Tips for a successful tenancy
As a tenant there are a few things you can do during your tenancy to ensure that renting with Ray White is an easy process. (Click here for printable version)
Communicate with your Property Manager. Let them know if a rent payment is going to be late, damage has occurred or something isn’t working. Full communication and disclosure will help your tenancy run smoothly.
• Your property manager will take photos. These are a great way to record the condition of the property when you first move in. You also can take pictures (that are date stamped) of the property, especially any areas that may be damaged or unclean. You should give a copy of these to your property manager also, these photos will then form part of your entry condition report.
• Keep a copy of the Tenancy Agreement, initial inspection report, rent receipts, bond lodgement form as well as any letters or emails received in a designated folder or file in case you need to refer to at a later date.
• Never stop paying your rent, even if there are issues with your tenancy. Failure to pay rent can affect chances of success in any Tenancy Tribunal case and will not speed up repairs or solve issues.
• Comply with the terms of your Tenancy Agreement. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without seeking written permission from the Property Manager first.
• I f the property has a pool or garden make sure you are very clear about the expectations or tenancy conditions around who is responsible for ongoing maintenance.
• If the end of the tenancy is approaching and you wish to extend the current agreement, please contact your Property Manager as soon as possible to advise them of your interest.
Fixed term tenancy in QLD
A fixed term tenancy agreement ends when the end date has been reached and the tenant/resident gives the property manager/owner notice that they will be leaving or the agent gives the tenant/resident notice to leave. Otherwise the agreement continues as a periodic agreement.
Periodic tenancy in QLD
Under a periodic agreement the tenancy ends when the tenant/resident or property manager/owner give the correct notice
Giving notice under these agreements:
Periodic agreement 2 weeks – at anytime during the periodic agreement
Fixed term agreement 14 days before the end date of the fixed term
Giving notice/vacating premises
If you wish to vacate your property you are required by law to notify your Property Manager in writing and provide a minimum of 14 days notice. You will be liable for rent up to and including the 14th day of your notice period. Notice is effective from the date it is received by the office (same day with emails sent before 5pm allow four working days for anything sent in the post). Note: For tenants on fixed term tenancies, the above does not apply as your agreement cannot be terminated by notice.
Breaking the lease
A fixed term tenancy cannot be ended before its expiry date. The owner/s are within their rights to refuse permission to break the lease. If the owner does agree to early termination of the lease agreement the tenant is required to pay the reasonable costs to find a new tenant, as well as rent and maintenance of the property until it is re-let.
Specifically, if you wish to break your lease and the owner agrees in writing you can expect to be liable to pay:
• Rent until the property is re-let
• Advertising costs to re-let the property
• The unused portion of the owner’s letting fee
• Any costs to maintain the property until it is re-let, including care of the property and gardens and maintaining supply of services such as power to the property.
Breaking your lease can be a costly experience and we encourage you to contact your Property Manager to discuss your options should you feel that you are unable to continue with the lease.
Paying your rent
It’s your legal responsibility to pay your rent on time as it’s set out in your tenancy agreement – before the due date. Your rent must be paid before the date it is due, this allows for bank processing times. During your induction meeting your property manager will set out the schedule with you and explain how and where your rent is to be paid.
If you have problems paying your rent or know there might be an issue in the future, make sure you let your Property Manager know straight away. Even if you’re unhappy about something to do with the property, you still have to pay the rent on time – if you don’t, it won’t reflect well upon you if it comes to a Tribunal hearing.
Rent reviews and increases
Your Property Manager will give at least 60 days’ written notice to increase the rent. There is no limit as to how much the rent may be increased, providing that any increase is not excessively above ‘market rate’. Rent can only be increased during a fixed term tenancy where provision for this is written into the tenancy agreement and the same time frames apply.
Rent in advance
This is a concept that can be misleading due to its title and often creates confusion for tenants, especially at the end of any lease. ‘Rent in advance’ doesn’t mean that you have paid a lump sum of rent and therefore do not need to pay rent in your last week(s) of a tenancy. It refers to the concept and obligation of a tenant to pay their rent before it comes due.
In the example below we have a lease that began on Wednesday 4th September and ‘one week’s rent in advance’ has been paid. This simply means that the tenant has paid the first week’s rent for the period ending on Tuesday 10th September (the area in red).
