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Tenants Guide to Renting

Fast Reference


 

What is considered an emergency repair under the Act?

Emergency repairs are those that could cause injury to tenants or damage to the property, and may include:
1. Broken or burst water pipes
2. A serious roof, or gas, leak
3. Dangerous electrical faults, dangerous powerpoints, loose wires etc
4. A blocked or broken toilet (if a second toilet is not available)
5. Faults or damages that make the premises unsafe or insecure
6. Faults likely to injure a person, cause damage or extreme inconvenience
7. Hot water service failure on a weekend, or long weekend (this would not be considered an after-hours emergency if this occurs on a week night)
8. Failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance for water or cooking
9. Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
10. Serious storm, fire or impact damage (i.e. impact by a motor vehicle)

Should an emergency repair be required during business hours, please contact your Licensed Manager directly. If this occurs outside of business hours, please consult your tenancy pack for a list of emergency tradespeople.

 

Tenant responsibilities regarding Smoke Alarms?

To comply with Queensland Fire and Rescue Services Legislation the following are responsibilities of the tenant during the tenancy:

• You will notify your Property Manager when a smoke alarm has failed or is about to fail, other than because of the battery is flat or almost flat.
• You will ensure that all exits from the property are maintained as clearways so they can be safely and effectively used for escape in the event of a fire.
• You must agree to arrange for the replacement of each battery that is spent or nearly spent during the tenancy in accordance with the Information Statement (RTA Form 17a).
• You will not remove, dispose of, or otherwise tamper with to cease its effectiveness, the smoke alarms installed at the premises unless it is to clean or change the battery.
• You must agree to arrange for the cleaning and testing of each smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every twelve (12) months on a fixed or periodic tenancy agreement.

 

Safety switch - tenant responsibilities

Safety switches are designed to reduce the likelihood of electric shock should an electrical fault occur. They are designed to prevent injury or death.

They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit. They automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances. This stops the chance of current flowing to earth, through a person, electrocuting them.

 

Safety switch - fool proof?

Nothing is guaranteed. Safety switches should be regularly checked. Just like a smoke detector or other safety devices, if the device is not working properly, it cannot protect anyone.

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

 

Safety switch - is one installed?

Check by looking at the switchboard for a TEST/RESET button. That tells you if there is a safety switch installed. A typical switchboard shows the main switch, safety switch with test button, and four circuit breakers. All homes have circuit breakers or fuses. These devices protect the wiring and appliances within the premises. Only safety switches are designed to protect people.

 

Testing

To test a safety switch, simply press the ‘TEST’ button. This should automatically trip the switch to the ‘off’ position. Reset by pushing the switch back to ‘on’. If it doesn’t work, contact your Licensed Manager immediately. You must carry out a safety switch test every three (3) months.

 

Power keeps turning off - why?

If a safety switch turns off the power, it may be that a resident could be using a faulty appliance or the electrical wiring may have become faulty. Reset the safety switch. If it trips again, unplug the last appliance used. If everything works okay, take that appliance to a licensed electrical contractor to be checked or dispose of the appliance accordingly. If the safety switch keeps tripping, disconnect all the appliances and plug them in one at a time, until the faulty one is located. Safety procedures MUST be adhered to while carrying out this process, while avoiding touching appliances.

 

General responsibilities - tenant

It’s important to show respect to your neighbours at all times. Loud music, parties and disruptive behaviour can disturb a neighbours right to peace and quiet. This is especially true of units and apartments, where there can be little more than a wall between homes. Disrespectful behaviour reflects poorly on yourself as tenants, on Inspire Real Estate Solutions as the Property Managers and on the property owners, and as such, it will NOT be tolerated.

 

Requesting general maintenance

All maintenance requests MUST be completed in Writing. Click here to download our maintenance request form to be completed and submitted.

 

Routine inspections

Inspire Real Estate Solutions will conduct an inspection of all properties under management every three (3) months. Plenty of notice will be given before any inspection is carried out and we will give all tenants a two (2) hour time frame for which we may enter the property. Occupants that would like to be present upon inspection are more than welcome to be present and if they would like to arrange an appointed time between the two (2) hour period provided, then we strongly urge them to contact their Licensed Manager.

 

Late rent payments

Peculiar situations can sometimes result in late or delayed rental payments. However, at Inspire Real Estate Solutions we have a strict arrears management procedure that will be upheld regardless of the reason.

Our process for Arrears handling is as follows:

If you fall into arrears or are aware that you cannot make your rental payment, please contact your Licensed Manager to discuss your situation and to arrange a manageable solution. In the event that rental payments fall more than seven (7) days in arrears, a RTA Form 11 Notice to Remedy Breach will be issued regardless of the reason for the non-payment. If the rental payment falls more than fourteen (14) days in arrears, a RTA Form 12 Notice to Leave will be issued upon owner’s approval.

