Relevant Service Providers for Your Reference
- Office of Fair Trading (OFT): www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or phone on 13 74 68.
- Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ): www.reiq.com.au or phone on 07 3249 7347.
- Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA): www.rta.qld.gov.au or phone on 1300 366 311.
Tenant Selection Process
Selecting a quality tenant is the most important aspect to protecting your investment property. We require strict criteria to be met when a tenant is selected for your property and utilise a thorough screening process for each rental applicant. We ensure we communicate each application with you thoroughly. We use our refined skills and database resources to achieve the best possible tenants at the greatest price for your investment.
Time is taken to screen each application. We ensure we check and confirm the following details of the applicants.
- Credit check via the Tenancy Information Centre of Australia (TICA)
- Previous rental history
- Employment details
- Proof of income
- Business references (if self employed)
- Personal references
- Copy of financials / accountants report (if self employed)
TICA is a database to record tenants that have or do default under the terms of their tenancy agreement. Tenants are only placed on TICA if they have outstanding money owing in excess of the value of their bond and a decision has been handed down by the Small Claims Tribunal.
If a tenant has breached the tenancy agreement as per the Residential Tenancies Act and the amount outstanding is in excess of the bond being held, the tenant will be placed on the TICA database following a Small Claims Tribunal Hearing. TICA is provided with this information and all details relating to the tenant such as copy of drivers licence or passport, date of birth, etc. The tenant is then placed on a database for defaulting tenants. Information regarding the total amount of monies owed along with a full breakdown of the costs and expenditure related to the debt are lodged with TICA. The tenant can clear their name from TICA if the debt owing is paid in full.
Regular routine inspections are to ensure tenants are upholding their tenancy responsibilities. These inspections are performed in a manner in which we do not inconvenience tenants that are exercising a high level of responsibility with their tenancy.
- Routine inspections are carried out approximately every 12 – 14 weeks
- A computerised report is forwarded to you
- Photographs taken at each inspection and copies forwarded to you
- Thorough inspection advising you of any preventative maintenance or recommendations to ensure your property is kept in tip top condition
- If any maintenance matters require attention you are informed immediately.
Minimum Notice Periods
As a guide for your reference, the amount of notice needed depends on the reason for entering the premises. The minimum notice periods are:
- To inspect the premises – seven days + 1 day for Australia Post (lessor/agent allowed to enter no more than once in a three month period, unless the Tenant agrees)
- To complete routine repairs or carry out maintenance – 24 hours + 1 day for Australia Post
- To repair or carry out maintenance where the premises is in a remote area and there is a shortage of qualified tradespersons in the area – no notice
- In an emergency, or to protect the premises from damage – no notice
- If the lessor/agent believes that the premises is abandoned – 24 hours
- To show the premises to a prospective Tenant or buyer or for valuation purposes – 24 hours + 1 day for Australia Post
- If the property is for sale, a Form 10 – notice of lessor’s intention to sell must have been issued
The parties may wish to negotiate a time that is suitable to everyone. If entry is for a lawful purpose and the correct notice has been given and the entry is at a reasonable time the Tenant cannot refuse entry. Under the Act, the Tenant does not have an automatic right to be present when the lessor/agent enters.
Following our stringent and careful tenant selection process we minimise the level of rental arrears. However on occasion, due to changing circumstances a tenant can fall into rent arrears. A very strict process then follows. This process has been outlined by the Residential Tenancies Act.
- Day 1-2: Grace Period
- Day 3: SMS advising tenant that they are in arrears
- Day 6: Call and send email advising of impending RTA Form 11 Notice to Remedy Breach which will be issued if rent not received by 4.00pm on day 7. Forward a copy to Landlord
- Day 8: RTA Form 11 Notice to Remedy Breach to be served on the tenant and a copy forwarded to the Landlord for their records. This notice allows the tenant 7 days to remedy the breach
- Day 14: Call and send email to tenant to advise if their rent is not paid by the close of business they will be issued with a Form 12 Notice to Leave
- Day 15: RTA Form 12 Notice to Leave will be served on the tenant to terminate the tenancy and a copy forwarded to the Landlord for their records. The notice period for this form is 7 days.
