14 days rent in Advance in QLD query?

Hi All,
Just hoping I can gain some clarification on what to do with our new tenants re: how rent in advance legally works in Queensland and whether it is enforcable. We are privately managing our IP, (QLD General Tenancy Agreement Form 18a signed) stating Item 7 rent amount $ per 'week', and under Item 8 Rent must be paid on the 'Wednesday' of each 'Week'.

I contacted our tenant yesterday after expecting first weeks rent on Wednesday only to find they were not intending on paying until next Wednesday. Time line below:) In my introductory email that included our application form, general agreement etc our rental terms stated rent to be 14 days in advance.

They paid 4 weeks bond at beginning of the contract 24th Nov plus the inital 2 weeks rent in advance (with me giving a written receipt that stated 'for period 24/11/09- 8/12/09). I contacted our tenant to say that we had expected one weeks rent paid on the Wednesday just gone to maintain their 14 days in advance but they said that they understood that they were only going to be 1 week in advance after the inital fortnight.

My issue is that the QLD contract doesn't seem to state anywhere that it must be in advance and don't know how to word it as such to our tenant that this is what we want & under S87 I can see we are entitled to do so however can't see how to clarify what they are trying to say was their interpretation of the situation.

Don't want to upset what appears to be a good tenant however don't want to be too relaxed either as we are aware that if they pay late they will be immediately entirely in arrears at our expense with absolutely no breathing room.

Your thoughts would be most welcome - feel bad also now saying you have to cash up for 2weeks too put them back in the right payment plan right before Xmas.

Yours thoughts would be most welcome.

Cheers,
 
Wouldn't they need to pay the next two weeks in advance on or before 8 December?

Your best bet is to call the Residential Tenancies Association as you can get the right information straight from the people who make the rules.
 
According to the Act (Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation
Bill 2008):
s87 Rent in advance
.....(2) A lessor or lessor’s agent must not require a payment of rent
under an agreement in a period for which rent has already
been paid.


They can *choose* to pay one week earlier than the due date, as per your request, but they are not required to and you are not entitled to this as a requirement of the agreement. Your tenants are correct in this case when they say they are "going to be 1 week in advance after the inital fortnight".
 
I'm with calliejane24. From this page of the RTA website: "A lessor/agent cannot ask the tenant for more rent until the rent in advance has been used up."

So no more payments can be requested prior to the 8th December, and given that you've asked for weekly payments, they'll only ever be a maximum of one week in advance. A good reason to have payments fortnightly!
 
Rent is not in arrears until the sun sets on an unpaid day.
The Residential Tenancies Act used to enforce payment of rent only says that rent must be in advance.
cheers
thecrest
 
Thanks all - all clear now

Thanks everyone - yes I followed Wylies' advice and called RTA that morning to clarify the interpretation of the act. Where the confusion had come in for me was that I had previous rented in NSW where the Agreement actually states 'In Advance' and in QLD it doesn't and I failed to remember my agreement was a f/nightly one. The additional issue was that I have studied Law and due to the way the RTA have the act written I had interpretted differently re: 'in a period for which the rent has already been paid' - legally it has been written a bit vaguely in the wording of the Act.

It is legally agruable/interpretable that if you are asking for rent to be paid to cover the following week ie. 9th -15 Dec to keep them in advance 14days that is not actually 'in a period for rent already paid' iykwim.

So end result we have it all clear in our minds and the tenant has it all clear, no problems on the rent front thus far so we are happy with that :) phew!

To keep us entertained last night however got an sms to say whatever dripping into the kitchen downstairs off the ceiling.... argh!! Had the plumbers in there today... such is owners life:cool:
 
To keep us entertained last night however got an sms to say whatever dripping into the kitchen downstairs off the ceiling.... argh!! Had the plumbers in there today... such is owners life:cool:

Unfortunately, if you upset the tenant they can ask for a plumber which they know cost $150 min. To cover this I put a clause in the Tenancy agreement:
"Tradesman - Call out Fees: The tenant is liable for the tradesman call out fee if the tradesman ascertains that the fault is with the tenant’s equipment or finds no fault."

I can't count the number of times a plumber has found no problem - after you hit the tenant with the water consumption bill. Another good one is HD TV's -they can't set up the new Plasma so they say the antenna isn't working.

Cheers,

Bazza
 
Unfortunately, if you upset the tenant they can ask for a plumber which they know cost $150 min. To cover this I put a clause in the Tenancy agreement:
"Tradesman - Call out Fees: The tenant is liable for the tradesman call out fee if the tradesman ascertains that the fault is with the tenant’s equipment or finds no fault."

