Leasing in Queensland

Leasing in Queensland

Leasing Queensland is a very exciting prospect, especially if you know your potential tenants. Finally, a chance to earn from your investment. However, if you are scrambling for information about your tenants, managing your property can become quite a challenge. If you are going to allow one unscrupulous renter, conflict will certainly arise sometime along the duration of the contract. Then again, working with a great renter who takes good care of the property and pays on time can make your property management as smooth as can be.

If you are new to leasing and property management business, there are certain Queensland tenancy rules and regulations that you need to know. Here are information about your responsibilities as a landlord, how to resolve disputes concerning tenants, and how you can make your job easier . This article is specific to Queensland state; read our guide on Leasing in Australia for national leasing rules.

Leasing in Queensland: Frequently Asked Questions

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and/or Property Manager
What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in Queensland?
What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?
How do I craft a tenancy contract?
How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?
How can I make property management easier?

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and/or Property Manager

As a landlord, you have specific assigned rights and responsibilities. When the tenant is not sure of what action they should take while inside the property, it is the landlord who has the authority to take action, but of course with limitation.

Character and credit background

Screening potential tenants is your first responsibility as a landlord. You need to select the best candidate that could ensure timely payment of rent every month. You also need to make sure that the applicant has the capacity to pay for rent. This way, you can be sure that monthly payments will not be delayed. However, you are also required by the state to not be discriminating based on a person's gender, religion, race, age, or because they belong to a particular group of people.

Please refer to Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Commission for more information.

Repairs and maintenance of the property

If there are existing damages on the property that could put the tenants’ health and safety at risk, it is the responsibility of a landlord to repair and restore it before entering a negotiation and crafting a contract. Tenants are entitled to a damage fee brought by accidents and bodily damage that happened inside the property.

Installing smoke alarms and other safety features

It is the landlord/property manager's foremost responsibility to make sure that the tenants are safe while using the premises. Also, it is the responsibility of a landlord to clear the fire exit at all times in order to prevent any untoward incident on the premises from happening.


What are the necessary documents and permits do you need for leasing in Queensland?

As a landlord, you have an assigned rights and responsibilities. One of the responsibilities that you need to fulfill at the beginning of each tenancy is to secure the necessary documents and permits from the concerned government agencies.

Here are some of the permits that you need to begin your leasing:

Planning and Building Permit

If your property needs to undergo some repairs or major modifications, you need to secure a planning and building permit first.

Heritage Permit

Is your property located on or near a heritage site? If so, then you cannot simply conduct any kind of repair or major construction without the approval of the Heritage Council. They are in charge of evaluating the impact of each application on the heritage values of the concerned area. However, if the repairs are only minor in nature, you can apply for Heritage Exemption Certificate.   

Swimming Pool and Spa Permit

As a swimming pool owner, it is your foremost duty to ensure the safety of the tenants that are going to use the facility. In Queensland, any swimming pool or spa with water that is deeper than 300mm needs to have a proper barrier to protect small children from drowning. This requirement applies to all indoor and outdoor in-ground spas and pools, above-ground spas and pools, indoor spas and pools, and wading pools. Getting a pool safety certificate from a licensed pool safety inspector will give your tenants confidence that they will be safe around the pool during their tenancy.


What are the important documents I need to require potential tenants?

Leasing in QueenslandYou need to select the best candidate that could ensure timely payment of rent every month. You also need to make sure that the applicant has the capacity to pay for rent. This way, you can be sure that monthly payments will not be delayed.

Requiring your potential tenants proper documents will make your job as a landlord stress-free.

Here are some of the documents you can require them:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Character references.
  • Rental history.
  • Employment details.
  • Proof of income.
  • Recent bank statements.

Once they have submitted these documents, ask them for permission to call the names that they have supplied for character references.

The information about their rental history and proof of income will give you a glimpse about their behaviour inside a property and their capacity to pay their rent on a timely manner.

As a landlord, you are expected to do the following:

  • Repairs and maintenance of the property. If there are existing damages on the property that could put the tenants’ health and safety at risk, it is the responsibility of a landlord to repair and restore it before entering a negotiation and crafting a contract. Tenants are entitled to a damage fee brought by accidents and bodily damage that happened inside the property.
  • Installing smoke alarms and other safety features. It is the landlord/property owner’s foremost responsibility to make sure that the tenants are safe while using the premises. Also, it is the responsibility of a landlord to clear the fire exit at all times in order to prevent any untoward incident on the premises from happening.

