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Tenancy Agreements: What Are They?

By Sophie Read

The General Tenancy Agreement is a legal binding contract between you as the lessor and the tenant. We as your managing agent act on your behalf and complete and sign all necessary paperwork.

There are two types of tenancy agreement in Queensland;

  • A fixed term agreement
  • A periodic agreement.

A fixed term agreement is a contract which has a definite start date and a definite end date. The tenancy can be renewed to another fixed term agreement at the end of the existing agreement however the agreement does not automatically end on the end date; required notices and time frames or other action must be taken to end the tenancy lawfully. If no action is taken to end the tenancy lawfully or renew the tenancy, the agreement automatically reverts to a periodic tenancy. To end the fixed term agreement, the lessor must provide two months’ written notice to the tenant on or before the end date; but the lease cannot end earlier than the end date unless all parties agree or another lawful action has occurred.

A periodic agreement is a contract which has a definite start date with no definite end date. This is commonly referred to as a month to month agreement. The only difference between a fixed term and a periodic agreement is the ending of the tenancy agreement time frames. A tenant on a periodic tenancy can provide two weeks written notice at any time and vacate the property in two weeks’ time. The lessor is required to provide 2 months’ written notice on a periodic tenancy.

Special Terms to the General Tenancy Agreement

The Tenancy Agreement mentioned above has 44 standard terms which are the law, non-negotiable and must form part of every tenancy agreement in Queensland. Special terms are terms that are not standard terms, however can be added to an agreement if they are lawful and do not contract outside legislation.

Under the Legal Professional Act of Queensland, we as a property agent cannot write or draft special terms to a tenancy agreement; only a lawyer or the lessor as a party to the agreement can. In saying that, we use special terms from our forms provider that have been prepared by an Australian legal practitioner. If you require additional special terms, we will require your written instruction. An example of contracting outside legislation is a request to insert a special term that an inclusion such as a dishwasher will not be maintained or replaced if it breaks down. This cannot be inserted due to the legislative provision of Section 185 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

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