Current tenant’s guide

Below is a range of information designed to answer some of the common questions tenants ask.  Click on the relevant topic to see more information.

If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please give us a call or send us an email and we will answer your question.

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You are required to abide by all Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws (where applicable). You will be provided with a copy of all applicable Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws in your sign up pack at the beginning of your tenancy.

Your rental bond will be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) shortly after we receive your payment. You will receive a bond receipt, confirming lodgement of your bond with the RTA.

Your rental bond will be held by the RTA, for the duration of your tenancy. Your bond will be refunded to you once we have completed your final inspection on vacating the property. If you and Real Estate Rentals agree on the bond to be refunded, we can jointly submit a bond refund request to the RTA. You will be refunded the agreed amount by the RTA – usually within approximately 14 days. If you do not agree with Real Estate Rentals, you may lodge a dispute with the RTA within 14 days of the initial claim.

Your landlord will be entitled to claim against the rental bond for things like unpaid rent, damage to the property and cleaning if the property is not left in a clean and tidy state on vacating.

In order to obtain a speedy refund of your bond, you should ensure that all rent is paid up to date and that all cleaning and repairs are completed prior to handing back your keys.

If unforeseen circumstances arise and you need to break your tenancy, you should contact Real Estate Rentals immediately. We will work with you to find a replacement tenant, however, it is important to be aware of your responsibilities:

  • the owner may be entitled to rent compensation until a new tenant is secured or until the fixed term tenancy expires
  • payment of the re-letting fee (equal to one week’s rent + GST)
  • payment of all advertising costs incurred to relet the property
  • maintaining the property until a new tenant is secured or until the fixed term tenancy expires

All of our properties have the carpets professionally steam cleaned prior to your tenancy commencement. Therefore, you are required to have any carpets professionally steam cleaned at the expiry of your tenancy. If you were permitted to keep birds, dogs, cats or other animals in the property you must also have the property fumigated and deodorised by a professional pest control technician. As these services were professionally completed prior to your tenancy, you must ensure the same is completed upon vacating.

We strongly recommend that you have any carpets steam cleaned at least annually during the term of your tenancy in order to ensure that any deterioration of carpets can be shown to be the result of fair wear and tear only.

Your Tenancy Agreement records the maximum number of people allowed to live in the property. Real Estate Rentals must be advised of any proposed changes to people living in the property and the consent of the landlord must be obtained first. Any new or additional tenants will need to complete an application and sign a new lease before moving into the property. An application may be refused on all the usual grounds.

If the landlord consents to a change of tenants during the lease, the outgoing tenant must arrange with the incoming tenant to receive their share of the bond previously paid. Bond is not refunded until the end of the tenancy. However, the incoming and outgoing tenants must liaise with Real Estate Rentals to have the names on the original bond lodgement changed with the Residential Tenancies Authority.

Subletting is not allowed without the written approval of the landlord. New tenants will need to complete an application and sign a new lease before moving into the property. An application may be refused on all the usual grounds.

You may be faced with a situation that is an emergency. An emergency is something that cause injury or may cause further damage to the property if left unattended, and may include:

  • a burst water service or a serious water service leak
  • a blocked or broken toilet
  • a serious roof leak
  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • flooding or serious flood damage
  • serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • a failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance on the premises for hot water, cooking or heating
  • a fault or damage that makes the premises unsafe or insecure (this includes smoke alarms)
  • a fault or damage likely to injure a person, damage property or unduly inconvenience a tenant
  • a serious fault in a staircase, lift or other common area of the premises that unduly inconveniences a tenant in gaining access to, or using, the premises
  • minimum housing standards – only effective once minimum housing standards apply to the property. Minimum housing standards came into effect for new tenancies (including renewed tenancy agreements) from 1 September 2023 and commence for all remaining tenancies on 1 September 2024.

During business hours – If you require an emergency repair during business hours please contact your property manager.

Outside business hours – If you require an emergency repair outside of business hours, please refer to page 2 of your lease agreement for contact details of our after hours trade contacts.

Here a a few tips on handling certain emergencies:

Lights and/or power not working:

See the ‘Safety Switches – what are they and what are my responsibilities?’ section of this page.

Hot water system stops working:

If it is a gas hot water system, check that the pilot light is on.
Check that the hot water system is not leaking as this may be a stop valve malfunction and leaking water may cause further damage.

Break-in and damage to glass:

Immediately contact your local police and report the break in.

You will be supplied with a police report number – you must provide this report number to Real Estate Rentals the very next working day for both insurance reasons and repair costs.

All damage to the property must be reported to Real Estate Rentals the next working day.

If any glass breakage was caused by you, you will need to contact a glazier and pay for the invoice yourself. You will not be able to claim this back from your landlord.

Lost keys or keys locked inside house:

See the ‘Keys – What if I lose my keys?’ section of this page.

If you decide to move out after the end of your tenancy, you must give Real Estate Rentals a Notice of Intention to Leave (Form 13), giving 14 days’ notice in writing. You can email the completed form to us, post it or drop it in to our office.

