I was browsing the REIQ Journal recently and came upon an article containing some excellent advice for permanent managers from the Residential Tenancies Authority.
The advice is worth repeating because it concerns two areas that many managers confront often.
First, let’s talk about pets. If you have been reading the press lately, you might have seen a report of a case where a resident owner sought relief from a by-law that banned pets. The resident won the case and I am sure more such cases will appear in the near future. While this case involved an owner-occupier, where do you stand as far as tenants go?
Basically, the RTA has said that the tenant may keep a pet on the premises if the lessor agrees. Of course, if your complex has a by-law prohibiting pets, your landlords will probably get away with saying no to pets, at least until someone challenges the validity of the by-law. It is absolutely critical, however, that the type of pet and number of pets be included in the tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement must also note any special conditions such as extra pest (flea) control required and whether or not the pet is allowed indoors.
The RTA has also noted that it is illegal for you to ask for additional bond money as a “pet bond”!
Another area of friction between departing tenants and the on-site manager is the subject of exit cleans. The RTA is quite clear on their directive that a manager may not routinely charge a departing tenant for the cost of a professional exit clean!
The tenant is required by law to return the property in the same condition as when they moved in, apart for allowance for fair wear and tear. A tenant cannot be forced to hire a professional cleaner for this task. If the tenant attempts to do the clean themselves but does a sub-standard job, it is permissible to bring in a professional to finish the job but to protect yourself in case of later bond dispute, make sure you take photographic evidence of the areas that needed fixing.
I remind all managers of permanent rental complexes that the first website in your favourites list should be www.rta.qld.gov.au. This is the home page of the RTA and is a treasure trove of information for all in our industry.
RAAS Real Estate
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