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FROM THE RTA: Open Houses – The Rules

By Sophie Read

When a tenanted rental property is up for rent or sale, property managers/owners can show prospective tenants or purchasers through individually or during open houses, when several people can enter the place at the same time.

Before arranging an open house, property managers/owners must get the current tenant’s written permission. The request should be put to the tenant in writing, listing specific dates and times.

The current tenant can choose to refuse the open house request, and they don’t need to provide a reason. But in that case, there would probably be multiple individual entries to view the property, which the tenant cannot refuse under Queensland tenancy law.

Entry, for the purpose of showing a rental property to prospective tenants/buyers, is one of the standard terms in the Queensland General tenancy agreement (Form 18a), which the tenant and property manager/owner sign at the start of the tenancy.

If the tenant agrees in writing to open houses being held, the events must be planned for a reasonable time. Entry cannot take place on Sundays, public holidays, or any day before 8am or after 6pm, unless the tenant agrees. Property managers/owners must always try to minimise any disruption to the current tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the rental property.

The tenant’s written consent is required to take and publish marketing photos that show the tenant’s possessions.

During an open house, tenants can choose to remain in the rental property. It’s a good idea to discuss this beforehand.

Property managers/owners might wish to remind tenants they are responsible for their own possessions and contents insurance. If tenants are concerned about particular items, they might want to remove them from view during inspections.

For individual viewings, the property manager/owner needs to give the tenant an Entry notice (Form 9) with details of planned entry times, giving at least 24 hours notice before the planned entry.

This article was sourced from the Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority – www.rta.qld.gov.au.

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