A tenancy agreement (sometimes referred to as a lease) is a legal document enforceable written contract between a prospective tenant and a property manager/owner.
Even if it is between relatives or friends, an agreement must be utilized. Even if there is no formal agreement, a renter has legal protection.
Before paying any money or committing to the tenancy, the renter should be provided the tenancy agreement.
- Types of Contracts
- What should be included in a Residential Tenancy Agreement?
- Your lease agreement’s clauses and conditions
- The tenancy agreement is signed
- Tenancy agreement and holding fee
- Giving up a tenancy
- Tips for relocating
Types of Contracts
Houses, townhouses, flats, and houseboats: general tenancy agreement (Form 18a) Caravans, caravan parks, and mobile houses are covered under the movable dwelling agreement (Form 18b).
Renting one or more rooms and sharing other rooms or amenities (Form R18): renting one or more rooms and sharing other rooms or facilities with others. In rooming lodging, special terms may apply to tenants with impaired capability.
It’s also possible that the agreement isn’t covered by the Act or that there isn’t a written agreement.
What should be included in a Residential Tenancy Agreement?
- The tenant’s name and address with start and end dates of the lease.
- The property manager’s or owner’s name with terms and conditions.
- The lease’s start and finish dates (if it’s a fixed 6- or 12 month agreement, for example) or a declaration that the lease will be periodic.
- Caravan parks that are available on a short-term basis (less than 42 days)
- Landlord and tenants should agree to any special terms of their lease.
- Information about how the tenant should pay the month rent by the renter
Standard terms – this section explains what the renter and the property manager/owner are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do.
Special conditions – they must be agreed upon ahead of time. ‘No smoking,’ or ‘Dogs must be kept outside of the property,’ are examples of special terms.
Your lease agreement’s clauses and conditions
A basic lease contract comprises non-negotiable conditions and terms. This is done to safeguard both you and the property owner. Additional provisions can be added to standard papers in some cases, but only with your permission.
Remember to ask questions and seek guidance from your property manager/landlord to ensure that you fully comprehend the lease conditions. This is especially true if the clauses have been struck out.
When renting a home, unit, apartment, townhouse, or houseboat, the general tenancy agreement is utilized. Even if the person renting is a family member or a friend, a formal agreement must always be utilized when renting.
Before the renter pays any money or commits to the tenancy, the property manager/owner must organize the agreement and provide a copy to them.
The following items must be included in a tenancy agreement:
- The tenant’s name and address, as well as the property manager’s/ owner’s
- the agreement’s start and termination dates (or state that it is periodic)
- normal conditions (what the tenant and the property manager/owner may and cannot do) how the renter should pay rent and how much is to be paid
any unique phrases (these should be agreed in advance, e.g. a dog is allowed but must be kept outside)
The renter must do the following on or before the day they take possession of the property:
- sign the contract
- within 5 days of obtaining the agreement, return it to the property manager/owner.
- Within 14 days, the property manager/owner must sign the agreement and deliver a copy to the renter.
The tenancy agreement is signed
The lease you’ll be required to sign is a legally binding agreement. It was written in a certain way to protect both you as a renter and the property owner.
It will serve as a reference in the case of a tenancy dispute. Make a copy of the signed lease contract, as well as any applicable attachments, and preserve them in a secure location.
You will usually be provided a Property Condition Report (PCR) to study and sign in addition to this lease contract and any other documents required by your state law from the landlord or property management.
Tenancy agreement and holding fee
On approval of your tenancy application, a landlord or agent may require you to pay a holding fee. One week’s rent is the maximum they can ask for.
At any given moment, the landlord/agent can only hold one holding fee. Depending on whatever state or region you’re in, the agent’s ability to enter into an agreement with another potential renter is limited for a certain amount of time.
For example, in Queensland, the agent is prohibited from taking another holding deposit from a potential renter for 48 hours, but in NSW, the period is seven days. Make sure you talk to the agent about the time frame because you might be able to extend it.
The charge is applied to your rent from the first day of your lease when you sign the tenancy agreement.
The landlord/agent must refund the fee if the landlord/agent refuses to enter into the lease agreement, or if you decline to enter into the tenancy agreement because the landlord/agent made any false or misleading statement, or failed to disclose to you any “material facts.”
The landlord/agent can keep the money if you otherwise decide not to enter into the tenancy agreement.
Giving up a tenancy
If a tenant fails to conclude their tenancy in accordance with the Act and moves out, the lessor may take proceedings to terminate the tenancy owing to abandonment. A 7-day abandonment notice can be issued by the lessor or agent, or an abandonment order can be sought by QCAT.
- A tenant can contest an abandonment notice or order, but they must move promptly and petition to QCAT before the time period expires.
- Determining if a tenant has abandoned their tenancy may be challenging. Evidence that a person has abandoned a tenancy under the Act includes:
- Nonpayment of rent by the renter; the existence of uncollected mail, newspapers, or other items; neighbour complaints;
- There are no personal belongings at the rental home;
- Failure of the tenant to react to entry notifications; and/or Disconnection of services to the rented property.
Tips for relocating
The renter must do the following at the conclusion of the tenancy:
Remove all belongings and tidy the premises as you did at the beginning of the tenancy;
Except for ‘fair, wear and tear,’ leave the premises in as good a condition as they were at the commencement of the tenancy.
When moving out, fill out an Exit Condition Report to document the property’s condition. It’s also a good idea to photograph and save copies of cleaning receipts. This proof demonstrates that the renters have fulfilled their responsibilities. This document might be used as proof in the event of a later disagreement about the bond return.
Return all keys and a copy of the completed Exit Condition Report to the lessor/agent engage with a professional End of cleaning service. The lessor/agent has three business days to examine the premises, add comments to the Exit Condition Report, and deliver a copy to the renter at the address listed on the form as the tenant’s forwarding address.
Tenants can request a bond return through the RTA’s Web Services after they have moved out. If a bond refund disagreement arises, the RTA will retain the bond until the dispute is resolved or QCAT issues a bond refund order.
Tenants are not liable for general upkeep or normal wear and tear (such as fading drapes, worn carpet, or scuff marks on floors): (Section 188(2); and Tenants may be liable for repairs if they cause damage to the property.) If at all feasible, tenants should fix any damage before leaving or make arrangements with the agency for agreed-upon repair expenses. Tenants can photograph the damage and obtain estimates for repair expenses.
Maintain accurate records.
You’ll be amazed how quickly six or twelve months may go by. It’s possible to lose documents at that period if you don’t file them correctly. Whatever you do, don’t let your tenancy agreement be jeopardized. When your lease expires, you will require this paperwork.
Keep your rental agreement, bond lodgement paperwork, property condition report, and copies of correspondence in a separate folder if at all feasible.