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Winter is coming: don’t be caught by surprise!

The heat of the Queensland summer has passed and the days are growing shorter, so now is the time for tenants to prepare your rental home for winter.

We’ve prepared a handy checklist to help you ensure your home remains safe and comfortable long after the winter chill sets in!

  1. Check your hot water system

    Check the efficiency of your hot water system so you don’t get left in the cold this winter. Testing the pressure and temperature relief valves routinely can extend the lifespan of the hot water system and prevent failures. The RTA recommends referring to the manufacturer’s guides or operating manuals on how to conduct a self-administered system check. Have a chat with your property manager/owner if you are unsure, or if further system works or repairs are needed.

  2. Maintain ventilation in damp areas

    Ventilation is important during winter months, particularly in damp and steamy areas like the bathroom. Tenants should ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms by using exhaust fans or opening a window to prevent mould from blooming. Check the vents and ensure they are dust-free to maximise efficiency.

  3. Check heating systems

    Residents in the southern and western parts of Queensland in particular may start using heating systems, such as reverse cycle air conditioners, in the coming months. Make sure your system has been inspected and cleaned prior to use. If you’re unsure, check with your property manager/owner.

  4. Comply with smoke alarm legislation

    Property managers/owners and tenants have obligations to ensure fire safety in rental premises. All rental properties across Queensland should have working smoke alarms. Find out more on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.

  5. Maintain your lawn and garden

    Although grass may not grow as much or as quickly in colder weather, garden maintenance such as mowing, edging and weeding never goes away! Arrangements about the maintenance of gardens should be listed in your tenancy agreement, so check your agreement to find out what you’re responsible for.

While the property manager/owner has obligations under the tenancy laws to ensure the premises are safe, secure, fit for living and not in breach of any health and safety laws, the tenant is responsible for maintaining the condition and cleanliness of the rental property.

Tenants should also report any maintenance or repair issues when they occur so the property manager/owner can address the issues in a timely manner.

Find out more about the obligations of tenants and property managers/owners for maintenance and repairs in rental properties.