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Protecting Yourself Against Damage Claims

We are often asked how we deal with damage that may exist in a home prior to a tenant moving in. There could be many reasons that damage may exist in a situation like this. Let’s face it, even when you move into a home you have purchased there could be damage that requires attention.

Sometimes it may be that the damage was unable to be repaired during the transition period between old and new occupants. It could be an outstanding issue that cannot be repaired. Perhaps the property owner has elected to wait for it to be repaired due to lack of funds, urgency or tax liabilities, amongst others.

E-Property Rentals have created a fool proof system to ensure that when you move into one of our managed properties, all parties agree on its condition at that time.

Entry Condition Report

Conducting an Entry Condition Report prior to a tenant taking up residence is a mandatory action required by the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).

This report asks for the condition of each room, plumbing, electrical outlets, carpets and other floor coverings, window treatments, air conditioning units and other inclusions of the property and therefore the tenancy agreement.

We are very thorough in this report. Details of every room and its appointments are clearly recorded. Included in this report is full photographic information to support and back up any future claims – by both parties.

This means that a property owner cannot blame or claim prior damage made to a property. Likewise, a tenant cannot blame damage they have made to a previous occupant.

This report is agreed upon by us as the property owner’s agent and you as the new occupant or tenant.

Follow Up

Should you be in a position where you find you are moving into a property that has some damage it may be that this work is scheduled. In this situation we will advise you of what is to be done, as well as a timeframe that you could expect this to be completed.

As part of the tenancy agreement, a suitable amount of notice will be supplied to you as to when you may expect a tradesman’s entry of the property may be required.

Once completed we will make a notation of this work on the file. Our regular quarterly inspections will then resume as normal and will reflect the current conditions, damage, or maintenance that may be required during your habitation.

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Renting: What Are Your Rights?

When renting a property through E-Property Rentals or any other real estate, the lessor is required by law to provide you with a lease agreement that covers the terms of your rental agreement. This is a safeguard for both you and the lessor, and is usually managed by the real estate company that is looking after the property. You have the right to live in a property that is safe to live in and is well maintained. You have the right to enjoy it freely as long as you follow the terms that are stated in the lease agreement.

Bond and Rent

When you begin a new lease on a property you will be asked to pay a bond, which is a security deposit that is held by the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority) until your tenancy is finished. You will be given a bond lodgement form (a promissory note of sorts) that you can keep until the cessation of your rental agreement when you move out. Most agents/lessors will require you to pay two weeks’ rent in advance when you move in, and keep it a fortnight in advance for the term of your lease.

Rent Increases

Should the landlord decide to charge you more rent while you are living in the property, if it is not already stated in the lease agreement, they will need to wait until the current lease agreement has finished and issue you with a new one with the increased rent.

Maintenance and Repairs

You are responsible for looking after the property as if it is your own, and keeping it (and any inclusions) clean and tidy. The lessor is required to keep the property in a good state of repair and fit to live in. Any maintenance that needs to be carried out on the property must be organised through the lessor and requires an appropriate entry notice period. If you or your guests damage the property you will be required to pay for repairs.

Smoke Alarms

All Queensland rental properties must be installed with a working smoke alarm, and it is the responsibility of both you and the lessor to ensure that it is in good working order.

Entering the Property

All E-Property Rentals properties usually have a regular inspection every three-four months, which gives the opportunity for the lessor to inspect the property and see that you are satisfying the terms of your lease agreement. The lessor is required to give you an entry notice before they can enter the property; however, they may enter the property in an emergency, if needed, as well as if they have your verbal consent. Entry to the property must occur at a reasonable time.

Problems

If you have problems with the lessor not keeping the property well maintained, or entering it without notice and aren’t able to solve these problems through communicating with the lessor,, you can lodge a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11). It is important to talk to the RTA if you have any issues, to ensure that you know where you stand and that you follow the correct guidelines for remedying the breach.