Last updated 11 August 2016
The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld) (RTRA Act) prescribes terms that must be included within the agreement known as standard terms. However, the parties may agree to other special terms provided they do not conflict or are inconsistent with the standard terms.
As well as that, the RTRA Act requires that a rooming accommodation agreement must be in writing and be signed by both the resident and the provider.
The standard terms covered under the RTRA Act include:
- when the agreement starts
- the completion of an entry condition report in cases where a rental bond is payable
- when, how and where rent must be paid
- payment of rent in advance
- rent increases and decreases
- the term of the agreement
- the house rules
- keeping of pets.
Special terms may include items outside the standard terms such as the provision of care or meals. A provider must give the written rooming accommodation agreement to the resident for signing on or before the day the resident occupies the room and then, after receiving the document signed by the resident, must return a copy signed by the provider to the resident within three days. In addition, the provider must, on or before the day the resident occupies the room, give a copy of a condition report in relation to the room to the resident. Within three days of occupying the room, the resident must sign the condition report or, if they do not agree with it, mark it in the appropriate way and then return it to the provider.
A resident cannot be asked to pay rent more than two weeks in advance, and the provider must give a receipt to the resident for any rent payment and how the rent is paid. A provider, without a court order, cannot seize or dispose of a resident’s property in payment of any rent or any other monies owing.
With respect to rent increases, unless the rooming accommodation agreement is for a fixed term, a provider who proposes to increase the rent payable by a resident must give the resident a written notice stating the amount of the increased rent, and that the increase will be applicable four weeks after the date of giving the notice.
A rental bond may be required to be paid under the provisions of a rooming accommodation agreement.
The RTRA Act requires that within 10 days of receiving the bond or any part of it, the provider must pay it to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).
The resident must increase the rental bond if the rent increases, and the provider gives notice to the resident to increase the bond. In addition, the first notice can only be given of any increase of the bond after 11 months of the commencement of the rooming accommodation agreement.
The maximum rental bond payable under a rooming accommodation agreement is the amount equal to rent payable for a period of four weeks under the agreement.
House rules are rules and regulations about the use, enjoyment, control and management of the rooming accommodation premises.
Under sch 5 to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009 (Qld), there are certain prescribed house rules that apply to every rooming accommodation agreement and these relate to:
- resident and guest behaviour
- maintenance of rooms
- use of common areas
- access to the residents’ rooms
- door locks and keys
- the keeping of animals.
In addition, a provider may make other house rules that are not inconsistent with the prescribed rules covering other issues such as:
- use of shared facilities
- parking of cars
- drinking of alcohol or consuming of drugs
A provider can change the house rules but must follow the process prescribed by the RTRA Act to do so. A resident has the right to object to any proposed rule change, and ultimately it can be adjudicated on by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Entry and privacy
Under the RTRA Act a provider can enter a resident’s room if the resident consents (s 257). They may also enter the resident’s room at a reasonable time to inspect the room, but must give at least 48 hours prior written notice of doing so. Such notice cannot be given more than once every month.
In addition, the provider must give at least 24 hours prior notice in writing where the provider wishes to enter the resident’s room to clean it, carry out pest control, make repairs or maintenance, show the room to a prospective resident or to allow valuation of the premises.
A provider may, however, enter a resident’s room without notice in an emergency, if the room is believed to have been abandoned or to carry out urgent repairs.