I can't count the number of times a plumber has found no problem
Amen - and electrician, too! I think my first 6 calls when I began operating my student accommodation were all "no fault found"... so I promptly began adding a similar clause to above. Call-outs have dropped dramatically.
 
Thanks Bazza & Ozperp much appreciated words of wisdom. Words of such effect will definately be inserted for whenever I let to another tenant, or resign the current ... being optomistic:) Presumably if I make them aware that they would be signing an updated contract with some varied clauses prior to signing they can chose to sign or not:).
 
Hi Localgirl,

Please find below a complete list of clauses I add to the Tenancy Agreement. This has sort of evolved over the years but I think I've got everything covered now.

1. Rent: To be increased six monthly by 2.5%. The tenant is to receive 60 days notice prior to any increase taking place in accordance with Standard Term 10 of the Residential Tenancy Agreement.
2. Occupants: No other person, other than those named on the tenancy agreement, is permitted to move into the property unless the Lessor/Agent is advised and the applicant is approved.
3. Pet Approval
(a) There are to be no animals kept on the premise at any time, unless approved by the Lessor/Agent. If a pet is found without permission, the tenant will be asked to leave with minimal notice. If approved, all animals must be kept outside at all times.
(b) The tenants accept full responsibility for any animals that the tenants bring or allow onto the premises with or without the consent of the Lessor/Agent. The tenants will be solely liable for any loss or damage or injury suffered by any person who is attacked by any such animal but if any action is brought against the Lessor/Agent by any person despite the tenants being responsible as aforesaid, the tenants will indemnify and hold harmless the Lessor/Agent being from any claim, action, suit or demand brought against them by any person injured by such animal.
(c) If an animal has been keep on the premises (with or without permission) the premises is to be fumigated on the last day of occupancy. A receipt for pest control is required from a reputable company.
4. Water Consumption: The Lessor/Agent is to pay all fixed charges for water supply. The tenants are to pay all water consumption charges during the term of the tenancy. The water meter reading at the commencement of the tenancy is stated on the ‘Entry Condition Report’.
5. Insurance: It is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange for their own contents insurance.
6. Tradesman call out fees: The tenant is liable for the tradesman call out fee if the tradesman ascertains that the fault is with the tenant’s equipment or finds no fault.
7. Smoke Alarms: The tenants are responsible for cleaning, testing smoke alarms and replacing batteries during the term of the tenancy.
8. Pest Control: The tenants are responsible for maintaining the property to be pest free during the term of the tenancy.
9. Cleaning: Upon vacating the property, the tenants must provide, a receipt for carpet cleaning from a reputable company.
10. Should the Tenants break the lease they will pay to the Lessor/Agent a re-letting fee of one week's rent.

Cheers,

Bazza
 
Bazza, a few of those seem contrary to my understanding of the RTA, and I also don't think the wording on some of them would "stand up". Have you sought legal advice on these clauses, or worded them yourself?

I guess to some extent it doesn't matter, if it bluffs the tenant and that's your goal, I just doubt whether some of these would be upheld at Tribunal.
 
Bazza, a few of those seem contrary to my understanding of the RTA, and I also don't think the wording on some of them would "stand up". Have you sought legal advice on these clauses, or worded them yourself?

Hi Ozperp,

I have an aversion to solicitors - from past experiences.

The Pet Approval section was 'borrowed' from Ray White but the rest I have put together myself over the years.

Please let me know what you think is contrary to the RTA. I have based these clauses on what I understood to be correct? If you can offer improvements or clarification to these I would be happy to update.

Anyway, if the tenant signs the agreement then they must abide but those conditions? They have the option to negotiate a change if they wish.

Cheers,

Bazza
 
Bazza, a few of those seem contrary to my understanding of the RTA

Hi Ozperp,

I have gone through the appropiate documents:
1. RTA Tenancy Agreement July 2009
2. Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a)

Please find clarification of my 'Special Clauses' below.

Tenancy Agreement July 2009 - 10 Rent increases – ss 91 and 93
(1) If the lessor proposes to increase the rent, the lessor must give notice of the proposal to the tenant.
(2) The notice must state the amount of the increased rent and the day from when it is payable.
(3) The day stated must not be earlier than the later of the following –
(a) 2 months after the notice is given;
(b) 6 months after the day the existing rent became payable by the tenant.
(4) Subject to an order of a tribunal, the increased rent is payable
from the day stated in the notice, and this agreement is taken to be amended accordingly.
(5) However, if this agreement is a fixed term agreement, the rent may be increased before the term ends only if a special term –
(a) provides for a rent increase; and
(b) states the amount of the increase or how the amount of the increase is to be worked out.
(6) A rent increase is payable by the tenant only if the rent is increased under this clause.

