Changes to Queensland tenancy laws came into effect on 20 October 2021, providing permanent options
for people experiencing domestic and family violence to end a tenancy. Some COVID-19 arrangements for
residential tenancies will also continue until 30 April 2022. Learn more about these changes at
or call us on 1300 366 311.
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is the Queensland Government statutory body that administers the
Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. The RTA provides tenancy information and
support, bond management, dispute resolution, education services, investigations and prosecutions.
When renting…
You must
pay the rent on time
keep the property clean and undamaged and leave it in the same condition it was in when you moved in
(fair wear and tear excepted)
abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement
respect your neighbours’ right to peace and quiet
The property owner/manager must
ensure the property is vacant, clean and in good repair at the start of the tenancy
respect your privacy and comply with entry requirements
carry out repairs and maintenance
meet all health and safety laws
lodge your bond with the RTA
Your tenancy details
Property owner/manager contact details
Bond number Tenancy end date
Emergency repairs contact/s
This information is for general guidance only. It is not legal advice. The RTA cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided.
For more information refer to the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
Information Statement Form 17a
Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units
Page 1 of 5
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Residential Tenancies Authority
Moving in
Tenancy agreement
A General tenancy agreement (Form 18a), also called a
lease, is a legally binding written contract between you
and the property owner/manager. It must include standard
terms and may include special terms (e.g. keeping pets).
You and the property owner/manager must sign the
agreement and you should be given a copy.
Period of tenancy agreement:
Fixed term agreement – has a start date and an end
date and you agree to rent the property for a fixed
amount of time (e.g. 12 months)
Periodic agreement – when you agree to rent the
property for an unspecified amount of time (there
will be a start date but no end date)
A rental bond is a security deposit you pay at the start
of a tenancy and is lodged with the RTA. The property
owner/manager must not hold your bond. You can lodge
your bond directly with the RTA using RTA Web Services.
Alternatively, once the bond is paid, the property owner/
manager must give you a receipt and complete a Bond
lodgement online or provide you with a paper Bond
lodgement (Form 2) which you must sign. The property
owner/manager must lodge the bond with the RTA within
10 days. Check with the property owner/manager. You
will receive notification from the RTA once the bond has
been lodged.
Bond increases
Your bond can be increased if your rent is increased. It
must be at least 11 months since the last increase and
you must be given 1 month’s notice.
Any extra bond money paid by you must be lodged with
the RTA by the property owner/manager or you. You can
do this directly via the RTA website.
Generally you will be asked to pay rent in advance before,
or when, you move in.
For a fixed term agreement: a maximum of
1 month’s rent in advance
For a periodic agreement: a maximum of
2 weeks rent in advance
You can’t be asked to pay more rent until the rent in
advance has been used up.
Rent increases
It must be at least 6 months since the tenancy started or
the date of the most recent rent amount was changed.
Rent cannot be increased during a fixed term agreement
unless it is stated in the agreement and even then
2 months notice (in writing) must be given.
Rent can be increased in a periodic agreement by giving
2 months notice (in writing).
Rent decreases
Rent decreases may occur when there is a drop in the
standard of the property, a decrease in services provided
(e.g. the availability of car parking), or if a natural disaster
(e.g. flooding, fire) makes the property partially unfit to live
in. Any agreement about a rent decrease should be put
in writing and signed by the property owner/manager
and tenant.
Water usage
You can be charged full water consumption costs only
if the property owner/manager meets a specific set of
conditions. Check your tenancy agreement and our
website for more detail.
Water bills may be issued quarterly or half-yearly. Check
with your property owner/manager how often and when
bills are issued. These bills should be provided to you
within a reasonable timeframe, and you must pay within
one month of the bills being provided.
Check your tenancy agreement – in most cases you will
need to arrange connection and pay for the services.
Check with the property owner/manager to clarify
arrangements for internet or TV connections, satellite dish
installation or solar electricity rebates (if applicable).
Entry condition report
The property owner/manager must give you an Entry
condition report (Form 1a).
It is important for you to take the time and check the
condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.
This will help to avoid disputes about the condition of
the property when you move out. You must complete
the report and return a signed copy to the property
owner/manager within 3 days. The property owner/manager
must give you a copy of the final report within 14 days.
The RTA also recommends taking photos and attaching
them to the report as proof of the condition of the property.
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Residential Tenancies Authority
During a tenancy
You are responsible for looking after the property and
keeping it, and any inclusions (like the oven), clean. The
property owner/manager is responsible for ensuring
the property is fit to live in and in a good state of repair,
including carrying out general repairs and maintenance
during your tenancy. They must also make sure the
property complies with any health and safety laws.
You should notify the property owner/manager of any
necessary repairs. They will generally carry out repairs or
organise someone to do them. You should not carry out
repairs without written consent. When entering the property
for repairs the property owner/manager must provide
the appropriate entry notice period. If you or your guests
damage the property, you will have to pay for the repairs.
Fixtures can only be added with the property owner/
manager’s written consent and they do not have to agree
to the request if they give a good reason.