Here are some of the rights of a landlord that a tenant needs to recognise:

  • Right to set the amount of rent that a tenant needs to pay.
  • Right to be informed who exactly is living inside the property.
  • Right to be informed of the repairs that needs to be done.
  • Right to access the property during maintenance.
  • The right to end the tenancy contract if the tenant refuses to pay his rent on time.
  • Landlord insurance. As a landlord or property manager, you are eligible to an insurance that covers you from potential losses, including any damages that are caused by the tenants during their stay on the property. The insurance covers the property itself and any contents that you own.

 


How do I craft tenancy contracts?

All agreements, whether verbal or written are considered binding and legal. However, it would be to your advantage if all the agreements that you are going to enter with a tenant are in written form. This way, you can provide evidence of their breach of contract in case you have a dispute with your tenant.

Depending on their tenancy preference, there are basically two kinds of contracts that you can offer them:

Fixed-term contract

A fixed-term contract has a definite end date. For instance, your tenant has decided to lease your property for six to twelve months. Your duties and responsibilities as a landlord, as well as their duties and responsibilities as a lessor will begin from the start of the specified date until the very last day of the specified end date of the agreement.

Continuing contract

A continuing contract has no specific end date. Your duties and responsibilities as a landlord will never cease as long as the tenant is using the property. You can only end the agreement if the lessor states that he is ending the tenancy or if they violated any the rules and regulations of the contract without making an effort to resolve the dispute in an friendly manner.


How do I settle disputes concerning tenants?

Leasing in QueenslandDisputes between a landlord and a tenant are not unheard of. This happens if:

  • One party does not take responsibility for their actions.
  • One party violated the terms and conditions of the tenancy contract.

If both parties cannot reach an agreement, there is an optional third party mediator that can help the landlord and the tenant end their issues. This is called the Residential Tenancies Authority or RTA.

Their main charge is to look after the rights and responsibilities of landlords, agents, property managers, and tenants. Their service is completely free of charge. Any landlord who is currently embattling a stubborn tenant can lodge their complaint through their Dispute Resolution Service.

However, before you lodge your complaint before the RTA, you need to make sure that you have exhausted all efforts to talk to your tenant. Some cases have been deferred back to the landlords because they haven’t communicated with their tenants.

Usually, the RTA classifies all the tenancy disputes and complaints as urgent and non-urgent. If your complaint was listed as non-urgent, it will be given the least priority and will be rescheduled as soon as an opening comes up. But if your case was deemed urgent, the council will give you its attention immediately.

If the issue is not resolved by a mediator assigned by the RTA, you can bring the matter up to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or QCAT. The tribunal will then decide the matter based on the pre-existing tenancy laws in Queensland.

If your dispute requires urgent action, you need to apply for minor civil dispute. However, if the tenants have already vacated the premises and you want to claim compensation, you can also fill out this form.  

If you are unsure of your legal rights, we advise you to seek counsel immediately.

You can call 1300-366-311 for more information.


How can I make property management easier?

Managing a property is not as easy as it seems, especially if this is your first time doing so. There are many instances wherein the landlord loses a tenancy dispute case because they don’t know how to manage their own property.

Here are some suggestions that would make your work as a landlord or property manager easier:

  • At the beginning of the tenancy, make sure that you tell the lessor their duties and responsibilities inside the property. As much as possible, ask them if they have understood every stipulation on the contract before turning over the house to them.
  • Always give prior notice before scheduling and conducting repairs and maintenance. A week’s worth of notice to the tenant before conducting any repair or maintenance work is sufficient. Once they have received your notice, they can give you permission to enter the property and do the work.
  • Make sure to regularly ask the tenants for any updates concerning the condition of the property. This way, you can easily prepare the budget needed for repairs and maintenance.

Leasing in Queensland is very easy as long as you know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. These things can help you become a responsible landlord if you know the tenancy rules and regulations set the by the Queensland government. It can also prevent you from falling on the receiving end on any complaints lodged on the RTA.

 


Leasing in Queensland is very easy as long as you know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. These things can help you become a responsible landlord if you know the tenancy rules and regulations set the by the Queensland government. It can also prevent you from falling on the receiving end on any complaints lodged on the RTA.

If you need assistance in managing your property, we can help you find the best property manager in your area. Send us a message and we'll discuss your options.