Lessor’s Obligations Generally

Common law and Queensland legislation require landlords (referred to as the lessor in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 Qld – the RTRA Act) to provide a property that is safe, clean and fit for the tenant to live in. Lessors are further required to ensure the property complies with all relevant health and safety laws and is generally free from risk or harm.

If inclusions such as dishwashers and air conditioners are included in the property, they must be maintained or replaced accordingly and or as required, or removed prior to the tenancy commencing. Section 185 of the RTRA Act requires lessors of rental property in Queensland to maintain the inclusion supplied to the property.

Lessors are required and encouraged to disclose all material facts and relevant information to their agent about the property and property history. Some of these material facts may be required to be passed onto to the tenant. This may include for example if the property is heritage listed, a natural or unnatural death that occurred at the property in the past (if known), if there is an easement which allows the energy company access to the rear of the yard or any other relevant matter. A landlord disclosure statement forms part of the management agreement provided to you from our agency.  We require the disclosure document to completed as part of the management agreement.

Please refer below to section 185 and section 17A of the RTRA Act (Qld) for lessors generally.

185 Lessor’s obligations generally(1) This section does not apply to an agreement if—(a) the premises are moveable dwelling premises consisting only of the site for the dwelling; and(b) the tenancy is a long tenancy (moveable dwelling).(2) At the start of the tenancy, the lessor must ensure—(a) the premises and inclusions are clean; and(b) the premises are fit for the tenant to live in; and(c) the premises and inclusions are in good repair; and(d) the lessor is not in breach of a law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises; and(e) the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed minimum housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.(3) While the tenancy continues, the lessor—(a) must maintain the premises in a way that the premises remain fit for the tenant to live in; and(b) must maintain the premises and inclusions in good repair; and(c) must ensure any law dealing with issues about the health or safety of persons using or entering the premises is complied with; and(d) if the premises include a common area—must keep the area clean; and(e) must ensure the premises and inclusions otherwise comply with any prescribed minimum housing standards applying to the premises or inclusions.Note—See section 217 for the tenant’s obligations to notify the lessor about damage to premises and the need for repairs.(4) However, the lessor is not required to comply with subsection (2) (c) or (3) (a) for fixtures attached to premises, and inclusions supplied with premises, (the”non-standard items” ) if—(a) the lessor is—(i) the State; or(ii) the replacement lessor under a community housing provider tenancy agreement; and(b) the non-standard items are specified in the agreement and the agreement states the lessor is not responsible for their maintenance; and(c) the non-standard items are not necessary and reasonable to make the premises a fit place in which to live; and(d) the non-standard items are not a risk to health or safety; and(e) for fixtures—the fixtures were not attached to the premises by the lessor.(5) In this section—”premises” include any common area available for use by the tenant with the premises.

Minimum housing standards for rental property

Section 17A of the RTRA Act commenced as of November 2017. The law allows for minimum housing standards to be set out in the legislation (the regulations of the Act). As of December 2017 (the current edition of this guide), the regulations have not been released and are not yet known. We shall advise our landlords in due course of the regulations (if any), and how they may impact you as an investor.

17A Prescribed minimum housing standards(1) A “prescribed minimum housing standard” means a standard prescribed by a regulation.(2) A regulation may prescribe minimum housing standards for—(a) a residential premises let, or to be let, under a residential tenancy agreement; or(b) a rental premises; or(c) inclusions for premises; or(d) facilities in a moveable dwelling park (“park facilities” ).(3) A prescribed minimum housing standard may be for any matter relating to the premises, inclusions or park facilities, including, for example, the following—(a) sanitation, drainage, cleanliness and repair of the premises, inclusions or park facilities;(b) ventilation and insulation;(c) protection from damp and its effects;(d) construction, condition, structures, safety and situation of the premises, inclusions or park facilities;(e) the dimensions of rooms in the premises;(f) privacy and security;(g) provision of water supply, storage and sanitary facilities;(h) laundry and cooking facilities;(i) lighting;(j) freedom from vermin infestation;(k) energy efficiency.(4) If a regulation made under subsection (2) makes provision in relation to a matter and provision is also made in relation to that matter by, or under, any Act, the regulation—(a) if not inconsistent with the Act , must be observed in addition to that Act; and(b) if inconsistent with the Act , is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect and that Act prevails.Example of inconsistency between a prescribed minimum housing standard and an Act—A prescribed minimum housing standard, that purports to require a lessor to keep residential premises and inclusions clean after the start of a tenancy, is inconsistent with the obligations of a tenant under section 188 (2).(5) A regulation may also prescribe how compliance with minimum housing standards is to be monitored and enforced.(6) In this section—”premises” means premises mentioned in subsection (2) (a) or (b)