The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) is the law that governs renting a place to live in Queensland. It states what must be included in every tenancy agreement covered by the Act.
Types of tenancy agreements
An agreement can be:
- a short tenancy statement, which means it is for up to 42 days
- a long term tenancy agreement, also called a Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement (Form 18b).
This type of agreement can be:
- a fixed term agreement for a set period, such as six or twelve months, or
- a periodic agreement, which has no set ending date and operates on, for example, a fortnight to fortnight basis.
The form used for the agreement depends on the length of the tenant’s stay. For short tenancies, the owner/manager must use a short tenancy statement. There is no prescribed form for this statement, and most owner/managers design their own. For long term tenancies, the Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement (Form 18b) must be used. Both tenants and owners/managers must abide by the terms of the agreement.
Short tenancy statements
A short tenancy runs for up to 42 days. The tenant and owner/manager must sign a statement that the tenancy is to be a short tenancy, otherwise it will automatically be considered a long tenancy. There is no prescribed form for this statement, and most owner/managers design their own.
It is possible to extend a short tenancy statement for another 42 days. However, the agreement must be extended during the initial 42 day period of the tenancy and can only be extended once. If the tenancy continues after this time, the Act will apply as if the tenancy was a long term tenancy.
An owner/manager must not place undue pressure on a tenant to extend a short tenancy to avoid full coverage under the Act. A tenant who feels the owner/manager has placed undue pressure on them can apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to set aside the short tenancy statement.
Long-term tenancy agreements
A long term tenancy agreement is written on a Moveable dwelling tenancy agreement (Form 18b). This agreement gives a tenant the right to occupy a moveable dwelling for residential (not holiday) purposes. The agreement sets out the terms that apply to the tenant’s stay when renting a caravan site, caravan, manufactured home, or other type of moveable dwelling.
Under the Act, the agreement must be in writing. It must be clearly written and include:
- all standard terms and any special terms (provided they comply with the Act)
- the owner’s/manager’s name, address and phone number
- the tenant’s name and phone number
- the name of any person the owner authorises to stand in their place in agreed situations. The owner must give the tenant written notice of any changes within 14 days
- how much rent is to be paid and how and when it is to be paid
- the ending date for fixed term agreements, and
- the signatures of all parties.
Owners/managers may also identify a nominated repairer in the tenancy agreement to act on their behalf if emergency repairs are required.
Holding deposits and tenancy agreements
Prospective tenants may be asked for money to place a hold on a moveable dwelling they wish to rent. Tenants cannot be asked to pay a holding deposit until they have been given a copy of the proposed agreement along with any special terms. For more information on holding deposits refer to the Rent payments and holding deposits fact sheet.
Owner/manager responsibilities when agreements are signed
The owner/manager is responsible for:
- meeting all the costs of preparing the moveable dwelling agreement
- ensuring the correct form is used and completed
- providing a copy of the proposed agreement with the park rules and any relevant by laws to the tenant before they sign it. Once the tenant signs the agreement, they must return it to the owner/manager within five days. The owner/manager then has 14 days to give a copy of the signed agreement to the tenant
- ensuring that, when an agreement is signed, there are no legal problems that would prevent the tenant from living in the moveable dwelling for the length of the tenancy. This applies only to legal problems the owner/manager knew about when the agreement was signed, and
- ensuring the moveable dwelling or site is in a good state of repair and ready for the tenant to move into on the agreed date.
Minimum housing standards
Minimum housing standards came into effect for new tenancies on 1 September 2023. If a tenancy agreement is signed or renewed, and the owner/manager is renting a movable dwelling to the tenant, it must meet minimum housing standards. Minimum housing standards will come into effect for all remaining tenancies on 1 September 2024.
Once minimum housing standards apply to the dwelling, the owner/manager will be responsible for ensuring it complies with these standards when the tenant moves in and throughout the tenancy agreement.
Minimum housing standards apply to the movable dwelling and its site. They do not apply to shared site facilities, such as communal kitchens, laundries, or bathrooms. However, shared facilities must be in good repair and meet health and safety standards.
Paperwork required when agreements are signed
The owner/manager must provide the tenant with:
The tenant then has seven days to sign the Entry condition report – moveable dwelling/site (Form 1b) and note any disagreements on the report. The tenant should return the signed entry condition report to the owner/manager who must then give a copy of the finalised report back to the tenant. The owner/manager must keep a copy of the report, until at least one year after the tenancy ends.
If the owner/manager takes a rental bond, they must lodge the bond money with the RTA within 10 days of receiving payment from the tenant. Bonds can be lodged online via RTA Web Services or by using the paper Bond lodgement (Form 2).
Owner/managers who fail to provide their tenants with copies of the required paperwork face penalties under the Act, as do tenants who fail to complete and return an entry condition report.
Breaching the terms of a tenancy agreement
If either the tenant or the owner/manager doesn’t act in accordance with the terms of the agreement or the Act, it may be considered a breach. The Act outlines processes to follow when a breach has occurred, including possible ending of the agreement. For more information see the Dispute resolution webpage on the RTA website. If the tenant/s and property manager/owner are unable to resolve a dispute, they can request free dispute resolution via RTA Web Services or by submitting a paper Dispute resolution request (Form 16).
Ending tenancy agreements
Tenancy agreements can only be ended in accordance with the Act. For more information see the Ending a tenancy agreement for managing parties fact sheet or the Ending a tenancy agreement for tenants/residents fact sheet.
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).