Rental Express Current Tenant's Guide to Renting

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How do I request general maintenance?

What is considered an emergency repair?

How/When will Rental Express carry out routine inspections?

What are my responsibilities as a tenant regarding smoke alarms?

What’s a safety switch & what are my responsibilities?

Can I renew my lease?

Are you allowed to adjust my rent?

What happens if I’m late with my rent payments?

I've misplaced my keys, what do I do?

What are my general responsibilities as a tenant?

Can I smoke in my property?

Can I have a pet?

Can someone transfer onto my lease?

What do I need to do before vacating the property?

What happens if I don't pay my outstanding rent or damages when I vacate?

More information about tenancy databases...


How do I request general maintenance?
Please ensure that all maintenance requests are completed in writing. Click here to submit a maintenance request online, or click here to download our maintenance form for manual submission. For EMERGENCY REPAIRS, and to find out what is considered an ‘emergency’, please see below.


What is considered an emergency repair?
Emergency repairs are those that could cause injury to tenants or damage to the property, and may include:

  • Broken or burst water pipes
  • A blocked or broken toilet (if a second toilet is not available)
  • A serious roof, or gas, leak
  • Dangerous electrical faults, dangerous powerpoints, loose wires etc
  • Flooding, rainwater inundation inside the property, or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm, fire or impact damage (i.e. impact by a motor vehicle)
  • Failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply
  • Failure or breakdown of an essential service or appliance for water or cooking
  • Hot water service failure on a weekend, or long weekend (this would not be considered an after hours emergency if this occurs on a week night)
  • Faults or damages that makes the premises unsafe or insecure
  • Faults likely to injure a person, cause damage or extreme inconvenience

If an emergency repair is required during business hours, please contact your property manager directly. If this occurs outside of business hours, please consult your tenancy pack for a list of emergency tradespeople.


When will Rental Express carry out routine inspections?
As a rule of thumb, we’ll inspect a property every 3 months. So if you’re on a 6 month lease, you’ll likely have one inspection, and if you signed a 12 month lease, expect three inspections.

In any case, we’ll give you plenty of notice advising when we’ll inspect, and give you a 2-hour time frame of when we’ll enter. You can choose to be there, but it’s not necessary.

What will happen leading up to a routine inspection?
We will submit to you a day and approximate entry time via an RTA Form 9 Entry Notice. Due to time restraints and schedules allocated for property inspections, it is difficult to rearrange times, however, in extreme circumstances, please contact our office to request a change of entry. Your presence at the inspection is welcome, but not necessary, as the staff member conducting the inspection will use our agency key set.

How can I prepare for a routine inspection?
The purpose of an inspection is to identify if repairs and maintenance are needed. A report is prepared and forwarded to the property owner for instructions.

As soon as you notice a problem, complete and submit a Maintenance Request Form for our attention and action. At each planned inspection - complete the form we send to you together with the Entry Notice RTA Form 9 which can be left on the kitchen bench for our attention on arrival.

What will Rental Express inspect?
Interior

  • Floor coverings
  • Walls
  • Doors
  • Ceiling and fans
  • Smoke alarms
  • Light fittings
  • Powerpoints
  • Built in cupboards – shelving and rails
  • Curtains and blinds
  • Whitegoods (if included)
  • Fixtures e.g. oven, hotplates etc.
  • Hot water system
  • Furniture (if included)
  • All wet areas

Exterior

  • Garage/carport
  • Gardens and lawns
  • Paintwork
  • Guttering and downpipes
  • Steps – structure and paint
  • Balcony and decks
  • Driveway, paths and courtyard
  • Locks
  • Pool/spa 
  • Fencing
  • Taps

What are my responsibilities as a tenant regarding smoke alarms?
To comply with Queensland Fire and Rescue Services Legislation the following are responsibilities of the tenant during the tenancy:

  • You will notify your property manager when a smoke alarm has failed or is about to fail, other than because the battery is flat or almost flat.
  • You will not remove, dispose of, or otherwise tamper with to cease its effectiveness, the smoke alarms installed at the premises unless it is to clean or change the battery.
  • You will ensure that all exits from the property are maintained as clearways so they can be safely and effectively used for escape in the event of a fire.
  • You must agree to arrange for the cleaning and testing of each smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every 12 months where the fixed term tenancy is 12 months or longer or a periodic tenancy.
  • You must agree to arrange for the replacement of each battery that is spent or nearly spent during the tenancy in accordance with the Information Statement (RTA Form 17a).

