With university just about to start you might be thinking about moving out of home and renting with friends. There are plenty of things you need to know. Check out these handy tips.
- Once you have found and secured a place, make sure you visit the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website to find out about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
- Make sure you read the tenancy contract and fully understand its terms before you sign.
- When you move in, ensure you fill out an entry condition report, which is a record of the condition of the property when you moved in.
- Make sure the report is signed by both you and the landlord/agent and that you keep the copy on hand. If there is a dispute over damage to the property, you will need to rely on the entry condition report for proof.
- If you are sharing, always get agreements with your housemates in writing. Write down how you will share costs, household duties and what you will do in the event of a dispute.
- Get receipts from anyone you pay money to, including the people you share with.
Moving into a rental property will mean that you need to organise utilities, including electricity, gas, phone and internet.
- To help you budget for your utility bills, download the budget planner from the get out there website.
- For a list of electricity and gas providers visit the Energy Ombudsman Queensland.
- You will need to provide proof of identity and proof of address when opening accounts with utility providers.
- You should talk with your utility provider on how you should be billed. You may be able to set up a direct debit, use Bpay or change the frequency at which you will be billed.
- Always check your utility payments against receipts or previous bills to ensure that you have not been over-charged.
- Be careful of door-to-door traders selling utilities. Ask to see their identification and make sure you read and understand the contracts, warranties and guarantees.
Every residence in Queensland must be fitted with at least one working smoke alarm by law.
Landlords are legally responsible for fitting smoke alarms, but it is your responsibility as a tenant to make sure the alarm is maintained.
For more information, contact your local fire station or visit the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.