 

How & when can rent be adjusted?

Every twelve (12) months Inspire Real Estate Solutions will carry out a rental appraisal on all properties under management. This is an added service for our clients to make sure they are aware of the rental capacity of their investment in the market as it stands at that very moment. Rental prices may be altered to better suit market conditions and must be accepted by both the Landlord and Tenant in order for the lease to be renewed. Rental adjustments take place at the completion of a fixed-term lease if both Landlord and Tenant are happy to renew the current lease.

 

Renewal of leases

Before a lease can be renewed the landlord must first be willing to continue leasing their investment. Other considerations for the owner are rental payments being on-time, property kept clean/tidy/undamaged and the exterior grounds being well maintained. Other factors out of tenant control for a lease renewal is the sale of the property. If an occupant is to receive a Lease Renewal Notice, it’s important that they let Inspire Real Estate Solutions know whether they accept the renewal or whether they wish to vacate. This advice must be completed and given in writing also.

 

Transferring new people onto a lease

Permission must be sort prior to anyone being added to a lease. Any additional people that seek to become tenants must first complete our application process, obtain approval from the Landlord and sign onto the lease. If the property is unsuitable, or the person that you are proposing does not meet our eligibility criteria, Inspire Real Estate Solutions holds the right to refuse any request made.

 

Lost keys

During business hours please contact your Licensed Manager and come to the office and collect our master set to have another set cut. Upon collection of the master keys we will require some identification. After hours, please contact a locksmith to assist you back into your home. Note: This is at the tenant/s cost.

 

Smoking at Inspire Real Estate Solutions properties

It is law in Queensland that all residential rental properties have a strict ‘no smoking inside’ policy. Any tenant that still chooses to smoke inside, in addition to facing eviction (hence being listed on a national tenancy database), the occupants will be responsible for specialised cleaning and deodorising of the internals of the property to minimise or eradicate repulsive smoke odours.

 

Pets

Pets can only be kept at the property if the Landlord/s have clearly granted permission on the Lease. If a pet is found at the property without permission you will be in violation of your tenancy agreement and could face eviction. If you are an existing tenant and are thinking of getting a pet, please do not do so without first finding out if it can be added to your lease.


Responsibilities of Tenants with Approved Pets

1. Abide by all local, city & state laws, licensing and health requirements including vaccinations
2. If fleas or flea eggs are present, arrange for flea fumigation of property at your expense
3. Costs for damages to the property caused by an animal must be covered at your expense
4. Keep the yard clean and tidy

 

Vacating – Responsibilities of the tenant

Adequate notice must be given by the tenant or Inspire Real Estate Solutions prior to vacating. It is at this time that a vacate date will be issued (this is the latest date an outgoing occupant can return the keys). The outgoing occupant is required to have all of their items and valuables out of the property and must leave the property in a good order. Outgoing occupants are required to pay rent up until their vacate date regardless of whether they are living in the residence or not.

An Exit Condition Report is required to be completed by the outgoing occupant upon vacation of the residence. It is highly recommended that the outgoing occupant/s use the exit condition report as a check-list for the vacate process. The report details the outgoing occupant’s obligations with respect to cleaning, smoke detectors, appliances and so forth. If the residence is not left in a respectable condition, Inspire Real Estate Solutions holds the right to engage professional cleaners at the outgoing tenant’s expense and deduct this figure from their Bond.

If the outgoing tenant and Inspire Real Estate Solutions agree on the Bond amount to be refunded, a RTA Form 4 – Refund of Rental Bond will be completed and signed by both parties and sent to the RTA (Residential Tenancy Authority). Once completed the outgoing occupant will be refunded the agreed amount as stated by the RTA Form 4 and is usually processed within fourteen (14) days. If the outgoing occupant and Inspire Real Estate Solutions disagree on the amount of Bond to be refunded, the outgoing occupant may file a Dispute with the RTA within fourteen (14) days of the initial claim.

Should you require any further information on vacating please refer to www.rta.qld.gov.au.

 

Outstanding rent owing or damages when occupant vacates

If an outgoing tenant vacates a property with money still owing and/or damage to the property and does nothing to rectify the issue, then Inspire Real Estate Solutions withholds the right to lodge any individual in breach on a national tenancy database. In the event that an occupant returns at a later stage to rectify the issue their details may not be withdrawn from the database. Details may still be available for five (5) years once the original debt has been cleared. This is to indicate that there was originally a problem.

Due to the seriousness of these databases Inspire Real Estate Solutions strongly encourages all outgoing occupants to ensure all facets of their tenancy be completed entirely with us before vacating.
If a tenant is evicted , their details will be lodged on TICA.