Dear Tenants – Please see below information on;
:: When can my rent be increased
:: Entry Condition Reports
:: Renters Guide to finding the right property
If you have any other questions for our property management team please feel free to book an appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 3198 2555.
When can my rent be increased?
Fixed term agreements –
Rent cannot be increased during a fixed term agreement unless it is stated in the tenancy agreement and all of the following occurs:
- the agreement states the rent will be increased
- the agreement states the new amount (or how it will be worked out)
- the property manager/owner gives the tenant at least 2 months’ notice in writing, and
- it has been at least 6 months since the tenancy started or since the last increase
The property manager must also give the tenant separate written notice of the increase. It does not automatically come into effect because it is in the agreement. The notice should include the increased amount and the day it takes effect.
Periodic agreements –
Rent can be increased if the property manager gives the tenant at least 2 months’ notice in writing and it has been at least 6 months since the last rent increase, or since the tenancy started.
New agreements –
The property manager and tenant can agree to a rent increase at the end of a fixed term agreement by entering into a new agreement. However, it must be at least 6 months since the last rent increase. There is no requirement to serve a notice about the increase.
If a new agreement is not signed, the agreement becomes periodic with the same terms and conditions as fixed term. The property manager must then issue a notice for any rent increase.
What if the rent increase is excessive?
A tenant can dispute the increase if they feel it is excessive by discussing the issue with the property manager. If the tenant still feels the increase is excessive, they can apply for dispute resolution once the new agreement is signed. They may also apply to QCAT for a decision.
- range of market rents usually charged for comparable properties
- difference between the proposed and current rent
- state of repair of the property
- term of the tenancy
- period since the last rent increase (if any)
- anything else QCAT considers relevant
What if I don’t agree to the rent increase –
Should a tenant not agree with the rent increase the first step is to contact the Property Manager right away to discuss.
Should the Property Manager advise that the rent increase cannot be negotiated the tenant can lodge a form 16 – Dispute Resolution Request and being the dispute process involving the RTA.
Should an agreement not be reached during the dispute process the tenant has the right to apply to QCAT for a decision.
The Importance of Entry Condition Reports
Preparing an Entry condition report (Form 1a) can seem like just another task on the long list of things you need to do at the start of the tenancy.
It is important to take the time to fill out the form carefully at the start of the tenancy to avoid future problems.
The Entry condition report is the official record of the state of the rental property when a tenancy begins and may be used as evidence in a dispute about the bond or the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy agreement.
On or before the tenancy’s start date, the property manager must prepare the report, marking each item as clean, working or undamaged, as appropriate.
The property manager should note any additional items, sign the report, and give you a copy.
Tenants have 3 days to add comments, sign the report and return it to the property manager, who then has 14 days to provide a copy of the final report which has been signed by both tenant and property manager/owner.
Failure of either the tenant or property manager/owner to complete each of these steps within the given timeframe is an offence under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).
Disputes about the standard of the property should be dealt with at the start of the tenancy – addressing these concerns at the end of the tenancy is often a more complicated process.
It is a good idea to keep a copy of the Entry condition report and compare it to the Exit condition report (Form 14a) at the end of your tenancy.
The RTA’s Tenancy essentials video Entry condition report – tenants will help tenants through the process.
RTA CEO Darren Barlow said photographs or videos were the best ways to support what is written on the Entry condition report.
“It’s best to complete the report room by room, taking photos of areas that are marked or damaged,” he said.
A Renters guide: What to look for in a rental property
Choosing a home to rent can be a very personal decision and trying to decide if a rental property is suitable for you at an open for inspection can be difficult.
Especially when you consider how little time you have to look at it and with 15 or more other people viewing it at the same time too.
Avoid overlooking something as necessary as “will my fridge fit in the kitchen”, in the rush of an open house.
Make the most of what limited time you have to inspect a rental by referring to this simple checklist of practical areas to consider before signing a rental agreement.
Have a look for deadlocks, window locks and other security features. The level of security can make a huge impact on your insurance. Check before going to the inspection with your insurance company for what security features would make a positive or negative impact on your insurance policy.
Where can I store…
Storage can be expensive to buy if you don’t have enough of it, especially when you move house later on to a place where you no longer need it. Think about where you’ll store your bike, snowboard and book collection when not in use. Is there enough internal and external storage for all your important items? Also have a think about if there is enough pantry space, linen space and areas for you to store cumbersome cleaning items, like brooms and vacuum cleaners.
Some rental properties are likely to be rented just the way they are when you view them. If there is junk in a garden shed, or the garden needs weeding, ask the agent if it will be taken care of before moving in.
The hot & cold of it
Check the types of heating and cooling available. Find out which rooms it is available in and if it works. Should it not work, ask the agent if and when it will be fixed.
Measure the space
Measure with a tape measure the rooms. Ensure that not only will your prized designer dining table or antique bed fit in the room, but that you’ll actually be able to get it through the door.
Sparky & techy features
The location of the television antenna, power points, telephone and Foxtel outlets can make a difference to the way you layout your furniture and electronics, such as computers and televisions. Make sure that you’re happy with the locations.
Will your white goods fit?
Check that there is space in the kitchen for your fridge, dishwasher and other appliances that you like to have out on the bench. See if your washing machine and dryer will fit in the laundry, or if they come with the property. If you like to drip dry your clothes and other items in the laundry, see that there is space.
Green thumb or not?
Have a look around outside in the garden and check what kind of maintenance is required. Ask whether it is expected you maintain the garden or if there is a gardener that comes around. If so, check what their duties are. If you happen to have a green thumb and want to set up a veggie garden, ask if it would okay to do so.
Are you a gas or electricity kind of person?
This really is a personal choice; some people prefer gas cooking others might like electric hot water. Whichever is your preference check what’s available and that you’re happy with it.
Other things to consider
- Does the property have roller doors or shutters? Check to see if they are electronic or if you manually have to open and close them.
- If there is car parking with the property check how many spaces. Have a look at the local parking signage, as you may require parking permits.
- If in doubt about anything, ask the agent. Avoid making assumptions which may lead to a headache later on.