The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) is the law that governs renting a residential property in Queensland.
This fact sheet contains information on how the Act applies when continuing a fixed term tenancy.
Deciding how the tenancy will continue
When a fixed term tenancy ends and the parties agree that the tenant can remain in the rental premises, the property manager/owner and tenant need to decide on the future tenancy arrangements.
There are three ways a fixed term tenancy can continue:
- extend the existing fixed term agreement by agreeing on a new end date, or
- enter into a new fixed term agreement, or
- do nothing and allow the agreement to convert to a periodic agreement.
Extend the existing fixed term agreement
To extend the current fixed term agreement but not change any other term such as the amount of rent, the parties must agree in writing on a new end date before the original agreement ends.
This can be done in either of the following ways:
- on all copies of the written tenancy agreement, cross out the current end date (Item 6 in the standard tenancy agreement) and write in the new end date. Both parties should then initial and date this change, or
- both parties sign a separate written statement, for example a letter, that states the new end date and that this alters their original tenancy agreement.
Enter into a new agreement
If there is a change in any of the terms from the previous agreement (e.g. a rent increase), the property manager/owner may prepare a new General tenancy agreement (Form 18a) or Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement (Form 18b) to sign. The tenant must sign the agreement and return it to the property manager/owner who is then responsible for making sure the tenant has a signed copy.
If the property manager/owner intends to use the expiry of the tenancy agreement as an opportunity to review the rent for a new agreement, and at least one of the previous tenants remains in the property, then rules apply. Rent cannot be increased unless it has been at least 12 months since the current amount of rent became payable by the tenant. Learn more about rent increases.
Do nothing so the agreement becomes periodic
If you do not extend or sign a new fixed term agreement, and the tenant continues to rent the property, a periodic agreement automatically comes into place. The periodic agreement continues under the same terms that applied to the fixed term agreement except for the end date, which is not specified in a periodic agreement.
At any time, the tenant and property manager/owner can agree to end the periodic agreement and begin a new fixed term agreement. For more information, see the fact sheets General tenancy agreements or Moveable dwelling tenancy agreements.
Under a periodic agreement, rent may be increased by the property manager/owner giving the tenant two months' notice in writing of the increase for general tenancies and four weeks’ notice for rooming accommodation agreements. However, rent cannot be increased unless it has been at least 12 months since the current amount of rent became payable by the tenant. Learn more about rent increases.
Managing parties can no longer end a tenancy without a specific reason (without grounds). Ending of a fixed term agreement can be given as a reason for ending a fixed term tenancy. However, this doesn’t apply to periodic agreements, which can only be ended using a specific reason under the Act. For more information visit the Ending a tenancy agreement for managing parties fact sheet and a Ending a tenancy agreement for tenants/residents.
Changes to the terms of agreements
If there any new terms of significant changes in the proposed new agreement, such as a rent increase, the property manager/owner should communicate these with the tenant. Tenants can negotiate the terms of the proposed new agreement before they sign it.
If an agreement cannot be reached and the tenant wishes to continue with the tenancy, they can request free RTA dispute resolution about the proposed change. The tenant needs to sign the new agreement before they can dispute the proposed change. They must lodge their dispute request with the RTA within 30 days of signing the new agreement. The tenant must continue to pay rent and abide by other terms of the tenancy agreement during this time.
If the dispute resolution is unsuccessful, the tenant can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to have the significant change reviewed.
What if not all the tenants sign up for a new agreement?
If at least one of the original tenants continues in a new tenancy agreement for the same premises, the rules about limits on rent increases and disputing significant changes between agreements still apply.
These provisions also apply, even if there is a change in the property manager/owner for the premises, as long as at least one of the previous tenants will be continuing under an agreement for the same premises.
What if there is a disagreement?
Tenants and property managers/owners are encouraged to agree on solutions together. This starts with talking to each other and understanding your rights and responsibilities under the Act. If an agreement cannot be reached, the RTA’s free and confidential dispute resolution service may be able to help.
Either party can request tenancy dispute resolution online via RTA Web Services or by submitting a completed paper Dispute resolution request (Form 16) to the RTA. Conciliators at the RTA are impartial. They guide the conciliation process but cannot make a decision on the outcome of the dispute.
If disputing parties cannot reach agreement through conciliation, a Notice of unresolved dispute will be issued. The person who lodged the initial dispute resolution request may choose to apply to QCAT for a decision.
Important: Help is available for customers who are unable to use RTA Web Services or post. Please call us on 1300 366 311 if you require urgent help to submit a Dispute resolution request form. Your options will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
For more information contact the Residential Tenancies Authority.
Accessing RTA forms
The RTA’s forms can be obtained electronically or in person by contacting us.
Other languages: You can access a free interpreter service by calling the RTA on 1300 366 311 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5:00pm).