The RTA’s Pocket Guide: Do it by the book

Winter 2017

Even though it’s called 'Form 17a' it’s much more than just another document, it can be your best friend when it comes to spelling out the rules of rentals.

It’s the Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units, and it should be given to you by the property manager/owner upon entering into a tenancy agreement.

It covers the full life of your tenancy, moving in, during a tenancy, and moving out.

It leads you through the official paperwork which must be signed and lodged at the start of the tenancy, like the General tenancy agreement (Form 18a) and the Bond lodgement (Form 2).

The property manager/owner must lodge your bond with the Residential Tenancies Authority.

Generally you’ll be asked to pay rent in advance.

The Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units covers issues like bond increases, rent increases (and decreases), water usage, and electricity/gas/phone/internet connections.

You’ll also be required to sign an Entry condition report (Form 1a).

The guide broaches issues which may arise during your tenancy, like maintenance and repairs, fixtures, emergencies, smoke alarms, inspections and viewings, and problems…like breaches by you or the property manager/owner.

If that happens – and a suitable outcome can’t be negotiated – remember the RTA has a dispute resolution service, or the matter may be referred to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

The final part of the guide deals with your moving out.

You should familiarise yourself with the rules surrounding ending a fixed term or periodic agreement, or breaking a tenancy agreement.

Upon leaving you’ll be asked to submit an Exit condition report (Form 14a) which ideally should be done with the property manager/owner.

If the property is left in the same condition as when you first found it (clean with no damage, except for fair wear and tear) then fill out a Refund of rental bond (Form 4).

So grab your pocket guide and rent wisely.

For more information call the RTA direct on 1300 366 311.

The RTA is the Queensland Government statutory authority that administers the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. They provide tenancy information, bond management, dispute resolution, investigation, and policy and education services.