- Day 23: Expiry of Form 12, Tenant is to hand over possession of the property to the Agent. Failure to do so may result in the agent lodging an urgent tribunal application for termination/warrant of possession
We strongly recommend that you consider taking out a Landlord Insurance Policy. There are a number of companies that offer Landlord Protection Insurance. It is just a matter of choosing the right one. Ensure the policy covers you for loss of rent, absconding tenants, death of a tenant, malicious and accidental damage along with other advantages.
Smoke Alarm Legislation
Since 1 July 2007 Lessor’s have obligations for installing, cleaning and testing smoke alarms and replacing batteries before the start or renewal of a tenancy.
A lessor must not pass on their obligations to the tenant to act on their behalf such as asking the tenant to replace batteries at the beginning of the tenancy.
- Lessor’s obligations are to ensure that smoke alarms complying with Australian standards must be fitted in all rental properties and in accordance with the Building Code of Australia prior to the commencement of a tenancy
- Testing of alarms within 30 days before the start or renewal of the tenancy and according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Replacing batteries in alarms within 30 days before the start of the tenancy if batteries are flat or nearly flat
- Cleaning alarms within 30 days before the start or renewal of the tenancy and as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions
- Smoke alarms must be replaced before the end of their service life
Swimming Pool Legislation
Every pool in Queensland must now be registered by the 4th of June 2011, on the governments Pool Safety Register. You can register here http://www.dip.qld.gov.au/poolsafety. The new laws apply to all properties that have pools. These pools can be private houses, commercial properties; in fact there is no pool that isn’t subject to the new Pool Safety laws.
Heavy fines can apply to people who disregard this new legislation. It’s the law.
Pool Safety Inspectors and Inspections
No property can be leased or rented to a new tenant without a current Pool Safety Certificate. This must be provided by a fully licensed and certified Pool Safety Inspector.
Pool Safety Inspectors must be licensed to perform pool safety inspections. The licensing body responsible for issuing licensed is the Pool Safety Council of Queensland. If a Pool Safety Inspector does his Pool Safety Inspection and is not reasonably satisfied that the pool safety aspect of the pool complies with the Pool Safety Laws, the Pool Safety Inspector must issue a “Form 26 Safety nonconformity notice” This form advises the pool owner how their pool does not comply and what needs to be done to make the pool comply. This will be itemised and laid out in the report.
Some Pool Safety Inspectors are also licensed to carry out certain minor repairs, consult the pool safety register to determine license conditions at http://www.dip.qld.gov.au/poolsafetyregister. Pool owners can also carry out some minor repair and maintenance work.
Once a Pool Safety Inspector has given a “Form 26 Safety nonconformity notice” the pool owner has three months to undertake the repairs and arrange a re-inspection of the pools safety barrier. The law does not allow the pool owner to ask a different Pool Safety Inspector to reinspect the pool within this period. However, the owner can apply to the Pool Safety Council to approve the use of another Pool Safety Inspector in some circumstances, for example the original inspector was ill and unable to perform the inspection.
The Building Regulation 2006 sets out the repairs and maintenance work pool owners can carry out themselves, and minor repairs that appropriately Licensed Pool Safety inspectors can carry out.
Once repairs are completed as per schedule, then the inspector can provide the owner with a “Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate”.
When pool owners fail to request a re-inspection within the prescribed 3 month period, the inspector must notify the Local Government. The Local Government can then take the necessary enforcement action to ensure the pool complies with the relevant standards. The Local Government could also impose non- compliant penalties. Pool owners can appeal against a Form 26 if they disagree with it.
We ensure that you are kept abreast of the changing legislation.