When will routine inspections be done?
Generally, routine inspections will be done once every 3 months.

Will I know when inspections will occur?
Yes. You will receive an Entry Notice (Form 9) advising you of the day and giving you a 2 hour time frame when we will undertake your inspection. Given the large number of inspections we undertake it is not always possible to accommodate changes to times – however, if the inspection time is difficult for any reason, please contact us to see if we can reschedule.

You are not required to be home during the inspection. We will use our office keys to access the property and we will leave you a note letting you know that we have completed your inspection.

Why do we do inspections?
We do inspections to identify if repairs and maintenance are required to the property. At the end of every inspection, we prepare a report for the landlord which assists the landlord to understand any issues that require attention.

Our landlords wish to keep there properties to the highest possible standard – so don’t wait for inspections to tell us about maintenance issues – as soon as you notice a maintenance issue let us know by lodging a maintenance request.

You should be aware that if your possessions are damaged or destroyed by an event effecting the landlord’s property (for example, fire, cyclone, storm, power outage) then your possessions are not insured as part of the landlord’s insurance.

You must take out your own appropriate insurance to cover your possessions stored at the property during your tenancy.

If you lose your keys or lock your keys inside your property during business hours, you may contact Real Estate Rentals to use our office keys. You must return the office keys to us the same day.

If you lose your keys outside business hours, you may contact a locksmith directly; you must pay the account.

If your keys have been stolen, then it will be necessary for security reasons to have all locks replaced. This will be at your expense and you must provide Real Estate Rentals with a complete set of new keys by the next business day after the locks are changed.

If your landlord does not wish to renew your lease, you will be advised 2 months before the end of your lease or the date on which you are required to vacate the property. If you do not wish to renew your lease, you must give Real Estate Rentals 2 weeks notice.

If your rent is paid on time and you have looked after your property, your landlord is likely to wish to renew your lease. If your landlord wishes to renew your lease you will be advised in writing. If you agree and wish to renew your lease, it is important that you sign the new lease documentation and return it to Real Estate Rentals as soon as possible.

All general maintenance requests must be made in writing and preferably electronically. You can either:

  • submit your request via the online tenant portal here (preferred method); or
  • send your property manager an email 

Real Estate Rentals prefers maintenance requests to be submitted online where photographs of the maintenance item can be uploaded as part of your request.  The inclusion of photographs and electronic lodgement allows us to process your request more quickly, obtain your landlord’s consent more quickly and to get works underway.  It also assists us to follow up your request, to make sure that it has been actioned and that any work has been completed safely and to an acceptable standard.

PLEASE NOTE – the above procedure does not apply to emergency repairs – for emergency repairs, please see the ‘Emergency Repairs – What are they and what can I do?’ section of this page.

Changes to legislation around pets in a rental property came into effect on 1 October 2022. These changes provide tenants, property owners and property managers with a framework to negotiate the pet approval process during a tenancy. For more information, visit the RTA’s information page here.

To keep a pet in a rental property, you must submit a formal request for the owners consideration. Your tenancy agreement sets out whether the landlord has agreed to your having a pet. If you are found to have a pet without your landlord’s permission, you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement and may receive a breach. If you are thinking of getting a pet, get in contact with us and we can advise you of the appropriate steps to take.

If the owner consents to a pet, you must:

  • keep the animal secure inside the property
  • keep the property, including the yard, clean and tidy
  • comply with any restrictions on the landlord’s consent (eg. keeping a pet outside)
  • abide by all local council regulations and meet the costs of any such compliance
  • pay for any damage caused by you pet to the property, both internal and external
  • arrange and pay for flea fumigation of the property once per year and on vacating

Failure to comply with the above and any additional terms contained in your Tenancy Agreement or any other agreement, will result in withdrawal of the landlord’s permission and amount to a breach of the terms of your Tenancy Agreement.

Real Estate Rentals has a strict zero tolerance for late rent payment policy. We implement our strict arrears management policy for every tenant who doesn’t pay rent on time – not exceptions. Real Estate Rentals has the following policy:

  • 1-7 days in arrears – you will receive a call, SMS and/or email to remind you that your rent is in arrears
  • 8 days in arrears – you will receive a Notice to Remedy Breach requiring the breach (late rent payment) to be remedied within 7 days
  • 18 days in arrears – you will receive a Notice to Leave requiring you to vacate the property within 7 days

If a Notice to Leave is issued, you will still be required to pay all rent up to the date you vacate the property as well as all other moneys due in accordance with the terms of your Tenancy Agreement.  If there are additional moneys owed, over and above the amount of your bond, you may be listed with a tenancy database.

If, as a result of some unforeseen circumstances, you think you will be unable to pay your rent, you should let Real Estate Rentals know immediately.  We will not amend our arrears management policy but we will inform your landlord so that they are aware of the issue and work with you to try to find a solution.

