Tag Archives | Property Rentals Legislation

A Slight Reprieve for Some Pool Owners

On 17 February 2011 the Queensland Parliament amended the laws pertaining to swimming pool safety certificate requirements in relation to rental properties with non-shared pools. The amendments, which apply retrospectively from 8 January 2011, are outlined below.

In summary, due to the recent disaster events in Queensland, the Government has delayed the application of the pool safety certificate requirements for rental properties with non-shared pools. From 8 January to 8 July 2011 an exemption applies, and allows properties with non-shared pools to be leased without a pool safety certificate being effected prior to a tenancy agreement being entered into.

Owners must however give a ‘Form 37: Notice of no pool safety certificate’ to the tenant before entering the tenancy agreement (or any other accommodation agreement as defined in the Building Act 1975).

The six month exemption applies state-wide and is intended to more easily allow homes to be rented to evacuees, or people who are assisting with recovery efforts. All other aspects of the new pool safety laws still apply and are not affected.

Source REIQ

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Mouldy Rental Properties, Whose Responsibility is It to Fix it?

Mould is proving a major concern for tenants and landlords after increased rainfall and flooding across the state.

As mould can take weeks to emerge after flood waters recede, the number of rental properties affected by the problem is expected to rise.

The RTA’s call centre has been fielding an increasing number of calls about who is responsible for removing mould from rental properties. The answer depends on why the mould is there in the first place.

Although the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 doesn’t make specific reference to mould, it does detail requirements about the standard maintenance of a property throughout the agreement.

Based on these standards, it’s the responsibility of the tenant to notify the landlord or agent of any mould.

If the mould is a result of fair wear and tear in the premises, it is the landlord’s responsibility to clean the mould and make any repairs necessary to maintain the property in good repair.

If the tenant caused the mould, they are responsible for its removal and repair of any damage that may have been caused.

For example, if the tenant continually allowed steam to build up in the bathroom and kept all windows shut or extractor fans turned off resulting in mould, then the tenant may be liable. But if the mould is a result of a structural issue, then the landlord would be liable for the repairs.

If the landlord or tenant can’t agree about how to deal with the issue by talking with each other, the RTA’s dispute resolution service may be able to assist. You can apply for this service by lodging a Dispute resolution request (Form 16).

If dispute resolution is unsuccessful, an application can be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order.
Any arrangement between parties about mould should be included in the special terms of the tenancy agreement.

Source RTA Website, 03 February 2011

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Know the Options for Flood Affected Tenants and Lessors

So many have been affected by these terrible floods. If you are unfortunate enough to have had your home flooded we hope these details will assist.  Please contact our office on 3510 5221 if you would like to discuss more details.

If a tenancy has to be ended early due to the flooding crisis, there are things you need to know.

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 has some flexibility where landlords and tenants are affected by natural disasters.

A tenancy can be ended early where the landlord and tenant agree the premises is non-liveable, provided action is started within four weeks of the disaster occurring. In cases where only part of the premises has been damaged, a rent reduction may be negotiated.

In all cases it’s important that the tenant and landlord liaise with each other, either directly or through a property manager, about any repairs that are needed.

Where an outcome can’t be reached between the tenant and landlord, a Dispute Resolution Request (Form 16) can be lodged with the RTA and a conciliator will try to assist.

Timeframes for bond refund claims and notices of unresolved disputes have been extended for flood-affected areas by the RTA.

More detailed information is available from the RTA website http://www.rta.qld.gov.au/update_floods_2011_special.cfm
or by calling the RTA Contact Centre on 1300 366 311.

Source. RTA Website

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RTA Extends Timeframes in flood Affected Areas

The RTA has extended deadlines for bond disputes and applications to the Queensland Civil and Administrative tribunal (QCAT) for those affected by the flooding crisis.

Queensland tenancy law gives timeframes for a number of matters relating to disputed bond refunds and applications to QCAT. However in flood-affected areas, the RTA has put a hold on time-sensitive matters such as Notices of Claim and Notices of Unresolved Dispute.

From 20 December 2010 until mid January 2011, if a Notice of Claim or Notice of Unresolved Dispute relates to a property in a flood-affected area, the RTA will put a ‘hold’ on the bond being disputed. This will give the affected party a reasonable chance to respond to the claim before the bond is paid out.

For example, if the RTA receives a Refund of Rental Bond (Form 4) that has not been signed by all parties, a 14-day Notice of Claim will be issued with an action due date, but the bond will not automatically be paid out after that date in flood-affected areas.

Similarly, where a Notice of Unresolved Dispute has been issued on a bond related matter and the client has seven days to advise the RTA of their application to (QCAT), it too will be placed on hold until mid-January for flood-affected areas.

However, if the situation changes and all parties agree on the disbursement of the bond, the RTA will release the bond money as requested. With uncertainties around the delivery of mail, it is even more important to have bonds refunded electronically, and not by cheque.

These RTA restrictions only affect bonds that are being disputed in flood-affected areas. Where all parties agree to the bond being released, the RTA will act accordingly.

The RTA will continue to monitor the flood situation on a regular basis and may extend or remove the current emergency measures that are in place.

Further information is available by contacting the RTA Contact Centre on 1300 366 311.

Source RTA Website

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How to Deal with Noisy Neighbours

It is not unusual for property managers to receive calls about noisy tenants, especially during the Christmas season. Laws relating to noise and disorderly behaviour apply to the whole community, whether the person is a home owner or tenant. Although the police generally deal with these issues, tenants have an obligation under their tenancy agreements not to interfere with their neighbours’ quiet enjoyment of their property. Police may order tenants to reduce the noise or temporarily confiscate equipment such as radios and amplifiers. If police orders are ignored, and there is continued excessive noise, fines of up to $1000 may be imposed. If a tenant has caused excessive noise, they can also be issued a Notice to Remedy Breach by the landlord.

The landlord can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have a tenancy ended after a third breach for the same reason in 12 months. Tenants may also have to follow specific rules regarding noise, such as no loud music after 9pm in rooming accommodation or rental housing where there is a body corporate.

Source RTA

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