Residential Leases

Queensland

Tenancy agreement (“lease”) for rented premises

In most cases, before the tenant moves into a rental property, he/she (henceforth, “he”) will need to sign a lease: a legal contract between the tenant and the landlord. The lease is an important document as it determines the legal relationship between these parties and should be given to the tenant before payment or committing to the tenancy.

Types of Lease agreements

The three most common types of leases are general tenancy agreements, moveable dwelling agreements, and rooming accommodation agreement.

General tenancy agreement       Download Form 18a

The General tenancy agreement is used when renting a house, unit, apartment, townhouse or houseboat. It must include information one would expect, such as: the name and address of the tenant and landlord; the start and end date of the lease; the lease payment and how it should be paid.

Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement Download Form 18b

Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement is for tenants in caravan parks, moveable dwellings or sites who intend to rent for longer than 42 days (referred to as a “long term” agreement).

Rooming accommodation agreement (Form R18)    Download Form R18

The  is for a tenant renting a room and includes; boarding houses, supported accommodation services (where a person pays for a room and support services), certain types of student accommodation, and houses where rooms are rented (e.g. where the owner lives in the house and rents rooms to other people). The lease preparation must be paid by the landlord and include details such as the room to be occupied and what common areas can be used, start and end dates of the agreement, the rent and any other costs (e.g. food, personal care, or other services), if a bond is to be charged.

What is a rental bond?

A bond is a payment by the tenant to the landlord that acts as security against the tenant not meeting the terms of the lease. If the rent is $500 or less per week, the maximum bond that can be charged is 4 times the weekly rent. If the rent is more than $500 per week, there is no bond limit.

The landlord must not require that the tenant pay a bond before signing a lease, however, an agent may ask for this amount and the tenant is free to accept the request and provide the bond requested.

A bond does not have to be taken but if it is it must be lodged with the RTA within 10 days using the Online Bond Lodgement facility and a Condition report (Form R1) must be completed if a bond is taken.

Bond refunds

The quickest and easiest way to get a bond refund is for the tenant and the the landlord to reach agreement about how the bond is to be paid out. Should there be no agreement either the tenant or the landlord can complete and submit a Refund of rental bond (Form 4) to the RTA. This is called “making a claim on the bond”. It should be noted that  a refund of rental bond only requires 1 signature of a person named on the bond record to begin the bond refund process.

Once the RTA sends a Notice of claim to any party who did not sign the form

Then the process is:

  1. If they do not respond within 14 days, the bond is paid in full to the person whose bond refund form was processed first.
  2. If they do respond and dispute the claim, they will need to go throughdispute resolution with the RTA.
  3. If an agreement is reached, all people sign theRefund of rental bond form and the bond is paid out as agreed.
  4. If an agreement is not reached, the person whoseRefund of rental bond form was not processed first can apply to the tribunal for a decision. They must do so within 7 days and notify the RTA in writing that they have lodged the tribunal application by the due date.
  5. If no tribunal application is lodged, the RTA will pay the bond to the person whoseRefund of rental bond form was processed first.

Entry condition report (Form 1a)

When a bond is paid, the landlord must prepare an “entry condition report”. This report notes the general condition of the property, room or caravan, including fittings and fixtures and is important since it provides evidence in any dispute about who should pay for cleaning or damage, particularly at the end of a tenancy. Even if no bond is paid, we recommend you complete a condition report.

Once a bond is paid, the landlord must give the tenant two signed copies of the condition report before he moves in. The the landlord must prepare, sign and give a copy of the report to the tenant at the start of the tenancy; it is an offence not to do so.

The landlord completes and signs the form and gives a copy to the tenant at the start of the tenancy. The tenant must return the completed, signed report to the the landlord within 3 days. The the landlord must send a copy of the signed and completed report back to the tenant within 14 days. The report, and any photos or video, can be used as evidence by QCAT if there is a dispute.

Repairs

The landlord must give the property in a ‘reasonably’ clean state and provide and maintain the property in ‘reasonable’ repair, determined to an extent, on the age, potential life of the premises, and the amount of rent. Also, any repairs referred to in the condition report must be completed. The landlord is not required to fix any damage that the tenant causes. However, if the landlord decides to fix the damage, they must limit the cost of any repair or replacement should they intend to later ask for compensation from the tenant.

Clear information is a call away