Before you rent accommodation in Australia, it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. We strongly recommend that you visit the Queensland residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website prior to signing any leases for off-campus accommodation.
Things you may need to be aware of if you rent a property:
• Rights and responsibilities of the tenant and landlord: There are rules that apply to renters and landlords in Queensland, it is important you are aware of them. Read about them on the RTA website.
• Bond/Security Deposits: At the start of tenancy you may be asked to pay a rental bond, this is a security deposit paid before you move in. If you damage the property or do not clean it before leaving, the landlord has a legal right to keep some or the entire amount of the bond. Otherwise the landlord must organise to have the bond returned to you within a month of you moving out of the accommodation. A bond is usually equivalent to four weeks rent. Make sure that you get a receipt when you pay your bond. The landlord must lodge the bond with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA). Find out more online.
• A tenancy agreement/lease: A written agreement between a tenant and the landlord. It states the period of tenancy, rent amount and any special terms. It is important to remember that a lease is a legally binding contract. It can be expensive to break a lease if you change your mind about renting the property. Find out more online.
• Restrictions: The tenancy agreement may contain restrictions, such as not permitting smoking or animals in the residence. Make sure that you know and understand these restrictions before signing the lease. If you do not obey the restrictions on the lease, the landlord can ask you to leave.
• Entry condition report: This document describes the condition of the residence at the time you move in. Make sure that you review this document carefully before you sign it to make sure that it accurately reflects the condition of the property. Find out more online.
• Rent and other payments: You will pay rent for the period of the tenancy agreement. The amount of rent and how it should be paid will be detailed in the tenancy agreement. In addition to rent you may also have to pay for electricity, gas or water, visit the RTA website’s Charging for utilities page or rent and other payments page for more information. Note: you may also be asked to pay up to two weeks rent in advance.
Find out more about:
- Renting in Queensland
- Moving in
- During a tenancy
- Moving out