They are not alone! Unfortunately, I am regularly advising landlords on their rights in relation to a range of breaches by tenants, including property damage, failure to pay rent or contravention of other terms of the lease.
Over the next few weeks, I will take you through the process of renting a residential property in Queensland and examine some of the protections landlords have available at law.
So, to start at the beginning - a written agreement must always be used when renting (even if between family or friends). The standard document recommended is a Form 18a General Tenancy Agreement. A pro forma version of this agreement is available from www.rta.qld.gov.au.
The real estate agent will usually organise the Residential Tenancy Agreement. If you do not have an agent engaged, then it is the landlord's responsibility to organise the Agreement and ensure a copy if given to the tenant before any money is paid.
The Agreement must include key particulars, such as:
- details of the landlord, tenant and agent (if any). A landlord is often referred to as a "lessor" and a tenant, as a "lessee";
- the period of the lease, including the start and finish dates;
- how much, and when, rent is payable;
- the rights and obligations of both parties; and
- any special conditions.
If there is a bond (security deposit) payable, then it must be lodged with the Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA). Generally, where the weekly rent payable is $700 or less, the maximum bond that a property owner/landlord may charge is equivalent to 4 weeks rent.
If the weekly rent is over $700, then there is no limit on the bond.
Bonds must be lodged with the RTA within 10 days of receipt, using a Form 2 - Bond Lodgement.
More next week as we "take care of business".
Suzanne Brown is a Principal of McKays and Mackay's only Queensland Law Society Business Law Accredited Specialist. She can be contacted on 4963 0888 or email@example.com.