Starting a tenancy
When renting a room, it is important to know what you can expect from your rooming provider/manager, and what they expect from you. There are tenancy laws in Queensland that outline the rules when renting.
The laws say your provider/manager needs to make sure the room is fit to live in, safe and secure. It is their job to make sure the place you live is well maintained. This means they should repair or fix parts of the building if they break or wear out.
Your provider/manager also needs to respect your privacy. There are rules that say they need to let you know if they want to inspect your room.
Before your tenancy begins
Before you agree to live anywhere, you should look at the room and any other facilities to make sure it suits you and your needs.
Before you sign the Rooming accommodation agreement (Form R18), you or a support person (or friend/family member) should read the agreement and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Make sure you know:
- which room will you be living in and what is included in the room?
- the type of agreement ‒ is it a fixed term (e.g. 3 or 6 months) or is it a periodic agreement (e.g. week to week)?
- rent payment information. For example, how much rent will you have to pay each week or fortnight? How do you need to pay?
- what is included in the rent? Some of the things that might be included are listed below. Check what is provided and how much you will pay for:
- electricity/gas/water/internet – understand if they are included or if they are paid for separately
- personal services such as showering and help with medication. If you have NDIS funding for personal care, your rent payments should not go towards services already covered by NDIS.
- are there any house rules?
- who do you contact if there is a problem or if something needs to be fixed?
Reminder: The Rooming accommodation agreement (Form R18) is a contract between you and the provider/manager. When you and the provider/manager sign, it means you both agree with what is in it. It is very important that you understand all the information in the agreement before you sign it. If you don’t understand something, do not sign the agreement ‒ ask a friend, family member or support person to help.
At the beginning of your tenancy
When you move in, or in the first week of living in your new place, you must be given:
- any keys/remotes/access cards to enter your room and the property
- a copy of the signed Rooming accommodation agreement (Form R18)
- a copy of the house rules
- a receipt for any rent money paid
- a receipt for any bond money paid. If you pay a bond to your provider/manager, they need to lodge your bond with the RTA who will let you know they have received it and hold it until you move out. If you prefer, you can lodge your bond to the RTA directly
- a copy of the Condition report – Rooming accommodation (Form R1) if you paid a rental bond. You will need to fill out the report, sign it and return to the provider/manager within 7 days of the start of your tenancy. You should take photos of the room to support your notes in the report to outline any damage. For example, take photos of any marks on the wall, stains on the floor or dents in the furniture. Keep a copy of the signed report for your records.
Reminder: Keep your copy of these documents in a safe place. You may need them in the future if you and the
provider/manager disagree about something.
For more information on the next stages of a tenancy, read the Rooming accommodation ‒ Resident checklist for during and ending a tenancy.
Reminder: If there is a problem, try to respectfully talk with your provider/manager first. If you aren’t sure of your rights and responsibilities, contact the RTA. You can also ask a support person (or friend/family member) to speak to the RTA on your behalf.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your provider/manager, the RTA has a free dispute resolution service that may be able to help.
Other support organisations
If you need advocacy help or support, you can contact QSTARS. Call QSTARS on 1300 744 263, for free tenant advice in Queensland.
All supported accommodation services and boarding houses should be registered with Regulatory Services and you can view them in the public register of residential services. If you suspect an unregistered boarding house or supported accommodation service is operating, contact Regulatory Services within the Department of Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 3013 2666.
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).