Occupants - Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 6
You have the responsibility to notify the Lessor/agent if there are changes to the occupants of the household.
Tenancy Agreement July 2009 - 23 Number of occupants allowed
No more than the number of persons stated in this agreement for item 15 may reside at the premises.

Tenancy Agreement July 2009 - 24 Pets
(1) The tenant may keep pets on the premises only if this agreement states for item 17.1 that pets are approved.
(2) If this agreement states for item 17.1 that pets are approved and this agreement states for item 17.2 that only –
(a) a particular type of pet may be kept, only that type may be kept; or
(b) a particular number of pets may be kept, only that number may be kept; or
(c) a particular number of a particular type of pet may be kept, only that number of that type may be kept.

Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 18
If you breach the agreement the Lessor/agent can give you a Notice to Remedy Breach giving you 7 days to fix the problem. If you breach the agreement more than twice in a one year period the Lessor/agent can apply directly to the tribunal to end the tenancy.

Tenancy Agreement July 2009 - 17 Water service charges – ss 164 and 166
(1) The tenant must pay an amount for the water consumption charges for the premises if –
(a) the tenant is enjoying or sharing the benefit of a water service to the premises; and
(b) the premises are individually metered for the supply of water or water is supplied to the premises by delivery by means of a vehicle; and
(c) this agreement states for item 12.2 that the tenant must pay for water supplied to the premises.
Water Consumption - Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 11
Lessors are able to pass on the full water consumption charges to tenants if:
The rental premises is individually metered
The tenancy agreement states that the tenant must pay for water consumption
The premises is water efficient

Smoke Alarms - Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 20
Lessors/agents responsible for
Installing smoke alarms
Testing within 30 days of start/renewal of tenancy
Cleaning within 30 days of start/renewal of tenancy
Replacing batteries if flat or nearly flat within 30 days of start/renewal of tenancy
Tenants obligations:
Testing at least once every 12 months
Replacing batteries if flat or nearly flat
Cleaning least once every 12 months

Pest control & Carpet Cleaning - Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 25
While the law doesn't’t specifically mention carpet cleaning or pest control, you might find these requirements are included in the Special Terms in your tenancy agreement. If professional cleaning or pest control are included in the Special Terms in your tenancy agreement the Lessor/agent can’t make you use a specific company.

Breaking Lease - Renting a house or unit in Queensland (form 17a) page 22
The Lessor/agent can require you to pay for reasonable costs they incur if you break the tenancy agreement including:
Compensation for lost rent
The cost of advertising for new tenants
Costs incurred by Lessor – eg letting fee

Cheers,

Bazza
 
Bazza, better check this morning's Courier Mail.

There is a small item on page 28 about a landlord being fined $7K after the RTA took him to court.

Among other charges, the report said

"Residential Tenancies authority general manager Fergus Smith said the RTA prosecuted the landlord for five offences relating to the inclusion of special terms in tenancy agreements which contravened tenancy laws designed to protect vulnerable tenants.

Counsel for the RTA David Thomae said the court should send a clear message to the landlord and others who contemplated breaking tenancy laws."

Costs of $4898 were also awarded against the landlord.

So you may be well advised to check that your clauses aren't contrary to any RTA laws.

Anyway, if the tenant signs the agreement then they must abide but those conditions? They have the option to negotiate a change if they wish.

No, you can't hold your tenant to any clause in contravention to the law. Better read up on all the relevant leglislation if you intend to self-manage.
Marg

PS: This was sent before your last post, Bazza.
 
Please let me know what you think is contrary to the RTA. I have based these clauses on what I understood to be correct? If you can offer improvements or clarification to these I would be happy to update.

Anyway, if the tenant signs the agreement then they must abide but those conditions? They have the option to negotiate a change if they wish.
Most of the clauses have an intent that's not problematic, but I doubt the wording would hold up. And as Marg has rightly pointed out, you can't negotiate changes that are less favourable to the tenant than the standard agreement.
The tenant is to receive 60 days notice prior to any increase taking place
You say "The tenant is to receive 60 days notice", which isn't correct, because "is to" is a directive for somebody to do something, and this doesn't place any requirement on the tenant. I assume you meant "The landlord will provide 60 days' notice prior to the effect of any rent increases". And, in fact, since this is in accordance with the standard lease, you needn't say anything at all on this point. :)
Bazza said:
No other person, other than those named on the tenancy agreement, is permitted to move into the property unless the Lessor/Agent is advised and the applicant is approved.
And I don't think "move into" would have legal effect... it probably should be "take up residency" or something like that. I know I sound pedantic - but you have to be. The meaning of every single word and phrase has been agonised over for decades/centuries. You also don't specify that advising the lessor/agent and approval must be prior to somebody moving in.
Bazza said:
If a pet is found without permission, the tenant will be asked to leave with minimal notice.
Can't do it - illegal. All notice periods and grounds for eviction are clearly spelt out in the Act, and you can't vary them.
Bazza said:
(b) The tenants accept full responsibility for any animals that the tenants bring or allow onto the premises with or without the consent of the Lessor/Agent. The tenants will be solely liable for any loss or damage or injury suffered by any person who is attacked by any such animal but if any action is brought against the Lessor/Agent by any person despite the tenants being responsible as aforesaid, the tenants will indemnify and hold harmless the Lessor/Agent being from any claim, action, suit or demand brought against them by any person injured by such animal.
I understand what your intent is, but you can't indemnify yourself against an action for negligence or breach of duty of care.

Another example: "will", in legal terms, usually indicates an intention that's not binding; "shall" is the word if you mean that somebody must do something.
Bazza said:
(c) If an animal has been keep on the premises (with or without permission) the premises is to be fumigated on the last day of occupancy. A receipt for pest control is required from a reputable company.
Who determines whether an animal has been kept on the premises? I assume you, so you want to include a phrase like "at the lessors' absolute discretion". Who also decides which companies are "reputable"? You probably need to specify a qualification or industry body membership.
Bazza said:
4. Water Consumption: The Lessor/Agent is to pay all fixed charges for water supply.
You can pass on charges for water consumption, but it's illegal to pass on fixed supply costs.
Bazza said:
9. Cleaning: Upon vacating the property, the tenants must provide, a receipt for carpet cleaning from a reputable company.
A receipt for cleaning carpets at any property at any time would satisfy this clause. :p I presume the receipt should indicate that the cleaning was done at the subject premises, and within the last 48 hours of the tenancy, or something like that. ;)

Several other clauses seem to unnecessarily duplicate the standard provisions, and in doing so, you risk losing the protection of the standard clauses. eg If the standard clause protects both parties, and you inadvertently write a non-binding clause that favours the tenant, the Tribunal may find that the tenant's responsibilities are less than they would be under the standard agreement. eg your clauses 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10, all cover aspects that are written already in binding language in the standard agreement.
 
Thank you Ozperp for reviewing my special clauses. Please see the amended doc below.

I have taken care not to contravene the standard terms of the agreement but I have duplicated some just to clarify the tenants responsibilities like water consumption, smoke alarms and the re-letting fee which is not covered for private landlords under the standard terms.

BTW I did not suggest that the tenant pay for fixed water charges.

Please show us what you normally included so that we may all see how it should be done?

Cheers,

Bazza
_____________________________________________________________
1. Rent: To be increased six monthly by 2.5% in accordance with Standard Term 10 of the Residential Tenancy Agreement.
2. Occupants: No other person, other than those named on the tenancy agreement, is permitted to take up residency unless the Lessor/Agent is advised and the applicant is approved in advance.
3. Pet Approval:
(a) There are to be no animals kept on the premise at any time, unless approved by the Lessor/Agent. If approved, all animals must be kept outside at all times.
(b) The tenants accept full responsibility for any animals that the tenants bring or allow onto the premises with or without the consent of the Lessor/Agent. The tenants shall be solely liable for any loss or damage or injury suffered by any person who is attacked by any such animal but if any action is brought against the Lessor/Agent by any person despite the tenants being responsible as aforesaid, the tenants will indemnify and hold harmless the Lessor/Agent being from any claim, action, suit or demand brought against them by any person injured by such animal.
(c) If Lessor/Agent determines, at their absolute discretion, that an animal has been kept on the premises (with or without permission) the premises is to be fumigated on the last day of occupancy. A receipt for pest control is required from a reputable company.
4. Water Consumption: The tenants are to pay all water consumption charges during the term of the tenancy. The water meter reading at the commencement of the tenancy is stated on the ‘Entry Condition Report’.
5. Insurance: It is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange for their own contents insurance.
6. Tradesman call out fees: The tenant is liable for the tradesman call out fee if the tradesman ascertains that the fault is with the tenant’s equipment or finds no fault.
7. Smoke Alarms: The tenants are responsible for cleaning, testing and replacing batteries (if required) during the term of the tenancy.
8. Pest Control: The tenants are responsible for maintaining the property to be pest free during the term of the tenancy.
9. Cleaning: Upon vacating the property, the tenants must provide, a receipt for carpet cleaning, on the last day of occupancy, from a reputable company.
10. Should the Tenants break the lease they shall pay reasonable costs to the Lessor/Agent for compensation of lost rent, a re-letting fee of one week's rent and the cost of advertising for new tenants.
 
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