Starting a tenancy: Checklist
In Queensland, tenants who rent their home are covered by the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (‘the Act’). This Act sets out your rights and responsibilities when you rent a place, and explains the rights and responsibilities of the person you rent from.
The Act applies whether you rent privately from a lessor, agent or provider, or rent from the government or a community organisation. The Act applies to tenants in residential tenancies, whether you rent general premises (a house or unit), or moveable dwelling premises (a site or van in a caravan park). The Act also applies to residents who rent a room and share facilities in rooming accommodation. Some sections of the Act also apply to prospective tenants and residents.
- Give you a written agreement to sign (optional for short tenancy moveable dwelling agreements).
- Give you a copy of the agreement signed by both parties, within 14 days in residential tenancies, or three days in rooming accommodation.
- Provide you with copies of any relevant house rules, park rules or by-laws.
- Give you a copy of the applicable RTA Information Statement (not required in rooming accommodation).
- Give you a prepared Entry Condition Report to complete and sign (not required for short tenancy moveable dwelling agreements or rooming accommodation agreements where no bond is taken).
- Give you a receipt for any money you pay, for key deposits, holding deposits, rent or bond.
- If you pay a rental bond, the person you pay it to must give you a receipt, fill in an RTA Bond Lodgement form with you, and lodge your bond money with the RTA.
- Ensure the place is available for you to move into on the day the agreement starts.
- Ensure the premises are reasonably secure and provide you with keys for the premises.
- Ensure at the start of the agreement the premises are clean and in good repair.
What you must do:
- Sign and return a copy of the written agreement to the lessor, agent or provider. In residential tenancies you must return a copy within five days of receiving the document, but there is no time limit in rooming accommodation.
- Pay rent when it is due. The Act limits the amount of rent in advance you can be asked to pay.
- Pay the agreed rental bond and sign the RTA bond lodgement form.
Inspect the premises when you move in, write your comments on the Entry Condition Report and return the form to your lessor, agent or provider (within three days). Entry Condition Reports are not required in rooming accommodation if you have not paid a bond, or in short tenancy moveable dwelling
Tips for Tenants:
- Get receipts or keep records of any money you pay to the lessor, agent or provider.
- Keep copies of your agreement, Entry Condition Report, receipts and other tenancy documents in a safe place.
- Contact a tenant advice service for information or advice if you are unsure about your rights and responsibilities and how the Act applies to you.