As managing agent, it is our core responsibility and principal activity to ensure that all parties (Lessors and Tenants) understand and comply with their lawful obligations in accordance with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (RTRA Act).

While fulfilling our duties, we often act on your behalf as the Lessor and therefore are also required to be compliant with these laws.

The RTRA Act sets out the key legislative requirements of lessors under section 185:

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.
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;

(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.

Failure to comply with Lawful Obligations

Whilst maintaining property is a legislative requirement, it is also a sound investment to maintain your property to protect the capital value of the investment. It is furthermore vital risk management to ensure the property is in sound condition and well maintained to prevent potential litigation claims of personal injury.

As your managing agent, and always acting in your best interests, we wish to advise of possible actions that may be taken by the tenant by the failure of not attending to the routine maintenance.

Under Queensland law (section 185 of the RTRA Act) lessors have a legal obligation to maintain their premises and inclusions. Failing to comply places you in breach of your lawful obligations.

1) The tenant may issue a Form 11 – Notice to Remedy Breach, which is a 7 day notice to rectify due to breach of contract.

a) upon expiry of the breach notice (and if the matters of concern are not rectified) could issue a notice to terminate the tenancy by providing a further 7 days’ notice. This step would release the tenant from the tenancy without any further obligations on them.

b) The tenant could also seek compensation through Tribunal for breach of contract which could include costs such as removalist costs.

2) The tenant could also issue a Form 16 – Dispute Resolution Request with the Government regulators (The RTA) requesting assistance due to non-compliance of legislation.

3) Another option for tenants under Queensland law is they may apply to Tribunal for a rent reduction, compensation and/or an order request that maintenance be attended to.

If Tenants allege Lessors are not maintaining the property as per the legislative requirements (outlined in section 185 of the RTRA Act), they could apply to tribunal for a repair order under section 191:

191 Orders of tribunal

(1) This section applies if, on an application made to a tribunal by the tenant for an order under this section, the tribunal is satisfied—

(a) the lessor has failed to comply with the lessor’s maintenance obligation under section 185(3) or 186(4); and

(b) the failure results in the health or safety of persons being endangered; and

(c) the failure is reasonably capable of being remedied.

(2) The tribunal may order the lessor to remedy the failure within the time decided by the tribunal.

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