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Insider Tips

How can we be of service? Let us count the ways. We actually mean service – unlike those who have promised it before and didn’t show up when it counted most. Consider these insider tips your key to consumer affairs.
Family renting a home

As more Australians are renting, their voice is getting louder

Our homes are supposed to be a safe haven; even when we are renting. And we want to feel relaxed and stress-free in our abodes.

Australians are among the most mobile in the world. In the past 5 years, over one-third of us have moved within Australia. And there are over 8 million Australians who are living in rented homes. That means there are a lot of people dealing with real estate agents or landlords.

With the amount of moving we are doing, we are bound to encounter issues and problems with our landlords or real estate agents.

Knowing your rights as a tenant is key to dealing with landlords and real estate agents with minimal angst. If you are a renter or owner of a rental property, we have some simple tips for you below.

The owner/agent does have the right to access the property. However, you as the tenant have the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’. This means you can say ‘no’ to a proposed entry notice. But you should suggest an alternative time and work to finding a time that works for both you and the agent or owner.

When can you give a Remedy Breach if you are renting

If you believe the agent/owner has breached any of their obligations, you can issue them a notice of breach form. Some examples where you would you use this include:

  • If the property is not being adequately maintained, not repairing something that was broken, not providing the services listed in the agreement.
  • When your lessor, agent or provider fails to respect your privacy, does not ensure adequate security, or does not follow the rules of entry, this is a breach of the rental agreement.

If this happens, you can give them a notice of breach form. Your notice should ask them to comply with the Act. And give the property manager/owner at least 7 days to fix the problem.

Bear in mind that a notice of breach does not make the owner or agent DO anything but it can give you grounds to terminate your lease early or assist with seeking compensation.

What is the Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA)

Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA) is a state government statutory authority in Queensland that helps make renting work for everyone. They provide tenancy information and support, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and education services.

If you and the agent or owner have an issue you cannot resolve yourselves, you can approach the RTA to help resolve the dispute.

The RTA cannot make the owner or agent DO anything but might help resolve the deadlock.

Let's say the matter is still not resolved. You can take it to a higher authority by lodging a Tribunal application, which will decide the matter between you two. In Queensland, it is the QCAT you need to approach. Each state will have something similar.

Have a renting-related complaint?

Encountering issues while renting our homes may be nothing new to most of us.

The type of issue and how serious it is will determine the route of your dispute lodgment. Whether it is about the building security or the leaking water tap in the bathroom, a tenant’s frustration and worry is real – especially when the communication is ineffective between the landlord and the lessee.

How to handle a rental complaint if you're a tenant

Making a complaint - Queensland

The following applies to Queensland, depending on your complaint, you need to go to a certain office to file a complaint: