What you need to know when renting in Queensland
The RTA is the Queensland Rental Tenancy Authority who offer all the answers to all your questions.
When you sign a lease the Manager or Landlord should instruct the tenant on how to handle all emergency situations.
In this article we have summarized some important items you should be aware of:
1. You need your own insurance to cover your furniture and personal effects
2. Ensure you maintain the property, by this they mean:
a. Keep in clean
b. Keep it well maintained
c. Do not cause any malicious damage or allow any other party to cause any damage
3. Notify the property manager or Landlord:
a. of any damage you have caused, so it can be fixed
b. of any repairs that need to take place so the damaged item does not get worse. If you neglect to report the damage and it causes further damage to the property then you may be held responsible for any further damage caused due to your neglect or not allowing the problem to be rectified in a timely fashion.
4. When you sign an agreement / lease on your new residence the Manager or Landlord must ensure the property is in good repair and in a safe condition for tenants to reside.
All repairs that are urgent should be done as soon as possible, for normal maintenance/ routine repairs these should be reported and fixed in a reasonable time frame.
If you are wondering what the difference between a Routine repair and an Emergency repair is, the RTA set out clearly in the ACT what these are.
You should review the act regarding the Emergency repairs, as the items listed here are just a summary and to encourage you to read the act before taking action and rushing out to get a repair done.
a) Burst pipes and severe leaks that may cause major damage
b) Gas Leaks
c) Electrical faults
d) Essential services such as loss of hot water or gas
e) Something that is not safe or secure
f) If a lift or stairs are not able to do the job due to damage
If you feel you need a routine repair, this should be put in writing to the Manager/ Landlord and these repairs should be made in a reasonable time period. When making your request for the repair you should state the problem and the impact that the item is having on you the tenant.
The Managing agent should have this work carried out in a reasonable time frame, however if this has not been done in what you consider reasonable, your first course of action should be to communicate with the manager, and if you have no response you can then:
a. Complete and issue a Notify to Remedy Breach Form which you should then receive a response to within 7 days.
b. If this does not work you can then proceed to the RTA for assistance from QCAT to assist you. This is a free service.
Important: Do not carry out repair work without authorisation from the managing party. If the circumstances arise that you have been unable to contact the Manager then you should contact the Nominated Repair person. You should have been advised who this person is in the first instance, when signing your lease. If this fails because this repairer was also uncontactable, you may then take action on your own.
It is important to know that you will have to pay those costs yourself and claim them back from the Managing agent, however this band aid repair must cost less than 2 weeks rent. The expenses should be reimbursed to the tenant within 7 days.
All these things should be discussed upfront and agreed on mutually at the start of a tenancy. For full detail and to ensure you are doing the correct thing you should always refer to the legislation before acting as the comments in this blog are our understanding of the tenancy legislation at the time of writing this document. July 2021.