Before renting a place to live, you should be aware of the rules and your responsibilities when renting.
There are different types of agreements and rules depending on which type of property you rent.
A general tenancy agreement is when you rent a unit or house, alone or with other people. The property may be rented by a property owner or an agent to you. They can only come into the property for certain reasons and must give you notice, usually in writing.
A rooming accommodation agreement applies if you rent a lockable room in a house or building with 4 or more rooms to rent and with shared areas such as bathroom, kitchen or common area. The owner (provider) may live in the house as well or may visit occasionally to ensure the property is in good condition and the rules are being followed.
At the start of a tenancy, you may be asked to pay a rental bond. This is lodged with the RTA until the end of the tenancy and is returned to you as long as the property is in good condition and rent is up to date when you leave.
You may also be asked to pay a holding deposit to keep the place for you until you sign the agreement.
Before renting a house or unit:
Read the tenancy agreement thoroughly before you pay any money and before you sign it
Make sure you keep a copy of the agreement
Be clear about the rent – how much, when it must be paid, and what it includes (e.g. if utilities, water, furniture or yard maintenance are included)
Get receipts for any money you pay (bond or rent)
Get a copy of the Entry condition report (Form 1a, 1b or R1 in Rooming accommodation) and carry out a careful inspection on the property
If renting a room, find out about the house rules and any special rules written in the agreement
For general tenancies, get a copy of the RTA booklet Pocket guide for tenants - houses and units (Form 17a)
During your tenancy there may be regular inspections by the property manager/owner or provider. This is to check that the property or room is being well maintained. You should make sure you clean and tidy the place thoroughly before any inspections.
At the end of the tenancy you will need to return the property in the same condition it was in when you moved in or you risk losing some or all of your bond money. See our getting your bond back and ending a tenancy pages for more information.
The quickest and easiest way to receive a bond refund is through direct deposit into an Australian bank account
Useful videos and sites
Queensland University of Technology have created a website called Share housing 101 with information for people in share houses, including tips, advice and an interactive game.
Videos by Tenants Queensland are useful in explaining how to deal with disputes and going to the Tribunal.
You can contact us for information on any aspect of renting. An interpreter service is available, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 during RTA hours of business. TIS will telephone the RTA for you at no cost.