What If I Rent a Place to Live Series – Rental Agreement

What Should I Sign?

The Issue

What if I have found a new place to live?

What documents should I sign before I move in?


The Law

There are rules when renting a place to live in Queensland whether it’s a house, unit, share house room, caravan or houseboat that protects you as a tenant.

These rules are set out in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is a government body which is responsible for the fair operation of these rules.

Under these rules all rental agreements must be in writing. Your landlord and you must both sign one of these documents:

  1. General Tenancy Agreement Form 18a (used for houses, flats and units). This is the most common type of rental agreement.
  2. Movable Dwelling Tenancy Agreement (used for caravans and movable dwellings).
  3. Rooming Accommodation Agreement (used for rooming accommodation such as a boarding house).

The Solution

Make sure that you receive a written rental agreement before you move in to your new place.

Before signing the rental agreement, check that the details are correct, specifically in regard to the term of the rental agreement, the amount of rent being paid, what additional charges (if any, e.g. electricity and water) are to be paid and by whom. Do an inspection of the place and photo any damage and make sure you sign an Inspection Report.

Make sure that the landlord gives you signed copies of the rental agreement and Inspection Report and a receipt for the bond.

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) can provide you with general information as well as answer specific questions about your rental rights and responsibilities. The RTA Client Contact Centre can be contacted at the cost of a local phone call on 1300 366 311. Alternatively you can refer to the RTA website at www.rta.qld.gov.au/renting.

If after contacting the RTA you still require legal advice, please contact Qld Law Group for assistance on 1300 Qld Law.


Yellow Rhino - Diamond 65The Rhino Rule

What if I am worried about losing documents?

The Rhino Rule is set up a folder on your PC for the new place and scan and save any documents you get for the place or take and keep photos on your phone.