RE Rentals conduct rent reviews on all of our properties in line with lease renewal dates. We provide our owners with up to date market information so they may make an informed decision. Recent law changes came into affect so that rent can only be increased once every 12 months. Our aim is to provide a fair experience to both tenants and owners, if you do not agree with a rent increase it is encouraged to chat with your property manager.

What is a safety switch?
Safety switches are switches installed in the electricity meter box of properties and are designed to prevent injury or death.

It will be located inside the meter box and look something like this:

They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances.

Are safety switches fail safe?
Nothing is failsafe. Safety switches should be regularly checked. Just like a smoke detector or other safety device, safety switches cannot protect you if they are not working properly.

It is also important to make sure your electrical appliances, electrical wiring, extension leads and other electrical equipment are regularly checked and kept in good working order.

How do I test the safety switch installed in my property?

To test a safety switch:

  • press the test button
  • this should automatically trip the switch to the off position
  • reset by pushing the switch back to on

You should carry out safety switch test every three months.

Why did my safety switch trip?
If a safety switch turns off your power you could be using a faulty appliance or your electrical wiring may have become faulty.
Reset the safety switch. If it trips again unplug the last appliance used. If everything works take that appliance to a licensed electrical contractor to be checked. If the safety switch keeps tripping, disconnect all appliances and plug them in one at a time until you locate the faulty one.
Avoid touching appliances while doing this process.

All Real Estate Rentals properties have a strict ‘no smoking inside’ policy. You should consult your Tenancy Agreement and any Body Corporate Rules and By-Laws provide to you as part of your sign up pack, for any additional restrictions.

Property managers/owners must ensure rental premises meet all health and safety requirements, including the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms that meet Queensland standards.

Smoke alarms save lives. Reports have found that the risk of death in a house fire is reduced by more than half if properly maintained smoke alarms are installed.

From 1 January 2022:

  • Smoke alarms in all dwellings must:
    • be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
    • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
    • be less than 10 years old; and
    • operate when tested; and
    • be interconnected so all other smoke alarms in the dwelling activate together; and
    • be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery; and
    • be installed on each story:
      • in each bedroom; and
      • in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
      • if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and
      • if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
  • Property managers/owners must:
    • ensure rental premises meet all health and safety requirements, including the installation of smoke alarms
    • test and clean smoke alarms within 30 days before the start of a tenancy. This also includes a renewed tenancy
    • not remove a smoke alarm or a battery (other than to replace it), or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of an alarm e.g. paint it.
  • Tenants must:
    • test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
    • advise the property manager/owner if there is any issue with an alarm and allow the property manager/owner right of entry to install smoke alarms
    • not remove a smoke alarm or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of an alarm e.g. paint or cover it.

Smoke alarms are listed as a reportable item in the Entry Condition Report (Form 1a), which records the condition of all Queensland rental properties at the start of a tenancy.

You do not need to be qualified or licensed to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm. Some real estate agents may outsource smoke alarm maintenance to another company as part of their processes. Tenants should be given a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions. Tenancy rules permit entry for the purposes of complying with smoke alarm legislation. The managing party must give the tenant a 24 hour entry notice to install, maintain or test smoke alarms.

Repairs relating to a non-functioning smoke alarm may be considered emergency repairs.
Tenants are encouraged to report any faults or repairs as soon as possible to their property owner/manager to carry out within a reasonable timeframe.

If you vacate your property with money still owing and/or damage to the property, you will lodged on a national tenancy database. If you subsequently pay the amount owing and compensate the owner for the damage, your details may not be removed from the database.

Real Estate Rentals uses TICA, the Largest Tenant Screening Service in Australia. You can get more information here.

You will need to consider your individual tenancy to determine the appropriate notice which is required to be given to Real Estate Rentals. Once the appropriate notice has been given, Real Estate Rentals will advise you of your vacate date.

On or before your vacate date, you will be required to undertake the following:

  • pay all rent up to your vacate date
  • remove all of your personal belongings from the property
  • ensure that you have had any carpets cleaned and any fumigation undertaken
  • ensure that the property is clean and left in good order
  • complete your exit condition report
  • return all sets of keys to Real Estate Rentals

If the property is left unclean and/or not in good order, we will hire professional cleaners and/or tradesperson to rectify each problem and the costs will be deducted from your bond.  You should ensure that the property is left clean and all maintenance issues are raised with Real Estate Rentals well before your vacate day.

Under all Real Estate Rentals’ Tenancy Agreements, if you rent a property other than a unit or townhouse with shared gardens, you are required to maintain the lawns and gardens, having regard to their condition at the commencement of your tenancy, including by mowing the lawns, weeding the gardens and watering the lawns and gardens (subject to local council water restrictions).

If you require Real Estate Rentals can organise regular or one-off yard maintenance at competitive rates.

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RE Rentals did a great job of transferring my property from my previous manager. The whole process was stress free and done in a couple of days. The difference in communication from RE Rentals has made owing an investment property so much easier. Thanks to the RE Rentals team.
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Thanks guys!! I really appreciate the quick (and patient) advice over the last few weeks. We have signed the new property up and will settle in early May! Add another one to your list!!!
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