Membership, training, private training services for the Queensland Real Estate industry.

Industry Update May 2022

Industry updates are emailed to Real Estate Excellence free industry mailing list and or posted on social media

16th May 2022

Mould - who is responsible?

Deciding who is responsible for cleaning mould depends on how it appeared in the first place. The tenant should notify the property manager/owner as soon as they are aware of a mould issue.

Generally, if the mould is a result of problems with the property (e.g. a leaking roof, or water damage found around a bathroom from leaking pipework) it is the property manager/owner’s responsibility to clean the mould and make any necessary repairs.

Some buildings may be more prone to mould due to factors such as the age of the building, structural issues, location, or the absence of adequate ventilation or extractor fans. The property manager/owner is more likely to be responsible for mould in these circumstances.

If the tenant causes the mould they are responsible for cleaning it and paying for any damage caused.

Example: if the tenant continually allows steam to build up in the bathroom without proper ventilation and/or regular cleaning, resulting in mould, they may be responsible for the mould.

Any specific arrangements about mould should be included in the special terms of the agreement.

Who is responsible for mould in a rental property?

It’s a grey area (or black or green) and one of the most commonly asked questions about rental property maintenance.

Mould comes in all shapes, forms, and places in a house or unit, and can be more wide spread depending on the season and where you are located in Queensland.

It usually occurs in damp, dark or steamy areas of the home - the bathroom or kitchen, cluttered storage areas, recently flooded or wet areas, and areas with poor ventilation.

In the aftermath of severe weather events, mould can quickly become an issue in water-damaged properties.

Deal with mould when it appears

If mould occurs, it should be dealt with quickly and thoroughly. In serious cases, a mould specialist may need to attend the property and determine the cause.

Mould in a regularly used shower recess may be the result of a persistent leak, while mould on the living room ceiling might indicate a structural problem or lack of ventilation.

When mould spores are present in large quantities, it can be a health hazard, potentially triggering allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does not make specific reference to mould, but there are rules about the general standard of the property at the start and end of the tenancy, and how it should be maintained throughout.

Therefore, if mould is a problem at a rental property, all parties should be willing to communicate and find a mutually agreeable way to deal with the issue in a timely manner.

Read more or contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) .

Above sourced from www.rta.qld.gov.au 

4th May 2022 (emailed 11am) posted on Social Media accounts 3rd May 2022
 
Good morning,
We are noticing an increase in membership best practice support asking about periodic tenancy contracts (plus rent increases) as lessors become aware of the removal of without grounds notice to leave from October 1 2022.
Real Estate Excellence Members, the MAY 2022 Real Estate Excellence Member Updates focuses on Lease renewals and rent increases in ALL scenarios. The update is at Member login (realestateexcellence.com.au) now to download to review, and will be emailed 5th May (tomorrow) to members.

There is no notice period legally required for a rent increase for a periodic tenancy that is negotiated to revert to a fixed term agreement. This procedure is a negotiation.
For example; the tenant may be on a periodic tenancy currently at $300 per week. The lessor and tenant agree on a fixed term agreement and the lessor would like a rent increase to $310. The current date in this example is the 5th November; the offer that is made to the tenant could be a fixed term agreement commencing on the 24th November at a new rent rate of $310. If the tenant agrees, then the agreement would be drawn up, signed and commences at the new rent rate as at 24th November.  
If the tenant does not agree with the lease and rent increase offer, property managers should promptly advise the lessor of the situation and their options; seek the lessor instruction preferably in writing. The lessor could instruct the agency of either of the following.
Provide 2 months’ written notice to leave without grounds to the tenant to end the tenancy.
Provide 2 months’ written notice for a rent increase and the tenancy remains a periodic tenancy.
Many landlord/ lessor insurance policies limit coverage if tenancies are periodic. It is sound risk management and best practice to have tenancies on fixed term unless the lessor instructions are for the tenancy to remain periodic
The above best practice general advice will change from October 1, 2022.

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