.

For any further questions, you can get in touch with us here at Wright Place, or use any of these government resources to get your questions answered.

 

What is a bond?

A bond is a separate payment to rent, it is money that acts as security for the landlord or owner in case you don’t meet the terms of your lease agreement.

At the end of your agreement if the property is in need of cleaning or repairs or if items need to be replaced the landlord or owner may claim some or all of the bond.

As the bond is a separate payment to the rent you cannot use any part of the bond as rent – so, when you are moving out, you cannot ask the landlord to keep your bond as final rent payment.

 

What is a condition report?

When you pay a bond, the landlord or owner must prepare a condition report.  This includes a general condition of the property including fittings and fixtures.  It is important that you carefully check the condition report and make sure it includes all existing damage or issues with the property.  We suggest taking photos of the property before you move in and provide a copy of these photos to your agent / landlord as record of the properties original condition.   

Legislation allows tenants a number of days to check the details completed by the agent/owner on the condition report, to confirm or disagree with those details.  As the condition report can be used as evidence if there is a dispute about who should pay for cleaning, damage or replacement of missing items at the end of the agreement –make sure you go over it with a fine tooth comb.

Areas where the tenant does not agree with what is stated on the condition report should be noted on the appropriate section of the document. You must complete the inspection report and return it to the agent/owner within the 3 days or the condition of the property is deemed to be accurate as at the agent’s completion. If you do need additional assistance, help is also available from various bodies, depending on the state or territory you live in.

 

Routine inspections – Checklist

Your landlord or real estate agent may carry out a periodic inspection of the property to ensure it is being well cared for and any routine repairs are made.

Rental Inspection Checklist – 10 things you need to lookout for during the inspection:

  1. Presented well for inspection You want to see your tenants have made an effort to present the property in a clean and tidy manner. No effort = No care = Poor tenants
  2. Test smoke alarms One of the most important things to check is that all smoke alarms are working. Bring a small stick to make it easy to test and some batteries to replace if need be. (you must note this down in your report just in case something was to ever happen). Outside Checks
  3. Cobwebs Checkout under the eaves of the roof around the outside of the building. If there’s heaps of cobwebs, there are probably heaps of creepy crawlies hanging around.
  4. Lawns are cut and no weeds You’re not concerned about gardens looking manicured, but at least cut in the last 2 weeks and there’s no plague of weeds growing.
  5. Large overhanging branches or trees – Safety Safety is most important. Take note of branches you’ll need to trim or remove. This is not just for the benefit of the tree and the general appearance of your property, but also the safety of your tenants. (It is your responsibility to prune trees) Inside Checks
  6. Oven This might seem a little nosey, but a dirty oven can really affect the lifespan of the appliance. Just ask before checking it.
  7. 7 Exhaust Fans and Range hoods Most of the time they’ll be dusty or grimy so don’t go overboard. However, if they get too badly clogged, they may present a fire danger in the kitchen and raise the possibility of moisture damage to bathroom and kitchen walls and ceilings.
  8. Leaking taps or toilet If your taps or toilets are leaking, you’ll have trouble getting your tenants to pay for water consumption and you’re probably damaging your bathroom cupboards so make sure there are no leaking taps for your own benefit.
  9. Damage to Flooring Check for any major stains on carpets, broken tiles or big scratches in your timber floorboards. If there is it’s better to get them fixed now, then letting it all pile up. Things are easy to fix when it’s small steps.
  10. Major markings and holes in Walls Keep an eye out for any holes or large marks they have put on the walls. Minor scuffs and everyday living are to be expected so don’t worry about that. A whole room should only take you 2 minutes max to inspect and comment in the report.
 

Notice Periods

TENANTS PROVIDING NOTICE

The tenant gives notice to the property manager/owner using a Notice of intention to leave (Form 13).

Minimum notice periods apply.

With grounds (reasons) Minimum notice period
Unremedied breach 7 days
Non-compliance with QCAT order 7 days
Non-liveability The day it is given
Compulsory acquisition 2 weeks
Intention to sell 2 weeks

Without grounds (reasons)

A tenant must give at least 14 days’ notice, unless the property manager/owner has breached the agreement. The tenancy ends on the end date of the agreement or the end date of the notice period (whichever is longer).

Type of tenancy agreement Minimum notice period
Periodic agreement 14 days
Fixed term agreement 14 days

AGENT/LANDLORD GIVES NOTICE

The property manager/owner gives notice to the tenant using a Notice to leave (Form 12).

Minimum notice periods apply.

With grounds (reasons) Minimum notice period
Unremedied breach – rent arrears 7 days
Unremedied breach – general 14 days
Non-compliance with tribunal order 7 days
Non-liveability The day it is given
Compulsory acquisition 2 months
Sale contract (periodic only) 4 weeks
Employment termination 4 weeks
Ending of accommodation assistance 4 weeks
Ending of housing assistance 1 month
Serious breach (public housing or community housing) 7 days
Mortgagee in possession (depends if mortgagee has consented to tenancy) 2 months
Death of a sole tenant (parties can agree on an earlier date) 2 weeks

Without grounds

A tenant must be given at least 2 months’ notice, unless they have breached the agreement. However, the tenancy only ends on the end date of the agreement or the end date of the notice period (whichever is later).

Type of tenancy agreement Minimum notice period
Periodic agreement 2 months
Fixed term agreement 2 months