A tenant experiencing domestic and family violence can
arrange for a qualified tradesperson to change the locks
in their rental property to ensure their personal safety. The
tenant must provide copies of the keys to the property
owner/manager unless the property owner/manager
agrees to not being given a copy of the key.
A tenant cannot change locks to common property in
community title schemes.
What to do in an emergency
If the property owner/manager or nominated repairer listed
on your tenancy agreement cannot be contacted, you
can arrange for a qualified person to carry out emergency
repairs, to a maximum value of 2 weeks rent. If you
pay the repairer you will need to give the receipt to the
property owner/manager, who must pay you back within
7 days. Keep copies of all receipts. Check your tenancy
agreement to clarify what is meant by an emergency repair.
Smoke alarms
Property owners/managers must install and maintain
smoke alarms in rental properties, in line with Queensland
legislation. Visit Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
( for more information. Tenants also have
responsibilities including cleaning smoke alarms and
replacing batteries. See our website for more information.
Inspections and viewings
Routine inspections can be carried out every 3 months
to ensure the property is well cared for and there are no
maintenance or health and safety issues.
The property owner/manager may also need to enter the
property for repairs or a viewing if it is being re-let or put up
for sale. In most cases they must give you an Entry notice
(Form 9) before they can enter. However, they may enter
in an emergency or if you verbally agree with the entry.
Entry must occur at a reasonable time. For open home
inspections (when multiple inspections occur at the same
time), your written consent must be sought by the property
owner/manager. Visit our website for more details.
Sub-letting and co-tenancies
If you want to rent out a room or part of the property, you
must seek written permission from the property manager/
owner and they must have good reason to say no.
Check your tenancy agreement first, talk to your property
owner/manager and get any agreed arrangements in writing.
Head-tenants have the same responsibilities as a property
owner/manager including giving their sub-tenant a receipt
for bond money paid and lodging the bond with the RTA.
If you do something wrong
If you breach the agreement, the property owner/manager
can issue a Notice to remedy breach (Form 11).
Example: you fall more than 7 days behind in rent or do
not keep the property in the agreed condition.
If you don’t fix the problem you may be given a Notice to
leave (Form 12) by the property owner/manager.
If the property owner/manager does something wrong
If the property owner/manager breaches the agreement,
you can issue a Notice to remedy breach (Form 11).
Example: the property owner/manager fails to keep the
property well maintained, does not respond to a repair
request or enters the property without the correct notice.
Resolving problems
Good communication is the key to resolving most
problems. Find out your rights and responsibilities and
try to resolve disputes with the property owner/manager
directly. If this does not work, the RTAs free and impartial
dispute resolution service may be able to help. If it remains
unresolved, you may be able to take the matter to the
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
Extending your fixed term tenancy
If you want to stay on under a new fixed term agreement,
and there are no changes other than the end date, you
and the property owner/manager should sign a letter or
statement that includes the new date.
If there are any changes to any of the terms of the
agreement, the property owner/manager will need to
prepare a new written tenancy agreement and you must
both sign it before the old one ends. If there is a significant
change (e.g. a rent increase you think is excessive) you
can dispute it, but only after you’ve signed the new
agreement. Note that the rent cannot be increased unless
at least 6 months have passed since the last rent increase.
If the end date of a fixed term agreement goes by without
any contact between you and the property owner/manager,
it continues as a periodic agreement.
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Residential Tenancies Authority
Moving out
Ending your fixed term or periodic
You cannot move out at the end of a fixed term agreement
without giving notice.
If you wish to leave you must give 14 days notice in
writing. If the property manager/owner wants you to leave
they must give you 2 months notice.
You must continue to pay rent until you move out.
You must leave the property in the same condition it was
in before you moved in, fair wear and tear excepted.
Remember to disconnect your electricity, gas, telephone
and internet from your current property and re-direct your
mail when you move out.
Breaking your tenancy agreement
If you break the tenancy agreement (e.g. you decide to
leave early), you may be responsible for compensating the
property owner/manager for lost rent until another tenant
can be found or the tenancy ends.
You may also be liable for other costs such as the cost of
re-letting the property and advertising.
The property owner/manager must make an effort to limit
your loss or expense.
Temporary changes to tenancy laws apply during the
COVID-19 emergency period. Visit
for more details.
Excessive hardship
If you experience excessive hardship and are unable to
continue the tenancy, you can make an urgent application
to QCAT to end the tenancy.
Examples of excessive hardship can include serious illness
or loss of employment.
The person applying to QCAT will need to show evidence
of their circumstances. QCAT may make orders regarding
compensation to the property owner/manager and
terminating the tenancy from an agreed date.
Exit condition report
You must complete an Exit condition report (Form 14a).
It shows the condition of the property when you leave. If
possible you should try to arrange a final inspection with
your property owner/manager.
The property owner/manager must complete their side
of the report, sign it and return a copy to you within
3 business days of receiving it.