To ensure the rent is received by the Property Manager before it is due, the next payment would be due to come out of the tenant’s account on Tuesday 10th September to ensure it reaches the Property Manager by the 11th. This then covers the tenant up until and including Tuesday 17th (the area in green).
If the tenant had been in the property for some time with this weekly payment system and had handed in their notice to leave, with the final day being Saturday 21st, they wouldn’t be a week in advance or not needing to pay for the final week. They would still owe four day’s rent (the area in blue) and this is where often the confusion can arise.
Another way of looking at this is if you were to go into a store to buy a can of soft drink then drink the contents before paying for it – you’d probably find the store owner wouldn’t be too pleased. You always pay for something first, then consume it afterwards. Paying ‘rent in advance’ is exactly the same – you purchase the time period in advance and then consume the time period by living in the property – or in other words: ‘pay before you stay’.
Ask us how we can help keep you covered Ray White Concierge can help you organise an insurance policy that’s right for you so you’re covered from the very beginning. They can also make sure you benefit from ongoing discounts on all your insurances. Just ask them – Ray White Concierge
It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure they have set up their utilities accounts (such as gas, phone, power and internet). These must be under the tenant’s own name. Remember to close these accounts when vacating.
Water rates and other out goings
The minimum criteria for landlords to pass on water usage charges are:
• the rental premises must be individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle, such as those with water tanks on rural properties)
• the charges must not exceed the amount billed for water usage by the water supplier the rental premises must meet required ‘water efficiency’ standards.
Ask us how we can help you save on utilities
Ray White Home Now can help you compare utility offers to get you the best deal and have you up and running faster. Whether you need electricity, gas, internet, phones, water or pay tv, Home Now can help you get connected. Ray White Home Now
Charge as shown on water bill – Can tenant be charged?
Routine property inspections
Routine property inspections generally occur every three months, or not less than four times per year. These inspections are a requirement under most landlord insurance policies. Your Property Manager is required to provide a minimum of 7 days notice, in writing, prior to any inspection.
Due to time constraints it is not always possible to alter an inspection time, and your Property Manager is not obligated to do so. You are not required to be present for any inspection, however you are most welcome to if you wish to discuss any issues around your tenancy.
Only the people listed on the tenancy agreement are permitted to reside at the property on a permanent basis. If a tenant on the agreement wishes to move out you must notify the Property Manager immediately. Of course you are allowed to have visitors to the property. As the occupant you are responsible for the behaviour of the visitors during the time. If you have someone that wants to come and stay with you on a more permanent basis, then you need to inform your property manager so they can make the arrangements of adding this person to the tenancy agreement.
Painting, decorating & renovating
If you wish to make any changes to the property, including, but not limited to, decoration, painting or renovation, you must obtain written permission before any work commences.
Tenants should only park in their designated areas that form part of their tenancy. Please ensure that cars are not parked on grass verges or lawns and do not block shared driveways. Cars that are not registered or running are not permitted to be parked on the premises.
Pets and animals
Pets may only be kept at the property if you have first received written permission from your Property Manager or it is allowed for by way of a clause in your Tenancy Agreement. Failure to do so will put you in breach of your Tenancy Agreement and could affect your ability to continue living in the property.
If the property you are renting has a fireplace this cannot be used unless you have been given written permission from your Property Manager. A quick email can confirm whether you can use it if you are unsure. Some fireplaces are ornamental and may have their flue/chimney blocked and using it could cause a house fire or property damage.
If you wish to install any new picture hooks you will need to get written permission from your Property Manager. Picture hooks can cause damage to the walls so if in doubt, always check with your Property Manager first. Even Blu-Tack or other hanging adhesives can leave an oily residue on a wall which does not disappear with repainting.
Damage to the premises
It is the tenant’s responsibility to look after the property, both internally and externally. This of course includes any lawns or gardens that are part of your Tenancy Agreement. It is important to remember that you have an obligation to report any damage to the property immediately to your property manager.
If keys are not returned at the end of any tenancy, the tenant will be responsible for the cost of replacement locks and this can be deducted from the bond. No further keys are to be cut by the tenant without prior written consent from your Property Manager. This process is in place for your protection and security and that of any subsequent occupiers. If you ever require further information around the Residential Tenancies Act in your State or your responsibilities as a tenant, you should speak to the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority). You can visit their website – rta.qld.gov.au/Renting