We can supply a list of preferred contractors who can carry out the work for you at your expense.  If arranging your own contractor, ensure they are qualified and hold current Public Liability Insurance cover.


What’s a safety switch & what are my responsibilities?
Safety switches are designed to reduce the likelihood of electric shock should an electrical fault occur. They are designed to prevent injury or death.

They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit. They automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances. This stops the chance of current flowing to earth, through a person, electrocuting them.

Are safety switches failsafe?
Nothing is failsafe. Safety switches should be regularly checked. Just like a smoke detector or other safety device, if it is not working properly, it cannot protect.

It is also important to make sure electrical appliances, electrical wiring, extension leads and other electrical equipment are regularly checked and kept in good working order.

How do I know if a safety switch is installed?
Check by looking at the switchboard for a TEST/RESET button. That tells you if there is a safety switch installed. When you open the switchboard you should see something like this:

 
Typical switchboard – this shows the main switch, safety switch with test button, and four circuit breakers. All homes have circuit breakers or fuses. These are designed to protect the wiring and appliances within the premises. Only safety switches are designed to protect people.  

Testing a safety switch

To test a safety switch, simply press the 'TEST' button. This should automatically trip the switch to the ‘off’ position. Reset by pushing the switch back to ‘on’. If it doesn’t work, contact your Property Manager immediately. You MUST carry out safety switch test every three months.

Why did it ‘trip’?
If a safety switch turns off the power, it may be that a resident could be using a faulty appliance or the electrical wiring may have become faulty. Reset the safety switch. If it trips again, unplug the last appliance used. If everything works okay, take that appliance to a licensed electrical contractor to be checked. If the safety switch keeps tripping, disconnect all appliances and plug them in, one at a time, until the faulty one is located.
*Avoid touching appliances while carrying out this process


Can I renew my lease?
Provided that the owner of the property you’re leasing intends to continue leasing their property, and that your rent has been paid on time, the property has been kept clean and undamaged and the grounds well maintained, you can expect to receive an invitation of renewal. Other factors beyond your control may also determine whether or not your lease will be renewed eg. sale of the property etc. 

If you receive a Lease Renewal Notice, it’s important that you let us know whether you accept the renewal or you wish to vacate. We need this advice in writing from you as soon as possible.


Are you allowed to adjust my rent?
Rental adjustments may take place at the end of a fixed-term lease if both property owner and tenant are happy to renew the current lease. The rental price may be revised to better suit market conditions and must be accepted by both owner and tenant in order for the lease to be renewed.

Leases twelve-months and longer may also include a clause to review the lease at a given point in time. If this is the case, it will be clearly indicated on your lease.


What happens if I’m late with my rent payments?
At Rental Express, we understand that sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that result in delayed rental payments. Although the situation may never apply to you as most tenants pay rent on time, it is important we advise you of the processes involved.

Although we will endeavour to accommodate any extraordinary situations resulting in late rental payments, there is a strict arrears management procedure that will be maintained, regardless of the reason. This is to ensure effective management of arrears and protect the Lessor’s investment.

If you happen to fall into arrears or know that you will be unable to make a rental payment, please contact the office and discuss the situation with your property manager.  It is important to note that in the event that you exceed 7 days in arrears, a Notice to Remedy Breach will be issued regardless of the reason for the non-payment.

These actions form our arrears management procedure and occur at the time specified:
1-7 days in arrears
- Reminder phone call, SMS message, letter
8 days in arrears - Notice to Remedy Breach issued with 7 days to remedy breach.
18 days in arrears - Notice to Leave issued with 7 days notice to vacate.

Failure to rectify a Notice to Remedy Breach within the required timeframe will result in a Notice to Leave being issued, requiring that you vacate the property within the required timeframe and pay all outstanding monies owed up to that date.  In the event that payment is not received by the time of vacating the premises and there are monies owed in excess of the bond, the tenants named on the tenancy agreement may be listed with a tenancy database (TICA – Tenancy Information Centre of Australia and/or NTD – National Tenancy Database).  Tenants will have the opportunity to pay all monies owed as well as being consulted before their details are listed.    