Getting your bond back
You get your bond back at the end of the tenancy as long
as no money is owed to the property owner/ manager
for rent, damages or other costs. You can apply on, or
after, handover day to have your bond money returned.
You need to provide the RTA with your contact details,
forwarding address and bank account details to receive
your bond refund. You can update your details quickly and
easily online using RTA Web Services.
Bonds can only be refunded into Australian bank
accounts. The quickest and easiest way to get your bond
back is an agreed refund between you and your property
If you and the property owner/manager agree on the
refund amount
You and the property owner/manager can request a bond
refund online using RTA Web Services. Alternatively, you
and your property owner/manager must sign the paper
based Refund of rental bond (Form 4) and submit it to
the RTA. The RTA will refund the bond as directed within
a few days.
If you and the property owner/manager disagree
The RTA encourages you and your property owner/manager
to try and resolve any issues in the first instance. Either
you or the property owner/manager can submit a bond
refund form online using RTA Web Services or the paper
based Refund of rental bond (Form 4).
The RTA will process the first refund request made
(Party A). If the other person (Party B), whose signature/
agreement is missing, disagrees with Party As refund
request, they can dispute the claim within the timeframe
stated to prevent payment.
The RTA will send Party B a Notice of claim and Party B
can disagree digitally via Web Services or submit a Dispute
resolution request (Form 16) to the RTA by the due date.
If the RTA does not receive a digital response via Web
Services or a completed Form 16 from Party B within the
14 day period as stated on the notice, the bond will be
paid out, as directed on Party As bond refund form.
If Party B disagrees on the bond refund through the above
process, it will commence the dispute process with the
RTAs dispute resolution service where a conciliator will try
to help resolve the disagreement. If agreement is reached,
both parties will need to sign a bond refund form and the
bond is paid out as what is agreed in this process.
If agreement is not reached, Party B (the person who
disputed the refund form) can apply to QCAT for a
decision. They must do so within 7 days and notify
the RTA in writing of the QCAT application within the
correct timeframe.
If no QCAT application is lodged by Party B within the
7 day timeframe, the RTA will pay the bond as directed
on Party As bond refund form. More details on dispute
resolution are available at and information
about QCAT can be found at
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Residential Tenancies Authority
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Domestic and family violence support
Domestic and family violence in
a rental property
Domestic and family violence is any form of violence or
abuse where the abusive person is a spouse (including de
facto), an intimate or dating partner, a family member or an
informal carer.
A person who experiences domestic and family violence in
a rental property has rights under tenancy law, even if they
are not named on the tenancy agreement.
If someone in a rental property is experiencing domestic
and family violence and no longer feels safe living in the
property, they can end their interest in a tenancy agreement by
providing the property owner or manager seven days notice of
their intention to vacate supported by relevant evidence. They
can vacate before 7 days but they are responsible for paying
rent until the end of the 7 day notice period.
Tenants can complete a Notice ending tenancy interest
(domestic and family violence) (Form 20) to end their
interest in a tenancy agreement.
Tenants and property owners/managers can also
complete a Bond refund for persons experiencing
domestic and family violence (Form 4a) to request a
rental bond refund for their bond contribution or a tenant’s
bond contribution due to a tenancy interest ending on
grounds of experiencing domestic and family violence.
It is critical that property owners/managers maintain the
privacy of a tenant who is experiencing domestic and family
violence to ensure their safety. Penalties apply for those
who do not follow the legislated requirements. Learn more
about your rights and responsibilities at
A person can also apply to QCAT to:
end the tenancy agreement
be listed as the tenant
remove the name of the person who has
committed an act of domestic violence from
the tenancy agreement
prevent their personal information being listed in a
tenancy database where a breach of the agreement
is a result of the actions of a person who has
committed an act of domestic or family violence
Every person has a right to feel safe and live free from
violence. If there is violence in your home, you may be able
to apply for a domestic violence order (DVO).
Visit the Queensland Courts website for
more information on domestic violence orders.
If you are affected by domestic and family violence and/or
sexual abuse, you can contact any of the organisations
below for free and confidential support and assistance.
Pocket guide for tenants – houses and units (Form 17a) Information Statement
Form 17a – v11 Oct21 Copyright © Residential Tenancies Authority ISBN: 978-0-9586156-1-7
Residential Tenancies Authority
t 1300 366 311
Mon Fri: 8.30am 5pm
Police, firefighters or ambulance
t 000 (triple zero)
Tenants Queensland
t 1300 744 263
National Relay Service
Assistance for people who are deaf and/or find it hard
hearing or speaking
t 133 677
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)
TIS will telephone the RTA for you at no extra cost
t 131 450
Crisis support and suicide prevention services
t 13 11 14
DV Connect
Domestic, family and sexual violence support services
t 1800 811 811 – Womensline
t 1800 600 636 – Mensline
t 1800 010 210 – Sexual Assault Hotline
National sexual assault, domestic and family violence
counselling service
t 1800 737 732
Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence
Victims rights, counselling and financial assistance
t 1800 019 123
Contact information