I've misplaced my keys, what do I do?
If you have misplaced your keys during business hours you may come to our office and pick up our master set and have a copy cut. All you'll have to do is present identification and return the master set to us. If you have misplaced your keys after hours, you may call a locksmith to assist you back into the property. This is at the tenant's cost.


What are my general responsibilities as a tenant?
It’s important to show due respect to your neighbours at all times. Loud music, parties and disruptive behaviour can disturb a neighbour’s right to peace and quiet. This is especially true of units and apartments, where there can be little more than a wall between homes. Disrespectful behaviour reflects poorly on yourself as tenants, on Rental Express as the property managers and on the property owners, and as such, it will not be tolerated.


Can I smoke in my property?
By law, all residential rental properties have a strict ‘no smoking inside’ policy. If tenants still choose to smoke inside the property, in addition to facing eviction (and hence being listed on a national tenancy database), they will also be responsible for costly specialised cleaning and deodorising of the inside of the property to reduce and eliminate unpleasant smoke odours.


Can I have a pet?
You may only keep pets at your property if you have explicitly been granted permission on your lease. If you are found to have a pet at your property without explicit permission, you will be in violation of your tenancy agreement and may face eviction. Hence, if you are considering getting a pet, do not do it without first finding out if it can be added to your lease.

If you do have an approved pet at your property, you must abide by the following responsibilities:

  • Keep the yard clean.
  • In the event of any fleas or flea eggs being present, you will need to arrange for flea fumigation of the property at your own expense. 
  • Cover the cost of any damage to the premises caused by the animal. 
  • You must abide by all local, city or state laws, licensing and health requirements regarding pets, including vaccinations.

Failure to comply with these terms shall give the owner the right to revoke permission to keep the pet, and is also grounds for further action. 
 


Can someone transfer onto my lease?
You must seek permission to add people to your lease. Additional tenants will have to complete our application process and sign onto the lease. We may refuse your request if the property is unsuitable for an additional person, or the person you are proposing does not meet our eligibility criteria.

Someone on my lease wants to leave, what happens with their Bond?
IF PERMISSION IS GRANTED for tenants to change/transfer during a tenancy agreement, then the outgoing tenant must liaise and arrange with the incoming tenant to be paid their share of the bond lodged. You must then liaise with us for any transfer of names required on the original bond lodged with the bond authority.

Can I sub-let on my lease?
Subletting is not permitted without written approval from us. This includes assigning the tenancy over to a third party, or allowing other occupants to move in without our express permission. New tenants will have to complete our application process and sign onto the lease. We may refuse your request if the property is unsuitable for an additional person, or the person you are proposing does not meet our eligibility criteria.



What do I need to do before vacating the property?
Once adequate notice has been given, a tenant will be issued with a vacate date. This is the latest date that a vacating tenant is able to return the keys to Rental Express. A tenant is also required to have all their property out from the property and have left the property in good order. You are required to pay rent until this date, regardless of whether you occupy it in the final days or not.

Tenants are required to complete an exit condition report upon leaving a property. We highly recommend that you make this your check list for the vacating process. This details all your obligations with respect to cleaning, smoke detectors, appliances and so forth. If the property is not left in a respectable condition, we will hire professional cleaners at your expense, deducted from your bond.

If the agent and tenant agree on the bond to be refunded, they will together submit a bond refund request form to the RTA. Once this is complete, you will be refunded the agreed amount as directed by the form which is typically processed inside of 14 days. If the tenant and agent disagree on the return of the bond, you may file a dispute to the RTA with 14 days of the initial claim.

Should you need any further information on the vacate process visit our 'Vacating' page


What happens if I don't pay my outstanding rent or damages when I vacate?
If you vacate a property with money still owing and damage to the property, you will be lodged on a national tenancy database. Even if this is later rectified, your details may not be withdrawn from the database. Your details may still be lodged for 5 years after your debt has been cleared, indicating there was originally a problem. Therefore due to the serious nature of being listed on these databases, we encourage all tenants to ensure all aspects of their tenancy be finalised in full with us before vacating.

Eviction
Should an eviction occur, your details will be lodged on the national internet tenancy database.


More information about tenancy databases...
The national internet tenancy database is a collection of tenancy information lodged by property managers and real estate agents, mostly regarding tenant default action like property damage or outstanding rental debts. All agents use this database to lodge tenant details. However, when agents are processing application forms, this database is also cross-checked.

For specific details regarding the database we use, click here.